For most people, Christianity is a religion… but the truth is that it is a relationship… a relationship with God.
For those who may be curious as to what it means to know God as intimately as He knows you, or maybe looking for a fresh start with God, or for those who have ever wished they could start over, there is good news:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17
However, before we can really appreciate this good news, we need to ensure we understand exactly why we need to start over. Why do we need to become a new creation or why do we need salvation?
Let’s explore the process together.
There is an immeasurable gap separating God and man. The cause of this eternal separation between God and man is called sin.
Have you ever felt distant from God? We all have. Feeling far away from God is very common. In an attempt to deal with this feeling of separation, many think that if they try to meditate harder, learn more about their religion, try to obey all the rules, or just visit some religious sanctuary, they would get closer to God.
But separation from God is not physical or intellectual, so meditation nor knowledge can bring us any closer to God. So what is the cause of separation between God and man?
Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.
The separation between God and man is a moral one. God is perfect and holy, man is not. God is good, man is not. God is just, man is not.
Sin is simply the fact that we have turned our back on God and have been following our own ways and desires, think and do as we please. Anything that turns us away from God is known as sin. And we all do this.
The Bible says:
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
The worse part is that our sins separate us from God for eternity, for ever! The Bible says “The wages of sin is death.” i.e. The only thing we earn and receive in return for sin, is death. Death is a consequence of our sin.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The justice of God demands a sacrifice for man’s sin. About 2,000 years ago, God sent His only Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins and pay the penalty of death.
Because God is just, righteous and holy, He can not allow sin to go unpunished. Because He is loving and compassionate, He did not want all of mankind to perish and be separated from Him for eternity. His solution to this problem was for Jesus, God’s only Son, to become the sacrifice for sin.
… But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
Jesus was sacrificed on a cross. Through His death on that cross, Jesus took our place and our punishment. He willingly exchanged His righteousness for our sin.
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:21
Jesus took our curse and gave us His blessings. Because Jesus, being the Son of God and lived a sinless life, He was the only one qualified to pay the penalty for man’s sin, and therefore was able to bridge the gap that was between God and man.
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”
Because Jesus, being the Son of God and lived a sinless life, He was the only one qualified to pay the penalty for man’s sin, and therefore was able to bridge the gap that was between God and man.
Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. This is for everyone, not just back then, but for us today.
…God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Jesus died on the cross so that we could receive:
Forgiveness of our sins,
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us.
be Reconciled to God,
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
and have Eternal Life.
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.
We receive salvation when we stop trusting in ourselves, others, material things, etc. and put our trust in what Christ Jesus did for us.
Salvation is a result of God’s Grace. Is is based upon what Jesus did for us on the cross and it has nothing to do with what we do for Him. We are unable to save ourselves. We are unable to earn God’s approval through any good works that we may do.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.
Jesus rose from the dead and now He lives in heaven with God His Father. He offers us the gift of eternal life — of living forever with Him in heaven only if we accept Him as our Lord and Savior. Jesus said:
I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except by Me.
God reaches out in love to you and wants you to be His child. His son or His daughter.
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God — children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
“That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
The Salvation Prayer is not a ritual based on specific words. This is not the power of a prayer, but the power of truly committing our lives to Christ as Savior and Lord. The following is merely a guideline for our sincere step of faith:
Heavenly Father … I acknowledge that the separation between us … is because of my sin … I confess that I have sinned … and have fallen short of Your glory … I thank you that you sent Your Son, Jesus … to pay the penalty for my sin … I believe He died on the cross for me …I believe You raised Him from the dead … I am sorry for my sins … and I ask You to forgive and cleanse me … I want to turn away from everything the Bible calls sin … and receive You as my Lord, Master and Savior … help me to love, serve and obey You … for the rest of my life … In Jesus’ name … Amen.
If you sincerely prayed the prayer above, the Bible promises that the old has gone and the new has come!
Welcome to God’s family.
The Bible also advises us to follow up on our commitment. Let me introduce you to some of the new things that have come:
- Get Water Baptised, as commanded by Christ.
- Tell someone else about your new faith in Christ.
- Spend time with God each day. It does not have to be a long period of time. Just develop the daily habit of praying (remember, this is just talking to God) and reading His Word, The Holy Bible. Ask God to increase your faith and your understanding of the Bible.
- Seek to meet and mix with other followers of Jesus. Develop a group of believing friends to answer your questions, support you and help you be filled with the Holy Spirit.
- Find a local church where you can connect with others like you to learn how to live a life honouring to God.
Did you become a follower of Jesus today? Let me know… I would love to cheer you on for making such a decision. And if you need help to follow up on your commitment, please also ask.