Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37)What went wrong? All of us have failed to trust and treasure God the way we should. We have pursued joy and satisfaction in other things, and treated them as more valuable than God. This appalling offense to the greatness of God is idolatry. Through this sin we have cut ourselves off from him and are subject to his just condemnation. (Jeremiah 2:12-13, Romans 1:21-23)
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)
The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)Jesus But in his great love, even when we least deserved it, God sent Jesus to save sinners like us. Jesus died on the cross to take the punishment for all the sins of all who turn to and trust in him. Through his resurrection from the dead he defeated sin and death so that he can give life – new, abundant, eternal life – to all who receive him. (John 10:10, Romans 3:25,26, 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, Hebrews 2:14-18)
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)How should we respond? Receiving Jesus means that we repent of our sins and turn to him in trust. The word repent means to change our direction in life. Instead of running from God, we can run toward Him. We do not earn our salvation, but receive it by faith as a free gift from God on the basis of what Jesus has done – not what we do. (John 1:12, 6:35, Romans 10:9-10, Ephesians 2:8-9)
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. (Romans 10:9-10)Do you believe that you have rebelled against God and deserve his wrath? That Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died the death that you deserve for your sins? That he rose from the grave and lives to stand in your place as your Substitute and Savior? If that is your heartfelt conviction, you can tell him in words like these…
“Jesus, I know I can’t save myself, and I know you have promised to save those who repent and put their faith in you alone. I trust you to forgive my sins and give me eternal life. Thank you for dying in my place to make my salvation possible!”What difference does it make? By receiving salvation, we’re no longer cut off from God but restored to the ultimate joy of relationship with him. Knowing him personally, and the fullness of his love for us and his life with us, means that we can look forward to spending eternity with God and also gives us the security and significance we long for now which results in God being magnified as we are satisfied in him. (Romans 5:1, 6-11, 2 Corinthians 5:17, 21, Galatians 2:20, 1 Peter 3:18) If you’ve received salvation, then a whole life of getting to know Jesus lies ahead, beginning right now!
If you’ve made the decision to follow Jesus, or if you still have questions, we’d love to talk with you about it! We want to help you learn how to follow Jesus.