Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Fourth Baptist Salvation

How do we become a Christian?

We have seen that Christianity in its essence is first and foremost Jesus Christ, and a personal relationship with Him. Let me suggest three steps which all of us must take in order to have a personal relationship with Christ:

  1. There Is Something For Us To Admit.

    All of us must be ready to admit that we are sinners, that our sins have separated us from our God, that we must turn from our sins and that we need a Savior.

    For there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin. (Ecclesiastes 7:20)
    But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear. (Isaiah 59:2)
    Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent. (Acts 17:30)
    And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. (1 John 4:14)

    It is only as we admit our needy condition that we are ready to receive the solution provided by Jesus Christ.

    When Jesus heard it, He said to them, those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance. (Mark 2:17)
  2. There Is Something For Us To Believe

    We must believe that Jesus Christ is who He claimed to be - the Son of God and God the Son, and the Savior whom we admit to needing. In Jesus of Nazareth, God became man and laid down His life on the cross as a ransom for our lost souls.

    We must believe in Christ’s incarnation (the eternal Son was made flesh); His crucifixion (the Son of God was made sin, i.e., an offering for sin); and His resurrection (the crucified Savior was raised to life bodily and physically as a vindication of His person and work).

    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)
    And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
    For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
    I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive for evermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. (Revelation 1:18)

    Of course there is more to the Christian faith than these basic components, but these are at the very center of the truth we are called to believe.

  3. There Is Something For Us To Do

    Admitting our need as sinners and believing that Jesus has come and died to be our Savior still leaves us one step short of having the necessary relationship with Him.

    We must act to receive Him into our lives as our own personal Savior.

    "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" (Acts 2:37)
    "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" (Acts 16:30)
    But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name. (John 1:12)
Is there a simple "picture" of how to do this?

Yes! Perhaps the clearest picture we have of what this looks like is in Revelation 3:20. Jesus says: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me."

Jesus calls us to "hear His voice" and "open the door." Jesus "stands" at the threshold of our life speaking and knocking. If we have heard His voice in the text of Scripture defining the shape of our need as sinners and affirming that He is the Savior from sin, and if we admit that He is right about us and believe that He is who He claimed to be, then He calls us to "open the door."

We must invite Him in from the threshold outside our life into the dining room inside our life. Then we are given the gracious promise: "I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me." This is a glorious picture of shared joys, reciprocal fellowship, forgiven sins and eternal salvation!

From our heart

If you have not already done so, we urge you to receive this gracious gift which the crucified and risen Christ waits to give you at this moment. Do you hear His voice? Then open the door! You have this promise: "Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Romans 10:13).

Making such a decision is never the end, but it is an indispensable beginning. This is life’s most critical decision, and if you choose to make it, please grant us the privilege of knowing that. We would delight to help you in your spiritual growth once you decide to enter the Christian faith: "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that you may grow thereby" (1 Peter 2:2).

There is no Jesus as Lord and Savior.. We only acknowledge, recieve, believe, and turn once toward him. Does the King of the Universe care what I do with my life? To Paul.. he was both Christ and Lord...

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