Salvation

How Can I Know Jesus Personally?

Jesus was with God the Father and the Holy Spirit before the world was created. He became human and lived among humanity as Jesus of Nazareth. He came to show us what God the Father is like. He lived a sinless life, showing us how to live; and He died upon a cross to pay for our sins. God raised Him from the dead and today He is seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven.

In the Bible He is called the “Lamb of God” (John 1:29). In the Old Testament, sacrifices were made for the sins of the people. Jesus became the sacrificial lamb offered for your sin. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). He is waiting for you now.

What Is Faith?
What do you think it takes for someone to get to heaven? Is it luck? Good deeds? Nothing at all? Or is there something more? The Bible has the real answer to this question. It's a matter of FAITH.

  • F stands for Forgiveness.
    We cannot have eternal life without God's forgiveness. Ephesians 1:7a says, "In Him (Jesus Christ) we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins."
  • A is for Available.
    Forgiveness is available for all. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." But forgiveness is not automatic. "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven," says Matthew 7:21a.
  • I is for Impossible.
    It is impossible for God to allow sin into heaven because of who He is and because of who we are. God is loving and just, but His judgment is against sin. James 2:13a says, "Because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful." We are sinful people. Romans 3:23 tells us, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
  • T is for Turn.
    To turn means to repent. We can repent -- or turn -- from our sin and from ourselves. "But unless you repent, you too will all perish," Luke 13:3b says. We can also turn to Someone. Trust Christ alone. Romans 10:9 tells us how: "That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."
  • H is for Heaven.
    Heaven is eternal life. Here, that means life "to the full:" "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10b)." In the hereafter, it means the promise of heaven: "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am (John 14:3)."

So how can a person have God's forgiveness, heaven and eternal life, and Jesus as personal Savior and Lord? By trusting in Christ and asking Him for forgiveness. Take the step of faith described by another meaning of FAITH: Forsaking All I Trust Him.

The ABC’s of Salvation
Some people think a personal relationship with God is something only theologians can comprehend. Actually, God’s plan of salvation is simple enough for everyone to understand. Here are the ABC’s of salvation. 

  • Admit to God that you are a sinner. All persons need salvation. Each of us has a problem the Bible calls sin. Sin is a refusal to acknowledge God’s authority over our lives. Everyone who does not live a life of perfect obedience to the Lord is guilty of sin. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Since none of us is perfect, all of us are sinners (Romans 3:10-18). The result of sin is spiritual death (Romans 6:23). Spiritual death means eternal separation from God. By God’s perfect standard we are guilty of sin and therefore subject to the punishment for sin, which is separation from God. Admitting that you are a sinner and separated from God is the first step of repentance, which is turning from sin and self and turning toward God.
  • Believe in Jesus Christ as God’s Son and receive Jesus’ gift of forgiveness from sin. God loves each of us. God offers us salvation. Although we have done nothing to deserve His love and salvation, God wants to save us. In the death of Jesus on the cross, God provided salvation for all who would repent of their sins and believe in Jesus. “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
  • Confess your faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord to others. After you have received Jesus Christ into your life, share your decision with another person. Tell your pastor or a Christian friend about your decision. Following Christ’s example, ask for baptism by immersion in your local church as a public expression of your faith. “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. With the heart one believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses, resulting in salvation” (Romans 10:9-10).  

Born Again
Have you ever wondered what the phrase “born again” means?

The Bible tells us that Jesus used the phrase in a conversation with a man named Nicodemus.

Nicodemus approached Jesus at night. He was curious about Jesus and the kingdom of God.

Jesus told him: “Unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).

Nicodemus responded, “But how can anyone be born when he is old?” (John 3:4).

Nicodemus was a highly moral man who obeyed God’s law. He was a respected leader of the Jewish community. No doubt he was a fine man. Yet something was lacking.

Like Nicodemus, many people today confuse religion with new birth in Christ.

Phrases like “I pray regularly” or “I believe there is a God” often are confused with a real new-birth experience.

New birth begins with the Holy Spirit convicting a person that the person is a sinner.

Because of sin, we are spiritually dead. For this reason, spiritual birth, as Jesus described it, is necessary.

God loves us and gives us spiritual birth when we ask Him for it. Jesus died on a cross and was raised from the dead to save sinners.

To be born again means that a person admits to God that he or she is a sinner, repents of sin, believes in or trusts Christ, and confesses faith in Christ as Savior and Lord.

Jesus told Nicodemus that everyone who believes in (places faith in) Christ would not perish (John 3:16).

Jesus is the only One who can save us (John 14:6).

What do I say?
You can say a simple prayer reflecting your desire for Christ to change your life. You don't need fancy words-only an honest heart. You can choose your own words or pray something like this:

Believing God_video still 
View a video presentation of a prayer of salvation by Beth Moore (You will need the free Windows Media Player to view this video.)

Dear Jesus,

  • I admit my sin and need of salvation.
  • I know that You are God’s Son and You love me.
  • I believe You took the penalty for my sin when You died on the cross, and only through faith in Your death and resurrection can I be forgiven.
  • I turn away from my sin and place my faith in You as my Savior and Lord.
  • From this day on, I will follow You by living a life that pleases You.
  • Thank You, Lord Jesus, for saving me. I say this prayer in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Congratulations!
Accepting Jesus as Savior is just the beginning of a wonderful adventure! Here are some ways to get to know Him better:

  • After you have received Jesus Christ into your life, tell a pastor or another Christian about your decision.
  • Follow Christ's example in baptism. Show others your faith in Him by asking for baptism by immersion in your local church as a public expression of your faith.
  • Join a church where you can worship God and grow in your faith. In your church, get involved in Sunday School and Bible study.
  • Begin a daily personal worship experience with God where you study the Bible and pray.