I am a sinner that has been redeemed by the atoning blood of Jesus Christ. Apart from Christ, I am nothing. I deserve eternal death because of my sin. But Jesus, who was without sin, took my place on the cross and paid my penalty. Because the blood of Jesus covers me, the Father only sees Jesus, not my sin. How do we know that the sacrifice was an acceptable atonement? After Jesus died and was buried in a tomb, He rose again on the third day, just like the ancient Scriptures said He would! Hallelujah!
I believe this because the Bible (which is a timeless testimony to the character and redemption plan of God) tells us this is true. God’s Holy Word is one book, with 40 different authors, written over 1,500 years on three continents. It is consistent in it’s message from Genesis to Revelation. It’s historically true, divinely inspired and spiritually life-changing.
God is faithful and He always keeps His promises. He promised He would bring redemption through the Messiah. And He made an everlasting covenant with Abraham that the Messiah would come from the seed of Abraham. The Lord also spoke through ancient prophets in the Old Testament (or Tenakh) about this coming Messiah. About 2,000 years ago, the promised Messiah was born. His name is Jesus (Yeshua in Hebrew). During His first visit to us, He came as the Lamb of God, who was slain and took away the sins of the world. But He will be returning again in the last days- not as the Lamb, but as the Lion of Judah- the King who will reign forever and ever! (There’s much to say about this, but I’ll save it for another time!)
I am a new creation and have been born again of God. I put my faith in the atoning work of Christ- nothing more, nothing less. I don’t put any hope in my own good works. The Holy Spirit now dwells in me and I have assurance of eternal life with the Father.
Life’s circumstances can be difficult. But in Christ, we find peace. ‘I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:32) We can rest in His Presence in our lives and put our hope in the blessed assurance of eternity with God, which overshadows the struggles of this life.
We should not be surprised by trials. In fact, Scripture tells us we not only are we to expect trials, but also to understand that they come with an intended purpose! 1 Peter 1:7 says, ‘These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.’ (New Living Translation)
From the moment of salvation, God begins to transform the hearts and minds of His redeemed ones to be holy (or set apart) and more and more like Christ. ‘Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.’ (Hebrews 12:1-2)
He loves me. He loves you. And He loves the world! John 3:16 says, ‘For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’
The Bible says in Romans 10:9-10, ‘That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,”and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.’
Jesus isn’t just one of many ways to know God. Jesus is the ONLY Mediator between man and the Father. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6) ‘Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
The apostle Paul states in 2 Corinthians 5:17, ‘Anyone who believes in Christ is a new creation. The old is gone! The new has come!’ Jesus also said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10) He doesn’t just provide a good life or a better life, but NEW and ABUNDANT LIFE!
God desires you to get right with Him and the time is now. 2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” When you believe in your heart the message of the gospel, true repentance will come.
Romans 1:16 says, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.” You might still be asking, “So, what is the gospel?” First of all, the gospel simply means “good news.”
And this, my friend, is the good news, expressed by the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:3-5: ‘For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures…. ‘
Romans 3:23 says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” What is sin? Sin is breaking God’s Law in any way- or anything short of perfection in God’s eyes. (The word sin is actually an archery term which means, ‘missing the mark,’ or anything outside the middle of the bulls-eye.)
And what is the punishment for sin? Romans 6:23a says, ‘For the wages of sin is death…’ However, God has shown us grace and mercy. (Grace is receiving a free gift when we don’t deserve it. Mercy is not receiving the punishment we deserve.) The second part of Romans 6:23 reads, ‘-but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ The Bible says we can’t earn our way to heaven through our own good works. In Ephesians 2:8-9 it says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”
The first step to salvation is confessing you are a sinner. The second step is to believe by faith that Jesus Christ died for your sins and offers you forgiveness. The third step is to receive Him as your Savior, because He saved you from your penalty of eternal death. Fourth step is to make Him Lord (or Master) over every area of your life. When Jesus is received into your heart and life, sin will be revealed to you. When it’s revealed, confess it and then turn from (repent of) that sin! This is the work of the Holy Spirit. Thank Him for cleansing you and empowering you to live righteously!
Or maybe you have already put your faith in Christ earlier in your life but have taken your eyes off Him- maybe for years. Don’t let shame or any other unrepented sin keep you from being right with Him. He forgives. Start fresh today! 1 John 1:9 says, ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.’ Be FREE from sin and live ABUNDANTLY!
“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.” (John 5:24)
If you have not yet made Jesus Christ the Lord and Savior of your life, I encourage you to settle this in your heart today. What’s holding you back? None of us are promised even one more day, so do not put this off until tomorrow. This is a decision that has eternal consequences.
If it is your sincere desire to invite Jesus into your life, below is a simple prayer to begin a relationship with Jesus. But please remember, it’s NOT the repeating of empty, formulated words that saves. It’s the working of the Holy Spirit that opens your eyes to Him. But God purposely made it simple to come to Him, so even a child could understand. But easy doesn’t mean cheap or shallow. Jesus paid with His life so that we could have direct access to the Father.
“Lord, I admit I am a sinner. I need your saving grace. I can’t know you on my own or earn my own way to heaven. Please forgive me. Help me to turn away from sin and follow you all the days of my life. Thank you for loving me and for dying on the cross in my place. And thank you for giving me the free gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ, My Lord! Amen.”
Let me close with another prayer. This one is written by the Apostle Paul to the church in Ephesus. May this go deep in your heart.
‘When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.’ (Ephesians 3:14-21)