The heart of the Christian faith boils down to this simple message: Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who died on the cross for your sins and was raised from the dead to give you new life.
That message is simple, but understanding it and trusting in it requires that you understand what it means and why the truth of that simple message can change your life. To understand it better, you need to understand four simple truths that the Bible presents:
- You are a sinner. In Romans 3:23, the Bible says, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." The word "sinned" means that we have missed God's standard of goodness. Whenever we lie, hate, lust, or gossip or do any other bad thing, we are sinning. None of us is always good all the time. Even if some of us are better than others, every person sins and is therefore a sinner.
- The penalty for sin is death. In Romans 6:23, the Bible says, "For the wages of sin is death." Whenever you work at a job, what you earn is called your wages. In the same way, what we all earn whenever we sin is death. We deserve to die and be separated from God forever.
- Jesus Christ came to save us from sin and death! Since our sins mean that there is no way for us to be with God, God came to us. In 1 John 4:14, the Bible says, "God sent the Son to be the Savior of the world." Jesus is God's Son, God in the flesh. He is therefore able to save every person who has ever lived or ever will. On top of that, in Romans 5:8, the Bible tells us why Jesus came: "But God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." What this means is that, because of God's love for us, Jesus Christ took the penalty for our sins that we deserved and died in our place so that we wouldn't have to die and be separated from God. But Jesus did not stay dead! He rose from the dead 3 days later to prove that sin and death had been conquered and that His claims to be the Son of God are true.
- You can be saved through faith in Jesus Christ. In Ephesians 2:8-9, the Bible says, "For by grace you have been saved (delivered from sin's penalty) through faith, and that is not from yourselves; it is the gift of God, not by our works, so that no one can boast." The word "faith" means trust . It means to trust in what God has done for you through Jesus, to depend on Him alone to forgive you for your sins and to give you eternal life, making it possible for you to live with Him in heaven forever. The word "grace" means "free gift." There is nothing you can do to earn salvation from God, but He offers it to you as a free gift if you put your trust in Jesus Christ, believing that He died on the cross for your sins and was raised from the dead to give you new life.
If you believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died for your sins and was raised from the dead, simply place your trust in that truth and receive eternal life from God as a free gift! When you have done that, you will want to tell God what you have done by praying to Him. Remember, it is not prayer that saves you, but putting your trust in Jesus and what He has done. When you pray, you are simply telling God about your new faith in Jesus. You might pray like this:
"Dear God, I know I'm a sinner. I know I deserve death for my sins. I am trusting in Jesus Christ, your Son, who died in my place for my sins and rose from the dead to save me. I am trusting in Jesus alone as my Savior. Thank you for giving me forgiveness and eternal life as a free gift. In Jesus' name, amen."
If you have put your trust in Jesus Christ today, congratulations! You now have eternal life and membership in God's family forever! And now that you are a Christian, you will want to grow in your relationship with God. Please contact us at Chillicothe Bible Church for further spiritual help.