Plan of Salvation

How to begin a Relationship with Jesus Christ

Beginning a relationship with Jesus is the greatest decision you can ever make in your life. Let me assure you, what God wants more than anything is to have a relationship with you. John wrote, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son , that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16) A relationship with Jesus will last for eternity and eternal life begins the moment you receive Him as your Savior and Lord. If you are considering beginning a relationship with Jesus, then allow me to share with you truth from God's Word for doing so.

Regardless of how good you may think you are, the Bible declares that no one is good. The apostle Paul wrote, "There is non righteous, no not one... there is none who does good, no not one. (Romans 3:10, 12) For example, if you have ever told a lie before or taken something that did not belong to you, then you are a sinner. We are all sinners because we are born with a sinful nature. No one had to teach you how to be selfish, it comes natural, but it is not pleasing to God. Consider if you will these words, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23) Because of your sins, you have missed the glory of God which is perfection. The very term "sin" in the original language is an archery term which means 'to miss the mark'.

Sin eventually leads to death. As a matter of fact, Hebrews records, 'And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgement. (9:27) It is not surprising we are all going to die, yet none of us know when. However, dying is not the worst aspect of being a sinner, suffering in hell for all of eternity is. Paul would go on to write to the Romans, 'For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord' (6:23) The reference to death in this verse is eternal and we know this because of the contrast to eternal life. You deserve eternal separation from God because of your sin but that is not Gods' desire. Peter wrote, " The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is long suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9)

The truth is you cannot save your own soul, not even by being and doing good works. Consider what Paul wrote to the believers in Ephesus. He said. "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9) The only One who can save is Jesus. "How?" you might ask. You have to be willing to accept who Christ is and what He did for you.

Think on this for a moment, Paul said, "But God demonstrates His love toward us in that while we're still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8) Can you name anyone else who has ever loved you enough to die and take your place? That my friend,is an amazing love. Jesus' death was a sacrificial payment for your sins so that you might be forgiven by God. You did not deserve it and you cannot earn it; it is a gift and there is but one way to receive it, There are not many ways to God, there is only One way to God. Jesus himself said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father  except  through me." (John 14:6)

You have to place your faith in what and who Jesus is to be saved. Jesus died for you and three days later God raised him from the dead, this according to the scriptures. To receive his forgiveness and the gift of eternal life , you have to do it His way. Paul described His way when he wrote, " 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. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness,and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation... For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Romans 10:9-10,13) You can call on God in prayer.

If you would like to begin a relationship with Jesus, you can pray a simple prayer, something like this:

 

Lord, I admit I am a sinner and I understand because of my sins I deserve death and hell. Right now, I confess to you my sins and ask for you to forgive me. I am choosing to repent, to turn away from my sins. I believe you died for me so I could be forgiven and yet I believe God raised you from the dead and because you are alive, I am asking you to come into my life to be my Savior and my Lord. May I live for you from this day forward and never be ashamed to call you my God. Thank you for the gift of eternal life. In Jesus I place my trust forever more. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

If you truly meant that prayer, then you are now a child of God. However, Jesus said, "Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in Heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in Heaven" (Matthew 7:21) Jesus was very clear when he said you will know a tree by its fruit (Matthew 7:20) I pray to God the world will know you are a follower of Christ not just because you are unashamedly following Him and living for Him!

Dr.  Joe  Bufford

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