“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Your presence, and take not Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.” (Psalm 51:10-12)
This blog is about living the life of one belonging to Christ. But of course, one cannot do that without first becoming a child of God. The Bible is the only Book on this earth that has the information on how to become a Christian. We are sinners by human nature (Romans 3:23), and are eternally lost without any hope of salvation without Jesus. But our God is such a loving and awesome God! He is the only way to salvation, “for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) The Creator of the universe Himself has laid out the perfect plan in His Word for how we can establish a relationship with Him through His Son Jesus Christ.
First, we must hear the Word. Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” The first step to a relationship with Christ is learning about Him and what we must do to become God’s child.
Second, we must believe the Word. This is the second step because we cannot believe without first hearing (Romans 10:14). “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) Many in our world today promote the idea that belief and faith alone can produce salvation. Rather, as we will see from Scripture, belief is only the beginning and faith consists of so much more than simply believing in something (Hebrews 11:6).
Third, we must repent of our sins. Acts 17:30 says, “The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent.” To repent is to turn completely away from, or to make a “180 degree turn”. To repent, we must also realize that we are sinners, and that we desperately need God in our lives. “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.” (2 Corinthians 7:10) Again, as we read in this verse, our path to salvation doesn’t stop here– repentance of our sins is only one of several steps to our salvation.
Fourth, we must confess His name. Jesus Himself says, “So everyone who acknowledges Me before men, I also will acknowledge before My Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies Me before men, I also will deny before My Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32-33) Just like Peter, we must know and confess that Jesus is “the Christ, the Son of the Living God” (Matthew 16:16).
Fifth, we must be baptized for the forgiveness of our sins. In Acts 2:38 we read, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” To complete his salvation, Paul was instructed to arise and to be baptized in order to wash away his sins, calling upon the name of the Lord (Acts 22:16). Whenever we read of baptism in the Bible, the word literally means “to immerse”. Baptism allows us to reenact the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. We die to sin, are buried with Him in baptism, and rise to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:1-4). It is only through baptism that we come in contact with Jesus’ cleansing, saving blood. “Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 3:21)
Finally, we must remain faithful. We know from the Bible and from life’s experiences that it is possible to fall from grace (Galatians 5:4; Hebrews 2:1). Starting the race does us no good if we do not finish it. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the Founder and Perfecter of our faith, Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2) We must faithfully run the race set before us, setting our sights on our reward ahead and above us so that we can live eternally with our Savior and receive the crown of life (Revelation 2:10).
For Christians who have fallen away, God is always standing with open arms, waiting to receive them back home. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:20)
Don’t you want to become and live HIS child? Truly, how shall we neglect such a great salvation (Hebrews 2:3)? The Lord loves you more than you will ever know, and longs for you to come to know Him. “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:10) Jesus is waiting for you to give your life to Him. A Christian’s life is truly is a blessed and joyous life!
“But I have trusted in Your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, because He has dealt bountifully with me.” (Psalm 13:5-6)