Jesus is our faithful Shepherd, and our sovereign King! Nothing is more important than knowing and following Him! But we could neither know nor follow Him until He touched our hearts, filled us with His Spirit, and opened our "eyes" -- enabling us to see both our own depravity and His undeserved grace in the revealing light of his holiness.
Through the cross, our wonderful Savior took the punishment for our sins and brought us into an intimate relationship with Himself that will last forever.
The Scriptures below show the way to enter into that relationship, trade our weakness for His strength, receive His life of joy and peace, and participate in His victory now and for all eternity.
Why we all need Him:
"All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…" Romans 3:23
"The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23
"What I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do…. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice." Romans 7:15, 19
How much He loves us:
"God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16
"God our Savior… desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." 1 Timothy 2:3-4
What He did for you and me on the cross: (See also The Cross)
"Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed." Isaiah 53:4-6
"He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." 1 John 4: 11
"He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." John 1:11-13
How you, too, may receive His gift of abundant life:
Jesus said, "...he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. John 5:24
"I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." John 14:6
"No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him...." John 6:44
The phrase "believes in Him" implies a Spirit-given -
- understanding and response to the Gospel (as presented in His Word whether preached, taught or read).
- conviction of sin and a recognition of our own depravity (as seen in the light of God's Holiness).
- willingness to come to Him and surrender your life into the hands of our sovereign Lord.
In other words, believing the gospel is not simply a human or moral decision. It's not enough to believe that God exists; for, as James (2:19) points out, "Even the demons believe—and tremble!" Saving faith is given to us by God's grace; it is His undeserved gift to sinners. Only through the power of His Word and Spirit can we understand our own need and trust the wonderful truth about God and His death on our behalf.
If God is drawing you to Himself and you long to receive the cleansing, forgiveness and eternal life that He makes available to us through the Cross, trust Him to show you the way. Your prayer might include the following:
Acknowledge the Bible uses the word "confess" who Christ is:
"If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." Romans 10:9
Confess your sins: Admit in prayer that you have sinned against Him. The words King David prayed may help you:
"Search me, O God, and know my heart... and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Psalm 139:23-24
Repent (based on genuine Spirit-given conviction of sin -- not simply your human choice): Express your willingness and desire to turn from all wrong ways and follow Jesus, then trust Him -- now and each coming day -- to accomplish it by His Spirit in you.
“He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
"I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance." Luke 15:7
Thank Him: Thank Him for the "exchanged life" He offers us. If He indeed is drawing your to Himself and doing a a supernatural work in your heart, He can take your weak and sinful life and, in turn, fill you with His good and perfect life. Then He will enable you to know His will, persevere through life's struggles, and share His triumph -- now and forever.
"Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." 2 Corinthians 5:20-21
- Be baptized: See this section below
You may want pray something like this, but remember: Conversion (regeneration and spiritual birth into His family) is His work, not yours. If there is no repentance -- no conviction of your natural, sinful condition, or any God-given awareness of your need for the cross -- then such a prayer is simply a human exercise and will not bring spiritual birth (hear this tape, Conversion):
"Dear Lord, I know I have sinned and don't deserve Your love. But I believe that You died for me, carried my sins to the cross and offer me full forgiveness for all my sins. Please change my heart, fill me with your Spirit, and purify my life. Only by Your holy life in me can I follow Your ways and do what is right. Give me a hunger for your Word and a growing desire to serve You. I trust you to show me your will and enable me to follow you -- no matter what the cost.
"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." Ephesians 2:8-9
The basis for my salvation
"God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." Galatians 6:14
"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are saved it is the power of God." 1 Corinthians 1:18
"For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life." Romans 5:10
"...as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." Romans 6:3
Oswald Chambers: "The danger is to put the emphasis on the effect instead of on the cause - ‘It is my obedience that puts me right with God, my consecration.’ Never! I am put right with God because prior to all, Christ died.
"When I turn to God and by belief accept what God reveals I can accept, instantly the stupendous Atonement of Jesus Christ rushes me into a right relationship with God, and by the supernatural miracle of God’s grace I stand justified, not because I am sorry for my sin, not because I have repented, but because of what Jesus has done. The spirit of God brings it with a breaking, all-over light, and I know, though I do not know how, that I am saved."
My response to His saving grace
"Peter said to them, 'Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.'" Acts 2:38
"He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned." Mark 16:16
“...baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you....” Matthew 28:18-20
"...do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." Romans 6:3
"For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit." 1 Corinthians 12:13
"Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, 'See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?' Then Philip said, 'If you believe with all your heart, you may.'" Acts 8:35
"And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ." Acts 10:48
How He changes our lives when we believe in Him:
"If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:17, 21
"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20
"God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved, and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:4-10
"What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
"For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin....
"Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:1-6, 11
Our mission as the family of God [at home or abroad]:
Jesus told His disciples: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them [new believers, not nations] in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
"...we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." 2 Corinthians 4:5-6
"You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they slight a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:14-16
What we can expect as followers of Christ:
"If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you…. If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you…. because they do not know Him who sent Me. " John 15:20-21
"For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake...." Philippians 1:29
Does this sound too hard? Have you taken time to "count the cost" of being a Christian?
Many misunderstand God's "good news" of salvation to mean "cheap grace" -- the kind of relationship that demands nothing of us. True, salvation is purely by His gracious response to our faith. But once we have chosen to believe and follow Him, we become His ambassadors -- called to share His suffering as well as His triumphs -- in this world.
"And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it.... So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple." Luke 14:27-28, 33
But remember, the suffering and sacrifice that comes with discipleship cannot compare with the joy, peace and eternal glory that we share with Him for all eternity:
"Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy." 1 Peter 4:12-14
"We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son…." Romans 8:28-29
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? … Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:35-39
How we may share in His triumph:
"…we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us." Romans 5:4-5
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:34-35
"…present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." Romans 12:1-3
"…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross…." Hebrews 12:1-2
Our prayer for you:
"...may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13
"...that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height -- to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory… forever and ever." Ephesians 3:14-21
"Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it." 1 Thessalonians 5:23
For your encouragement:
If God has used this page to bring you into His eternal family -- and if you long to know Him and follow His wonderful way -- we offer you a Bible study that will help. Just go to A Wardrobe from the King and download each of the eight lessons. Please tell us how He drew you to Himself, so that we can thank Him with you.