We realize that this may be a new concept to some of you. Unfortunately, what is often presented in the world as Christianity isn't true biblical Christianity at all. Some pertinent concepts need to be understood from the outset:
1. Jesus Christ is an actual historical person, and is also uniquely deity. Jesus was born of a virgin, lived a perfect life, and was physically crucified and killed. After three days, he was raised from the dead through the power of the living God. Jesus wasn't just a good man, or an exceptional teacher, or a prophet. By processes which we as mortals do not understand he was uniquely God and a man simultaneously. His birth, death and resurrection occurred not as an accident but as part of a divine plan.
2. Jesus Christ came to the earth specifically to redeem humanity from a curse that it put upon itself. Remember the story about Adam and Eve? It is not merely a story to teach a moral lesson. It is a factual, historical account of the origins of humanity, showing how mankind was cursed due to the disobedience of our ancestors to a specific command of God. Disobedience to a command of God the Bible calls sin. The punishment for disobedience of this command was one thing: death. This death took several forms: immediate physical deterioration resulting in physical death, separation from the Creator during the physical lifetime, and permanent spiritual death of separation from a relationship with the Creator after physical death. Death became a curse placed on humanity. This curse is generational, being passed from a father to his children. The only out from the penalty of death was for a human being that did not have this generational curse on them to die in the place of humanity. This may make clear to you why Jesus was born of a virgin. By not having a physical father, Jesus was not under the curse. By having a physical mother, Jesus also is a human being like us. Jesus' physical death on the cross paid in full the debt humanity owed God. Jesus' resurrection after three days was the proof that God accepted his payment for us, and that possibility of restoration of a relationship with our Creator was possible.
3. Human beings are not capable of redeeming themselves or restoring their relationship with the Creator. Our culture is saturated with ideas which come from eastern philosophies. In a nutshell, they are this: human beings are basically good, and with the right amount of effort, a person can have a relationship with God. The Bible, on the other hand, paints a much different picture. Humans are basically evil, and our internal intentions are not on what is good, but on what is selfish. The Bible teaches clearly that "There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God." (Romans 3:10, 11) While this revelation does not make us feel very good, opening up a newspaper will verify its truthfulness. Human beings would rather lie, cheat, steal, and murder than do the right thing.
4. The only way out from the penalty of the curse is God's way. All political correctness aside, the Bible teaches clearly that there is no other way out than its way. We cannot earn or work our way to heaven. Anything we do to try to make ourselves right with God will fail. We have to get saved from this curse by an agency outside of ourselves. That agency is Jesus Christ. How? "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed." (Romans 10:9-11)
So having heard all of this, what must you personally do to be saved from the penalty of the curse, to have your life put in right relationship with your Creator, and to be able to spend eternity with Him?
a. Recognize that your only hope is Jesus Christ himself, and that you are a sinner. A sinner is someone who is disobedient to Gods commands and standard. This title is not a slur; it is what all human beings are. Acknowledge that you have fallen short of Gods standard, that you can't do it yourself, and that no amount of good works, meditation, chanting, or anything else will save you.
b. Consciously decide that you will believe in Jesus Christ, and that you will follow his teachings. Reread the passage from Romans in paragraph 4 above. You must believe that Jesus existed as who he is, the Son of God and your Savior, that he physically came to the earth as a human being (biblically, "in the flesh"), that he physically died on a cross as the penalty for your sins specifically, and that God physically and actually raised him from the dead after three days.
c. Acknowledge that you made this decision to believe in Jesus Christ. This acknowledgment is in two parts: acknowledge it to God, then acknowledge it to other people publicly. You can acknowledge it to God by praying this prayer (or you can pray a prayer similar to this one if it sincerely says what you want to say):
"Heavenly Father, I admit to you that I know that I am a sinner. There is nothing that I can do to make myself right with you. I believe that Jesus came to earth, born of a virgin, suffered and died as my penalty, and that you raised him from the dead. I accept the gift of salvation that was made by the death of Jesus, and I believe that Jesus died specifically as the penalty for my sins. Forgive me of my sins based on Jesus' sacrifice for me. I accept Jesus Christ as my Savior, and I trust him to take me to heaven to be with You when I die. Amen."
Next, acknowledge to someone else that you made this decision. Tell a friend, or contact a local church and tell the pastor that you made this decision. Believing in Jesus is nothing to be ashamed of, but is the first step toward a better life.
If you have decided to pray this prayer and believe in Jesus, please send us a note at our email address and let us know. We would love to rejoice with you in this step you have taken. If you have any questions concerning Christian life or Christianity in general, please feel free to write to us.