Sunday, March 27, 2011

Plan of Salvation - How to be born again.

Are you going to heaven when you die?  It’s not how good you are or if you go to church, or how much money you give to charity.  In John 3:3 Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again”.

To be born again means to receive salvation, to believe and trust in the name of Jesus Christ.  When we do that, we bury the old life of sin and begin anew.

There is only one way to heaven. 
John 10:29b – Jesus said, “I and the Father are one.”
John 14:6-7a - Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.  If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well.” 

If you are unsure of your relationship with Jesus, take you Bible some place quiet where you can be alone.  Ask God to speak to you and to reveal Himself to you.  Take time to listen as you read the words.  Know that God created you and is always with you.  He decides what is right and wrong because He is holy, perfect, and pure.  God has authority over your life.  He watches over and provides for you.

His simple plan:
Acknowledge God as Creator of everything, and accept our humble position in God’s creation.  Revelation 4:11 – “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”

Admit to yourself and God that you are a sinner.  You have ignored God and wanted to do your own thing leaving God out completely.    
Romans 3:23 – “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”.
Romans 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death.” (because you are a sinner, you are condemned to death – eternal separation from God in Hell)
Romans 5:12 – “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death come to all men, because all sinned.” (that one man was Adam)
1 John 1:10 – “If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives.”

Confess your sins (try to name them specifically – don’t forget pride and self-righteousness).  
Psalm 139:23-34 – “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting”.
1 John 1:8-10 – “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives”.
Romans 10:9 – “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved”.

Luke 13:5 – Jesus said: “I tell you, no!  but unless you repent, you too will all perish”.
Acts 17:30 – “…. He commands all people everywhere to repent.”  (repent means a change of mind that agrees with God you are a sinner and agrees with what Jesus did for us on the cross)
Acts 20:21 – “I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.”

Believe that Christ went to the cross for you, taking your guilt upon Himself and enduring God’s judgment in your place.  He took God’s judgment of our sins on Himself.  This means that God has pardoned and cleared you from any guilt.  
John 3:16 – “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.”
Romans 5:8 – “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us”.
Romans 10:13 – “for, everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
John 5:24 – “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life”.

A Sinner’s Prayer

If you realize you are a sinner, right now lift your head to God in prayer.
“Oh God, I know I am a sinner.  I believe Jesus died on the cross as a substitute for my sins.  I believe His death, burial, and resurrection were for me.  I want to receive Him as my Savior.  Thank you for the forgiveness of my sins – the gift of salvation.  Amen.”

It can’t be that simple.
It’s hard to believe it’s that simple, but it is.  Don’t trust your feelings.  They change.  Stand on God’s promises.  They never change.  After you are saved you should be baptized in obedience to the Lord Jesus as a public testimony of your salvation, and then unite with a Bible-believing church.  Other Christians will be there for you with encouragement and will pray for you as you walk closer with God.  Remember - don’t judge other Christians, because they are not perfect.  If they were, they wouldn’t need to go to church.  Only God and Jesus are perfect.
Then there are three things to practice daily for spiritual growth:
          Pray – you talk with God
          Read your Bible – God will speak to you
          Witness – you talk for God telling others about Him

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