What It Means to Follow Christ in Faith
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
If you want to know what God has to say to you personally, know that this one sentence says it all—God loves you. God loves you so much, He surrendered His one and only Son, Jesus, so that you could have everlasting life. The Bible is clear: the penalty for sin is death. To perish means to die —complete spiritual separation from God. But whoever believes, simply believes in Jesus, will live forever with God. That’s the basic message of how to be assured of a relationship with God now and have a home in heaven in the future.
This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us
and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
1 John 4:10
God loves us. God created us. He loves us—so much so that He sent His Son to restore our relationship with Him. Sin destroys our relationship with God, but God in His love made a way for us to be restored.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God
is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Although God loves us, He hates our sin. Every person is guilty of sin, some violation of God’s standard for what is right and wrong. The penalty for sin is death; not just physical death, but spiritual separation from God. There is no way we could work off the debt; instead, Jesus paid it in His own blood, by dying for sinful mankind. He offers it as a gift to us.
God’s Perfect Gift to Us
Yet to all who received him (Christ), to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children … born of God.
John 1: 12-13
This can be the simplest part to follow but the hardest part to understand. All we have to do to be assured of life after death in a perfect relationship with God is to put our trust in Jesus. This means acknowledging that Jesus is Lord—that He is the Son of God that He claimed to be who died to pay the debt of our sin—and truly believe that He was raised from the dead. If you do this, you are saved from the penalty of death and sin. Christ offers that new life as a gift – but you must receive it for yourself.
It’s Your Turn to Receive the Gift
Just tell God what you believe. If you want to accept the free gift of salvation, simply ask God. Follow this sample prayer if it helps verbalize your feelings:
God, I know that I have done things that are wrong. But I believe that Jesus died on the cross to pay the punishment for my offenses. I believe that He is Your Son, and I want Him to be my Savior. In His name I ask You to welcome me back to You. I want to follow You. I want to spend eternity with You! Thank You for Your wonderful gift of Jesus.