Here are the key elements by which we become reconciled to the Father. Each is vitally important. Any, if absent, could keep our new relationship from being complete.
Our condition: First, we must understand that we are separated from God. The chasm dividing us is both wide and deep. We inherited a fatal defect at birth. As a result, we have lived our lives independently from him. The Bible emphasizes this stark reality: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). If we can’t come to grips with the fact that sin separates us from God, we’ll never come home spiritually, for there is no need for a savior.
God’s remedy: Second, we need to be very clear in understanding who Jesus is and what he has done for us, in order that we might confidently place our faith in him. He bridged the chasm separating us from God. In the apostle John’s 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).
Jesus was not just a good man, a great teacher, an inspired prophet. He came to earth as the Son of God. He was born to a virgin. He led a sinless life. He died. He was buried. He rose again on the third day. He ascended into heaven where he became both Lord and Christ.
Jesus’ death and resurrection on our behalf satisfied God’s requirement – complete provision for our sin. This Jesus, and he alone, is qualified to be the remedy for my sin and yours.
Our response – to repent and believe.
Personal repentance is vital in the transformation process. Repentance literally means “a change of mind.” It is to say to the Father, “I want to turn toward you and away from the life I’ve lived independently from you. I am sorry for who I’ve been and what I have done and I want to permanently change. I receive your forgiveness for my sins.”
Many at this point experience a remarkable “washing” from a lifetime’s accumulation of all that can degrade a person’s soul and spirit. Whether or not we sense God’s forgiveness, if we repent, we can be very certain that we’re forgiven. Our confidence is based on God’s promise to us, not how we feel.
We come into a personal relationship with the Lord when we make life’s greatest decision – the turning point referred to earlier. It is to believe that Jesus is the Son of God, the One who died for our sins, who was buried and was raised from the dead – and to receive him as our Savior and Lord. When we believe in this way, we become God’s children. This is emphatically promised in John’s gospel: “To all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).
Would you like to receive Jesus Christ as your savior? If you would, you can pray a prayer like this:
“Jesus, I need you. I repent for the life I’ve lived apart from you. Thank you for dying on the cross to take the penalty for my sins. I believe you are God’s Son and I now receive you as my Lord and Savior. I commit my life to follow you.”
Did you pray this prayer?