Some (Much Needed) Good News
In many ways, having a personal relationship with Jesus is like having a relationship with anyone else. Knowing about Him is not the same as knowing Him personally.
Some of us may have walked a pretty convoluted path before we recognized our need for Jesus. Walking at a far distance from God is as dangerous as it is frustrating—but as His light begins to shine against the backdrop of our dark circumstances, the next step of placing our personal faith in Jesus becomes more and more logical.
Others of us may have lived what some might describe as a “charmed” life. But if it’s so charmed, why do you still feel like something’s missing? Whether He’s your last resort or your best hope, at the end of the day, Jesus is what all of us need.
Living out the Christian life has never been easy, but receiving the life that Christ gives is actually quite simple! The Bible describes the process of spiritual transformation at a few different levels. Regardless of the verbiage we choose to describe them, none of us can take these steps on our own. Without the initiating work of the Holy Spirit, we’d all be forever marooned in our sin—and not even know it!
All that to say, when God begins to give you clarity about your next step, don’t hesitate to respond. My prayer is that He will bring you to the point where you will…
A—ADMIT that you are a sinner who needs a Savior. The word Gospel actually means “good news.” News is only good if the context is bad. In our case, the news of God’s gift of salvation is really good because our sin had eliminated any chance of deserving it.
Owning up to our sin describes the Greek concept of confession. That’s the meaning of the New Testament Greek word homologeo (translated into English as confess)—“to agree with.” When you confess, you’re agreeing with God that you’re not just a sinner but that your sin has placed you in eternal jeopardy. Accessing salvation requires that we finally and humbly admit that. Eternal salvation is a gift, not a reward.
B—BELIEVE that Jesus is the only Savior available. The Bible literally says that salvation is found in no one else. No one else! If you need someone to save you from your failures (and we all do), you’ll draw from a short list of candidates. A really short list. Many others may have made the claim, but there is only one bona fide Savior—Jesus. I hope you’re ready to believe that.
C—CHOOSE to follow Christ, to place your faith in Him alone. Repentance (metanoia, Gr.) requires that you make a conscious choice, actually change your mind about the way you’re going to live the rest of your life. It’s up to you to choose to scoot out of the driver’s seat of your life and let Jesus sit there instead.
If you have not yet admitted your sinfulness; if you finally believe that Jesus is the only option that can really save you; if you want Him to take care of the sin problem in your life and deliver you from its bondage; and if you have not yet chosen to place your faith in Christ, then I would invite you to do that before you do anything else.