Feb 05 2007
Accepting Christ, Being Born Again, Getting Saved, these are all terms that we use for people that are committing their lives to Jesus Christ. But what exactly do these terms mean, and how does one go about making a decision to become a Christian?
In an effort to break these down into layman terms and explain in simplicity the gospel, (or Good News), of Jesus Christ, we will try to list a few basic principles that we feel are necessary for those that wish to consider salvation.
1) All Have Sinned:
First of all, we have to admit that we are all sinners. Trying to be good is not good enough. If we are honest with ourselves we have to come to the conclusion that we have failed miserably when it comes to keeping the Law of God. We also need to understand that because of Adam we are all born with a sinful nature. For it is written in the book of Romans:
10 As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; 11 there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. 12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” 13 “Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.” “The poison of vipers is on their lips.” 14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” 15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 ruin and misery mark their ways, 17 and the way of peace they do not know.” 18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned- 13 for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come.
2) Salvation is a Gift:
We can not earn salvation. In fact, the primary purpose of God’s Law was to show us that we can not possibly save ourselves by trying to do what is right. And the more we try to justify ourselves by keeping the Law the more aware we become of how sinful we really are.
Therefore, God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the price for us. He bled and died on a cross to purchase us back from the death of sin and separation from God. It is only by accepting this grace that we can be made right, or justified, in the Father’s eyes. For it is written:
19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. 21 But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished-
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
3) There is only One Way:To say that there is only One Way back to God is self-evident. If Jesus Christ died on a cross to pay for the sin of the world, then there can not be multiple ways for us to be saved. For Jesus himself said:
7 Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
And in the Book of Acts it is written:
12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
4) There is a Cost:
A very important thing to consider here is that salvation is free. We can not earn our salvation. It is God’s gift to us. However, a relationship with Jesus Christ, just like any other relationship, has a cost. Having accepted Christ, we have been set free. But we have been set free to be His servants. We are no longer our own, for we have been bought with a price.
Consider the following verses:
23 Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.
12 Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation-but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
5) What Now:
Salvation is established when we understand that:
A) We are hopelessly lost and in need of a Savior.
B) Jesus Christ is that Savior and our only hope.
C) Salvation is free for those willing to accept it.
D) Our relationship with Christ has a cost.
E) We need to verbally accept and acknowledge this before God and man.
Here are some scripture references:
9 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. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
32 “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.
In Closing:It is a simple matter to admit that there is one God, for the demons also admit this. Read James 2:19. But it is another thing altogether to sincerely acknowledge to Jesus Christ that you both need and want Him to save you.
If you are ready to accept Jesus Christ, let us close with a prayer. It does not have to be the same words that are written here, let the words come from your heart.
“Lord Jesus Christ, I confess that I am a guilty, lost and helpless sinner. I want you to save me, to take your rightful place as Lord of my life. I want to turn from my sin and trust only in your atoning sacrifice. I give my life to you. Take charge of it all and help me by the power of the Holy Spirit to follow after you.”