As you explore who Jesus is and His claims of being our Savior and Lord, a decision will rise to the surface: “Do you believe in Jesus as your personal Savior?” I know I struggled with this when I first heard of Jesus. As I learned more about what the Bible taught, I learned a lot about our human sinful condition and how much we need a Savior. The truth is we all have a mountain of moral debt. We all have done things we should not have done and we have all not done the things we should have done. The Bible calls that sin.
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23)
The reality of this mountain of moral debt, this sin, is that it has a nasty price on it – death.
"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23)
Death means no ability to accomplish God’s vision for our lives, no chance of a relationship with God now, and no entrance into heaven when we die. Sin puts us in a big dilemma.
This sin-condition goes from bad to worse because there is no way for us to cancel or pay this debt on our own. We can’t work it off, can’t do good to counter it, can’t buy our way out, can’t give sacrificially enough, and church attendance won’t erase it either. The Bible is clear, we can’t earn it.
"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing;
it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9).
But God, through His grace provided us a Savior – Jesus, who is the only available candidate.
"but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8).
"For God so loved the world,[i] that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).
Jesus, God’s only Son, came according to John 3:16 to pay the sin-debt we owe – beautifully providing redemption for those who will receive it. Amid a swirl of controversy at the time, He died on the cross some 2000 years ago. But what is awesome is that Jesus did not stay dead. On that Sunday so many years ago Jesus rose from the grave, conquering death and proving that all His words and promises are true (read 1 Corinthians 15 as this Bible passage expands on what the resurrection means to us) and that He is indeed the Savior. And the truth of the resurrection brings us relief and hope for the future.
We need to believe to receive the benefit of what Jesus did for us on the cross, but saving faith is not just a brain understanding. Saving faith is a belief that moves us to follow Jesus’ way of life as part of His forever family.
"But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name,
he gave the right to become children of God," (John 1:12).
To be a child of God is to live life God’s way, that which is laid out in the Bible and lived out in example by Jesus.
So do you agree with this truth from the Bible? If your answer is “yes,” then let God know through a simple prayer:
Lord Jesus, I know I have this mountain of moral debt. I am a sinner and I know that this sin stops me from living the way you intended for me to live my life. I recognize this sin holds me back from relating to You and keeps me out of Heaven. I know I need a Savior and I believe You, Jesus, paid the penalty for my sin. So right now I ask You to forgive my sin, and I accept You as my Lord and Savior. In Jesus name, Amen.
If you just prayed that prayer, welcome to the family of God! Your sins are forgiven and you are now free to follow God’s way of life. It is the life you were created to live (look up Psalm 139).
Now begin to grow in your new relationship with God. First, start by reading the Bible and praying. I like to encourage people to read the Bible books of James and John. Just read a few verses and ask yourself what these verses say about who God is and how He wants you to live. Some days you will have many answers and some days you may not, but keep reading anyway. The more consistent you become the more you will grow in your relationship with God, and discover the great joy of a close, personal relationship with Him.
I also want to encourage you to attend church regularly. If you live in our area we would love for you to come to church here, but wherever you attend church, get involved in a small group Bible study very soon. If you are interested in getting connected here at Cypress Church, please contact us and we will help you find a group that fits you.
If you made this decision today, I sure would like to know. Please feel free to contact me. I have some helpful material I want to send you that will further help you grow in your relationship with God.
Thank you for exploring Jesus. I am praying for you.
May You Experience God’s Grace and Peace,
Pastor Mike McKay