*adapted from the Southern Baptist Convention "How to Become a Christian" http://www.sbc.net/knowjesus/theplan.asp
Salvation through Jesus Christ
You're not here by accident. God loves you, He created
you, and He wants His people to have a personal relationship
with Him through Jesus, His Son. There is just one thing
that separates you from God. That one thing is sin.
The Bible describes sin in many ways. Most simply, sin
is our failure to measure up to God’s holiness and His
righteous standards. We sin by things we do, choices
we make, attitudes we show, and thoughts we entertain.
We also sin when we fail to do right things. The
Bible affirms our own experience – “there is none
righteous, not even one.” No matter how good we try to be, none of us does can measure up to the holiness of God.
People tend to divide themselves into groups - good people and bad people. But God says that every person is born a sinner, and our sin separates us from God. No matter how we might classify ourselves, this includes you and me. We are all sinners.
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23
Many people are confused about the way to God. Some think they will be punished or rewarded according to how good they are. Some think they should make things right in their lives before they try to come to God. Others find it hard to understand how Jesus could love them when other people don't. But I have great news for you! God DOES love His people!
Our sins are evil, and they demand punishment - the punishment of death and Hell. Because God is perfectly holy and against evil, He must punish our sins. But, because of His great love, God sent His only Son Jesus to take the punishment for our sins as our substitute by dying on the cross.
"God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8
For you to come to God you have to be rid of your sins. But, in our own strength, not one of us can do this! You can't make yourself right with God by being a better person. Only God can rescue us from our sins. He is willing to do this not because of anything in you but simply because of His grace and love according to His sovereign will.
"He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy..." Titus 3:5
It's God's grace that allows you to come to Him - not your efforts to "clean up your life" or work your way to Heaven. You can't earn it. It's a free gift.
"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." Ephesians 2:8-9
For you to be brought to God, the penalty for your sin must be paid and the righteous requirement of God's Law must be perfectly kept. God's gift to His people is His son, Jesus, who lived a perfectly obedient life as a representative for His people and who paid the penalty of punishment when He died on the cross as a substitute for His people. He stood where they should have stood, lived how they should have lived, and absorbed the righteous judgment that should have been poured out on them. Since He was punished for sins as a substitute for His people and perfectly kept God's Law on behalf of His people, they can now be free, forgiven, declared righteous, and receive new life in Jesus.
"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23
Jesus paid the price for the sins of His people by giving His life on a cross, just outside of the city walls of Jerusalem in ancient Israel. But though He was crucified, death could not hold Him, and the grave could not keep Him. God brought Jesus back from the dead. God provided the way for His people to be reconciled with Him through Jesus. When we realize how deeply our sin grieves the heart of God and how desperately we need a Savior, we are ready to receive God's offer of salvation. Admitting we are sinners means turning away from our sin and selfishness and turning to follow Jesus. The Bible's word for this is "repentance" - to change our thinking about how grievous sin is so that our thinking is in line with God's.
All that's left for you to do is to accept the gift that is freely given in Christ alone. This is done by repenting of our sin in order to follow Jesus as our Lord and believing in Jesus as our risen and victorious Savior!
"If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with the heart that one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved." Romans 10:9-10
God says that if you believe in His son, Jesus, you will be made right with God now and live forever with Him in glory.
"For God so loved the world that, He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16
Are you ready to accept the gift of eternal life that Jesus offers to you? Let's review what this commitment involves:
You must acknowledge that you are in need of a Savior - this is place your hope in Jesus and to repent or turn away from sin
You must believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead - this is to trust that Jesus paid the full penalty for your sins
You must confess Jesus as your Lord and your God - this is to trust Him as the perfectly righteous One instead of yourself and look to His perfect righteousness on your behalf
You must receive Jesus as your Savior forever - this is to accept that Christ has done for you and in you what He promised
If it is your sincere desire to repent and put your faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, then you can pray to Him and confess Christ to be the Lord and Savior of your life right now! Come and walk in the new life found in Jesus!
Let us know if you made this decision. We want to be there for you in your new life with Christ.