Did you know that God loves you? The Bible tells us about God’s love for us. Here are just a few of the many verses that speak to that:
- “For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
- “Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)
- “For it was you who created my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. … Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in your book and planned before a single one of them began.” (Psalm 139:13, 15)
And He wants to help you discover a meaningful and purposeful life that He has for you.
But there is a problem: sin has separates us from God. Romans 3:23 says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We are ALL sinners. Sin is any activity that falls short of the standard that God has set. Sin is choosing our own way instead of God’s way. Worse than that: the penalty for sin is death. (Romans 6:23a). The Bible says that our sin is the “wage” (the pay check) that we have earned by sinning and that what we deserve for those activities is death.
Thank goodness there is good news! Romans 6:23b—the second part of the penalty verse—says “but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Since there was no way we could pay the sin debt we owed, God, in His infinite love, paid it on our behalf! “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8). In other words, God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die in your place (and mine) to pay our sin debt!
But Jesus didn’t stay dead. After paying the penalty for our sins, He conquered death by rising again from the grave! Hebrews 1:3 says, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of his nature, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 sums it up the best: “For by grace [which means undeserved favor] you have been saved [or, delivered from sin’s penalty] through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the [free] gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Salvation is a gift that God wants to give!
However, like any gift, the gift of salvation must be received before it is effective in our lives. John 1:12 makes clear: “as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God.” Additionally, Acts 4:12 clarifies that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation: “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved.” And in Romans 10:13 we are assured that “whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
So, becoming a Christian means that you are accepting Christ as Savior (the one who paid your sin debt to reconcile you to and make peace with God) and as Lord (the new Master over all aspects of your life and conduct).
Think of it in three simple “ABC” steps:
A: Admit you are a sinner, that you have fallen short of God’s standard, that you can’t save yourself no matter how many good things you do, and that you genuinely desire to turn away from a lifestyle of sin and toward a lifestyle of following God’s ways instead of your own (see also Romans 3:23; 6:23; Acts 3:19; 1 John 1:9).
B: Believe what God has said about you, your sin, and what His Son, Jesus Christ, has done for you (John 1:11-13; 3:16; 14:6; Acts 4:12; Romans 5:8; Ephesians 2:8-9).
C: Confess, (or agree) with God. “…if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation” (Rom. 10:9-10).
If this is your desire, you can receive Christ today and become a Christian by expressing your desire to God in a prayer similar to this one:
I am a sinner. I confess that I can never be good enough to earn Your forgiveness. Thank You for sending Jesus to come to earth as a man and die on the cross in my place to take the punishment I deserve. I trust Jesus now to save me, forgive my sin, and to give me eternal life. Because You have rescued me from my sin, out of gratitude I purpose to follow Your ways and submit to the risen and reigning Jesus Christ as Lord of my life all the rest of my days. Amen.