of Trusting Christ
by Jim Bramlett
(The following principles are summarized from the writings of many scholars and ministers of all denominations.)
From history ís beginning, through prophets and events, the Creator revealed His loving plan to rescue the human race from its self-imposed curse of sin and death. He would do this by sending His Son, who would become a sacrificial Lamb, taking the judgment upon Himself for all who would put their trust in Him. This profound event happened almost 2,000 years ago when Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man, came, was crucified, rose from the grave (seen by more than 500 people), and 40 days later visibly ascended into heaven. When you put your trust in Christ, you become a recipient of the greatest gifts in the universe, fully paid for by the blood of God's own Son.
1. You have total forgiveness. All your sins -- past, present and future -- were forgiven because Jesus bore them for you on the cross. You are accepted by God, not because of what you have done, but because of what He did! "For by grace (unmerited favor) you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves (not your efforts), it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9).
2. You have peace with God.. "Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ . . . the love of God has been poured out within our hearts.... having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him" (Romans 5:1,5,9). For Jewish readers, this first appearance of Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ in English), as a sacrifice, was predicted throughout Jewish Scriptures. For example, see Isaiah, chapter 53.
3. You have been "born again" into God's own family. You are a new creature! "If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come" (2 Corinthians 5:17). "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:26).
4. You have eternal life. You will live forever! "Whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:16). "God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son" (1 John 5:11).
5. God lives in you. You have become a temple, or dwelling place, of God's Spirit. He lives inside of you! "Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" (1 Corinthians 3:16). "It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me" (Galatians 2:20).
6. Nothing can separate you from the love of Christ! "Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39).
7. God has chosen to share His kingdom with you! "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom" (Luke 12:32). ìIf children, (we are) heirs alsoî (Romans 8:17).
Have you prayed yet and expressed your faith and trust in Jesus Christ? If not, you can do so right now. Here is suggested prayer: ìDear Lord Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God and that you died on the cross for my sins to save me from eternal death. I open the door of my life and receive you as my Savior and Lord. Help me to be what you want me to be. Amen.î
"But What Does God Want From Me Now?"
That is probably your question, and a natural one. But remember, God is all-powerful and owns the universe. He really does not need anything we have. But He does want something. He desires our love and fellowship. He
created us for fellowship with Himself and to enjoy Him forever. Christianity is really not a "religion" as many people think. It is a "relationship."
Of course, God also wants our obedience and submission to His superior wisdom, but mainly for
our own good and so that he can use us to be a blessing to others. His ways are never arbitrary and are always for a loving purpose. Below are some principles from God's Word that will strengthen your relationship with Him, help you to be a more effective servant, and help you to receive all the blessings that our loving God has for you.
Talk with God continually. That is what prayer is -- talking with God. It also means listening, always in tune to His Spirit, at home, at work, at school, or wherever. In Jesus' Name, we have the incredible privilege of communicating directly with the Creator of the universe anytime, day or night! No appointment necessary. "Pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
Read His Word, the Bible. God will speak to you through His Word. You will learn more about His nature, His ways, and His will and promises for your life. It will help understand His book if you better know the Author, so the Gospel of John is a good place to start. A modern translation and a good commentary will help understanding. "Thy word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path" (Psalm 119:105). "The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life" (John 6:63).
Obey Him. Our obedience demonstrates our love for God and recognition of who He is. "He who has my commandments, and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him" (John 14:21). God's Word tells us not to sin, which grieves God, hinders our fellowship with Him, and harms ourselves and others. God wants us to live holy lives, becoming more like Jesus (Romans 8:29). If you do sin, confess it immediately, then (by faith) receive God's forgiveness and cleansing according to 1 John 1:9. One of your first acts of obedience should be to be baptized in water, a demonstration that your old nature has been buried with Christ and that, coming out of the water, you have risen with Him in His resurrection. Baptism is usually done in the local church.
Find fellowship with other believers. Our relationship and fellowship with other believers (the Body of Christ) are important to God. That is why He established the church, where we can not only worship together but find fellowship, teaching, counseling, ministry to our special needs, and where God can use each of us to impart these same blessings to others. "Not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another.... " (Hebrews 10:25). Find a Christ-centered, Bible-believing church. But beware of cults (see special report).
"Be filled with the Spirit," God exhorts us in Ephesians 5:18. This means to be continually empowered for God's use and a victorious life by His Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). We receive this empowering by faith.
You have now entered the most exciting and fulfilling life imaginable! Learn to trust God with every detail of your life (1 Peter 5:7); tell others about God's great love and "good news" (John 15:8); walk in the Spirit and do not give in to your old carnal desires (Galatians 5:16,17); and be aware of spiritual warfare and God's prescription for continuous victory over Satan (Ephesians 6:10-18). May God bless you richly.