By guest, Jan 21 2016 01:04PM
What does it mean to commit my life to Christ and how do I do it?
A personal relationship with Jesus is the most important decision you will ever make in your life. It is unlike any other relationship. If you go into eternity without this relationship, you will spend eternity apart from Him. It is the desire of Olive Branch Church that everyone understand the gospel and accept the free gift of salvation offered to all mankind through the life, work, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Understand that God Desires a Personal Relationship With You.
God created you (Genesis 1:27). He didn’t just create you to exist alone and apart from Him, He created you to have a personal relationship with Him. Remember, God had personal encounters and fellowship with Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:8-19). Just as God fellowshipped with them, He desires to fellowship with you (1 John 1:5-7). God loves you (John 3:16), never forget that fact.
The Problem is that humanity has a Sin Problem that Separates us from a Relationship With God
When Adam and Eve chose to sin against God in the Garden of Eden, they catapulted the entire human race into sin. Since that time, every human being has been born into the world with a propensity toward sin. Each and every one of us has rebelled, choosing for ourselves to usurp God’s authority and question His goodness through that process.
The apostle Paul affirmed that “sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin” (Romans 5:12). Indeed, we are told that “through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners” (Romans 5:19). Ultimately this means that “death came through a man…in Adam, all die” (1 Corinthians 15:21-22).
Jesus often spoke of sin in metaphors that illustrate the havoc sin can wreak in one’s life. He described sin as blindness (Matthew 23:16-26), sickness (Matthew 9:12), slavery (John 8:34), and darkness (John 8:12; 12:35-46). Moreover, Jesus taught that sin is a universal condition and all people are guilty before God (Luke 7:37-48).
He also made clear that both our inner thoughts and our external actions render us guilty (Matthew 5:28). He taught that from within the human heart come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, envy, slander, arrogance, and folly (Mark 7:21-23). Moreover, He affirmed that God is fully aware of every person’s sins, both external and internal; nothing escapes His notice (Matthew 22:18; Luke 6:8; John 4:17-19).
Of course, some people are more morally upright than others, but we all fall short of God’s infinite standards because His standard is perfection (Romans 3:23). In a contest to see who can throw a rock to the moon, I am sure a muscular athlete would be able to throw the rock much further than I could, but all human beings ultimately fall short of the task. Similarly, all of us fall short of measuring up to God’s perfect and holy standards.
Though the sin problem is a serious one, God has graciously provided a solution.
Jesus Died for Our Sins to Make Salvation Possible
God’s absolute holiness demands justice be done, so all sin must be punished. However, the good news of the gospel, is that Jesus has taken this punishment upon Himself. God loves us so much that He sent Jesus to bear the penalty for our sins!
Jesus affirmed that it was for the very purpose of dying that He came into the world (John 12:27). Moreover, He perceived His death as being a sacrificial offering for the sins of humanity (Matthew 26:26-28). Jesus took His sacrificial mission with utmost seriousness, for He knew that without Him, humanity would certainly perish (Matthew 16:25; John 3:16) and spend eternity apart from God in a place of great suffering (Matthew 10:28; 11:23; 23:33; 25:41; Luke 16:22-28).
Therefore, Jesus described His mission this way:
* ”The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28).
* “The Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost” (Luke 19:10).
* “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:17).
This is great news, but the benefits of Christ’s death on the cross are not automatically applied to your life. God requires you to believe and repent of your sins.
Believe in Jesus Christ
By His sacrificial death on the cross, Jesus took the sins of the entire world on Himself and made salvation available for everyone (1 John 2:2), but this salvation is not automatic. Only those who personally choose to believe in Christ are saved. This is the consistent testimony of the biblical Jesus. Listen to His words:
* “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” (John 3:16).
* “For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:40).
* “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies” (John 11:25).
Choosing not to believe in Jesus, by contrast, leads to eternal condemnation:
“Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” (John 3:18).
Believing is more than Simply Acknowledging that God Exists
“You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that and shudder.” (James 2:19)
The scriptures are clear also that it is impossible for someone to place their trust/faith in God and not have their desires, and passions toward life changed. More than believing in God’s existence, you must trust Him and repent of your sins.
Free At Last: Forgiven of All Sins
When you trust in the work of Christ as Savior, a wonderful thing happens. God forgives you of your sins. All of them! He puts them completely out of His sight. Ponder for a few minutes the following verses, which speak forgiveness for those who have believed in Christ:
* “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace” (Ephesians 1:7).
* God said, “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more” (Hebrews 10:17-18).
* “Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit” (Psalm 32:1-2).
* “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:11-12).
Such forgiveness is wonderful indeed, for none of us can possibly work our way into heaven or be good enough to warrant God’s good favor. Only because of what Jesus has done for us, can we freely receive the gift of salvation. It is a gift provided solely through the grace of God (Ephesians 2:8-9), and is received by simply believing in what Jesus has done.
Don’t Put It Off
It is a highly dangerous thing to put off turning to Christ for salvation, for you do not know the day of your death. What if it happens today?
“Death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart” (Ecclesiastes 7:2).
If God is speaking to your heart, then now is your door of opportunity to believe do not harden your heart toward Him.
“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near” (Isaiah 55:6).
Follow Me In Prayer
Would you like to place your faith in Jesus for the forgiveness of sins, thereby guaranteeing your eternal place in heaven along His side? If so, pray the following prayer with me.
Keep in mind that it’s not the prayer itself that saves you. It is the faith in your heart that saves you. So, let the following prayer be a simple expression of the faith that is in your heart:
I want to have a relationship with you.
I know I can’t save myself, because I know I’m a sinner.
Thank you for dying on the cross on my behalf.
I believe you died for me,
and I accept your free gift of salvation.
Thank you, Jesus.
Welcome to God’s Forever Family
On the authority of the Word of God, I can now assure you that you are a part of God’s forever family. If you prayed the above prayer with a heart of faith, you will spend all eternity by the side of Jesus in heaven. Welcome to God’s family!
Go and be baptized
Water baptism is a public, outward expression that indicates a personal, inward faith. It is a proclamation that you have been “born again” through faith in Jesus Christ. It should be one of the first acts of obedience of the believer.
Baptism identifies the believer with the message of the gospel, the Person of Jesus Christ, and other believers. It associates the believer with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and signifies the believer’s death to the old life and resurrection to a new life in Christ (see Romans 6:1-8; Colossians 2:12).
Pray – Prayer is much simpler than many make it out to be; it is simply talking with God and sharing your heart with Him. It doesn’t need to be eloquent; it just has to be honest and real.
Send us a message through the contact us page for any questions or prayer help.