Becoming a Christian is the most
important decision a person can make. When I was growing up I
thought that since I was not Jewish that I was a
Christian. As long as I tried to do more good things than
bad I'd have a chance to get to Heaven. However, one
night prior to my 18th birthday, I finally understood the
only "Stairway to Heaven" is Jesus Christ.
According to the
Bible, becoming Christian has nothing to do with physical
birth but by a faith decsion. It cannot be earned or
merited by works of righteousness (like helping out people in
need). Whether we spend eternity with God or apart from
Him, is determined by how we respond to the claims of Christ.
It cannot be obtained by living like Mother Teresa or by
any standard we construct. Certainly there's
nothing wrong about "doing good", it just won't merit you favor
with God. Surely the society is better off when people
attempt to live life trying to please God, but there is a big HOWEVER. In order to be in the
presence of creator God we must be perfect since He cannot coexist
with imperfection. That poses a major and totally
insurmountable problem. (nothing like repetitive redundancy!)
The question is then, where do we go from here?
Let's begin to look at what the Bible
says about all of this. In the Apostle Paul's letter to
the Romans he writes, "For all have
sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23) The
word sin means to miss a target by falling short of it.
Everyone misses Godís target by disobeying or violating His
commandments. Sin is the failure of a person to miss perfection and
therefore separates us from God. Sin is a universal
plague that brings spiritual death to all people. For all people
have sinned against God.
There is nothing we can do to
rid ourselves of this condition. Later in the
book of Romans Paul states, "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of
God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23).
The suffering and death of the Man
Christ Jesus is the greatest demonstration of the love of God for
sinners. For Jesus was God Himself made flesh. He died to make
atonement for all our sins. It is a great love for someone to die in
place of a loved one, but Jesus died for His enemies.
When asked what must one do to be
saved, Paul and Slias answered, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be
saved" (Acts 16:30-31)
By God's grace, sinners receive
eternal life through faith, which is also from God: "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and
that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of
works, so that no one may boast" (Ephesians
2:8,9). The word grace refers to the
free, unmerited and unconditional gift of Godís faith, love,
forgiveness and salvation.
Our God-given faith must be in
the sin-atoning blood of Jesus Christ alone, shed on the cross for
those who will believe.
Confess Jesus and believe that God
raised him from the dead. The Bible says, "that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord,
and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you
will be saved" (Romans 10:9). The word confess means to acknowledge that Jesus is
Savior and Lord, to believe that Jesus died on the cross for sins
and conquered death for those who will believe. Believe that He is
the Way, the Truth and the Life, and He will change your life as you
love Him. After accepting the free gift of eternal life a
desire to keep His commandments and follow Jesus Christ will
result. Instead of attempting to earn God's favor by doing
good deeds you will desire to please God with deeds. Do you
see the difference? We do not gain God's acceptance by "doing"
but by believing.
"But to the one who does not
work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his
faith is credited as righteousness," (Romans 4:5)
Please do not ever make the mistake of believing that you must
do anything to gain entrance into
Heaven. God's grace is an unmerited gift and there's nothing
you can add to Jesus' sacrificial death on the cross.
Nothing! To be clear let me ask it one more time in another
way. What are the works of God that you must do to gain
access into God's eternal Kingdom? Therefore they said to Him, "What shall we do, so
that we may work the works of God?" 29 Jesus answered and said to
them, "This is the work of God, that you
believe in Him whom He has
sent." (John 6:28-29) Believe! It's that
Once you believe these
things, know that you are forever accepted by God and worthy to
have fellowship with the Creator of all things. You
are now as righteous as Jesus Christ! How exciting is
that. You will never be condemned and nothing will ever
separate you from God's love. Therefore there is now no condemnation for
those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1) Being "In Christ" just means
that you are part of His family. Remember, once you
have affirmed that Jesus has paid for you sins, you can
NEVER be booted out of Heaven. Does this mean that you should
live in way that is not pleasing to God simply because you
already have the "get out of hell free card"? Definitely not,
but sin will no longer cause eternal separation from God since Jesus
paid your penalty for sins past, present and future.
Will we continue to sin?
Unfortunately the answer is yes, but only while we are here on
earth. On my birthday this October 16th 2008, my mother went to
be with the Lord. She's no longer in pain and she is no
longer ravaged by sin. Isn't that awesome! We continue to
sin while we are still in our earthly body because sin is a
product of our inheritance as human beings. However,
once it begins to sink in, the horrific price Jesus paid on the
cross (watch The Passion of the Christ to get a glimpse) that
saves us from eternal punishment, we will want to please him.
Our lives should turn from being "me" centered to be other's
centured. Not to earn God's favor but to bring Him
Please contact me if you've "become a Christian", which is what we call those
who believe these things. Welcome to the family of