By Kathy Robichaux
To truly be the man or woman God created you to be, you must begin a personal relationship with Him, for it is only as you align to His will for your life that you can fulfill the purpose for which He created you. Having a relationship with Christ is simply coming to the place where you understand and accept that the Bible is true when it talks about who Jesus is and your need for Him as your Savior. There is no magical process needed to enter into a relationship with Christ. The following four steps can serve as a guide for anyone who sincerely desires to give his or her life to Him.
1. Recognize Your Condition.
In order to find the way to eternal life with God, you must admit you are stuck in sin. (Sin is any act contrary to God’s laws and commandments.) Romans 5:12 teaches us that since Adam and Eve (the first man and woman on earth), a sinful nature has been present in all people. Romans 3:23 says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” The sins you have committed separate you from God and keep you apart from Him. But all sin has a penalty―a big one. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The “wage” or payment for our sin is spiritual death and eternal separation from God.
2. Religion and Good Works Are Not the Answer.
World religions try to create their own ways to God. Their systems may seem logical, but they cannot bridge the gap created by our sin or remove the consequences of it. Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.” In other words, our own ideas and opinions are not what matters. God’s Word, the Bible, is what provides true answers. It shows us how to receive forgiveness for our sins and wrongdoings, and that this forgiveness comes by God’s grace―it is His free gift to us. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and that this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”
3. The Good News: Jesus Christ Provides the Way!
Even though you are lost and your sins have separated you from God, He still loves you. In fact, it is because He is love that God sent His Son Jesus to be crucified on the cross as a spiritual payment for your sins. John 3:16 explains, “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.” Through the death of Jesus, He became the payment for your sins. In Romans 5:8, the Bible says, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Through His resurrection three days later, He provided the spiritual power for us to live above the consequences of sin. As a result, we do not have to pay for our sins ourselves. By His grace, salvation―a way out―is provided.
4. Believe, Repent, and Receive Christ.
In order to have a relationship with God and an eternal home with Him in heaven, you must stop trusting what you can do (or what any religion says) and must instead place your full trust in Jesus Christ alone for the forgiveness of your sins and for receiving eternal life. Romans 10:13 says, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” It is a promise directly from God that if you will pray to Him, confess that you are a sinner (that is, confess that you have done things your own way rather than His), ask Him to forgive your sins, and turn to Him alone to be your Savior, He then promises to spiritually cleanse you, place you in a personal relationship with Him, and give you the free gift of eternal life. You can make that decision today by praying to Him from your heart. You can pray something like this:
I know that I am separated from You because of sin. I confess that I cannot save myself. Right now, I turn to You alone to be my Savior. I ask You to save me from the penalty of my sin, and I trust You to provide eternal life to me. I ask that You give me the courage, strength, and direction to be the man or woman and warrior You created me to be, Amen.
If you prayed the above, you have just begun a personal relationship with Christ, I (and others) rejoice with you. Congratulations! You’ll never regret this decision! Yet make no mistake, the battle ahead to be the man or woman you were created to be will not be an easy one. So don’t attempt to do it alone. Locking arms with other believers in a church community is a crucial part of your walk.
Finding a Church Home
Finding the right church home with like-minded believers is an important step in having the accountability and support to live out the new decision you have made. It will not only help you continue to grow spiritually, but you will find strength in numbers. In the right church, you will learn and grow through the teaching of the pastor, and you will have the chance to connect with sisters and even a mentor who will invest in your spiritual growth. You were created to be in community, not to do it alone.
At Mighty Oaks Foundation, we use several resources to find the right church home for the graduates of our programs. Here are a few:
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