God leaves no doubt about our condition. While we set our standards of right and wrong by society's values, God's standard is His own holiness. How do we measure up? "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). It is only fair that God demands holiness; that is how He first created mankind. We have rebelled against Him as a race and as individuals.
Our path away from God has brought its consequences. "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23a). The Bible compares sin to a cruel slave master. There is no mercy in suffering, no freedom from bondage, no lasting joy, no hope for the future. Most frightening is the final consequence of sin. The Bible warns that without God's salvation, death is the doorway to eternal punishment (Hebrews 9:27).
It is from this that we need to be saved. From our own sin. From its bondage. From its consequences. "How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?" (Hebrews 2:3).
How does God say I can be saved?
God is holy and God is love. His holiness demands that our sin be punished in full. His love provides a way for us to be saved from this punishment. How is this possible? Someone was willing to suffer what we deserve. Our substitute had to be a sinless man, able to suffer the full wrath of God against our sin. The only one able to take our place was God's Son.
The greatest display of God's love unfolded as His Son left heaven to become a man. Born of a virgin 2000 years ago, the Lord Jesus Christ lived with His creation. He was unable to sin, yet He showed compassion to sinners all around Him. Men hated Christ because His holiness exposed their sinfulness. They decided to remove Him by crucifying Him. He willingly allowed them to nail Him to a cross of wood outside Jerusalem. They suspended Him so they could sit and watch Him die. The climax of God's plan of salvation had arrived as God covered the earth with darkness. The Bible tells us that for three hours He laid on His Son the full punishment we deserve to receive for our sin. The darkness was broken when Jesus Christ called out with a loud voice, "It is finished". He had accomplished the mighty work, God's great plan of salvation.
After three days in death, Christ Jesus rose from the dead. This is evidence to all who saw Him and to all who read God's word that Christ's suffering completely satisfied His father. He was victorious over death itself and the ultimate consequence of our sin.
God's plan of salvation brings us into the good of Christ's suffering, death, and victory. "For when we were yet without strength, in due time, Christ died for the ungodly" (Romans 5:6). "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
To be saved a person must turn from their sin (repent) and turn to God in faith, trusting in Christ alone for salvation. Acts 3:19 in the Bible says, "Repent, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out and times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord." You can do that through prayer.
The precise words you use to commit yourself to God are not important. He knows the intentions of your heart. If you are unsure of what to pray, this might help you put it into words:
"Jesus, I want to know you. I want you to come into my life. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sin so that I could be fully accepted by you. Only you can give me the power to change and become the person you created me to be. Thank you for forgiving me and giving me eternal life with God. I give my life to you. Please do with it as you wish. Amen."
If you sincerely asked Jesus into your life just now, then he has come into your life as he promised. You have begun a personal relationship with God.
What follows is a lifelong journey of change and growth as you get to know God better through Bible reading, prayer and interaction with other Christians. Please contact Pastor John Martin if you have made this decision so we can rejoice with you and help you grow in your faith.