- Have you come to a place in your life that you know for certain you have eternal life and that you will go to heaven when you die?
- Suppose you were standing before God right now and He asked you, "Why should I let you into My heaven?" What would you say?
God loves us and has a purpose for our lives. The Bible states it this way, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). God's purpose is that we have eternal life.
- We receive eternal life as a free gift (Romans 6:23).
- We can live a full and meaningful life right now (John 10:10).
- We will spend eternity with Jesus in heaven (John 14:3).
As we search for meaning in life, we discover our sinful nature keeps us from fulfilling God's purpose for our lives.
- We are all sinners by nature and by choice. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).
- We cannot save ourselves (Ephesians 2:9).
- We deserve death and hell (Romans 6:23).
God is holy and just and must punish sin. Yet He loves us and provides forgiveness for our sin. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6).
- Jesus is God and became man (John 1:1,14).
- Jesus died for us on the cross (1 Peter 3:18).
- Jesus was resurrected from the dead (Romans 4:25).
The only way Jesus can affect our lives is for us to receive Him. The Bible says, "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name" (John 1:12).
- We must repent of our sin. "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out" (Acts 3:19).
We must place our faith in Jesus. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8).
- Repentance is not just feeling sorry for our sin (Acts 26:20).
- Repentance is turning away from our sin and turning to God through Jesus.
- Faith is not just believing facts about Jesus (James 2:19).
- Faith is trusting in Jesus.
- We must surrender to Jesus as Lord. "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" (Romans 10:9-10).
- Surrendering to Jesus as Lord is not just saying we give our lives to Jesus (Matthew 7:21).
- Surrendering to Jesus as Lord is giving Jesus control of our lives.
As evidence of giving Jesus control we will want to identify with Him. The New Testament way to identify with Jesus is to confess Jesus publicly and follow Him in baptism and church membership (Romans 10:13).
- "Does what we have been discussing make sense to you?"
- "Is there any reason why you would not be willing to receive God's gift of eternal life?"
- "Are you willing to turn from your sin and place your faith in Jesus right now?"
Prayer of commitment
Dear Lord Jesus ... I believe You are the Son of God ... and died to forgive me of my sins ... I know I have sinned ...I ask You to forgive me ... I turn from my sins and I receive You as my Lord and Savior ... Thank You for saving me. Amen.
My commitment: Lord Jesus, thank You for saving me. I want to live for You the rest of my life.
Do you doubt your salvation? Doubts are not uncommon to Christians.
- God intends for us to know we have eternal life. The Bible says, "He that hath the Son hath life; ... These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life" (1 John 5:12-13).
- God intends for us to experience the joy of salvation (John 15:10-11).
Why do you feel you need assurance of your salvation? Bible writers also expressed the need for renewal (Psalm 51:12).
- Has sin or disobedience caused you to doubt your salvation?
- Has Satan placed doubts in your mind (Genesis 3:1)?
- Have you neglected prayer, Bible study, worship, and witness?
- Do you have unanswered questions about God or about daily experiences of life?
- God has promised to complete His work of salvation in us (Philippians 1:6).
- Jesus promises assurance of eternal life. "He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life" (John 5:24).
- Jesus said no one could take the Christian out of His hand (John 10:28).
- The Holy Spirit tells us we are the children of God (Romans 8:16).
- We receive God's assurance by faith and express it through obedience (1 John 2:3-5). Christians are not to trust only their feelings. We walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).
- Confess all known sin. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).
- Commit yourself to the lordship of Jesus Christ (Romans 10:9-10).
- Claim God's promises of salvation by faith. Know. Believe. Commit. (2 Timothy 1:12).
- Obey God's commands (John 14:21; 15:10).
My Commitment: Father, I place my complete faith in You and thank You for the assurance of salvation.
Have you been baptized by immersion since receiving Christ as Savior? Baptism is a response of obedience to Jesus Christ as Lord (Acts 2:38,41). Although baptism does not save, it demonstrates our recognition of the lordship of Christ over every aspect of our lives. "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world" (Matthew 28:19-20).
- We declare our new life in Christ through baptism (Acts 2:41; 8:35-38; 16:25-34).
- The essentials of the gospel — death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus — are portrayed in baptism (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
- Your spiritual death, burial, and resurrection are pictured in baptism (Romans 6:3-4).
- We need to confess Christ publicly through baptism soon after we are saved (Matthew 10:32).
- We need to obey Christ's command (Matthew 28:19).
- We need to join the fellowship of the church family (Acts 2:41).
- We need to follow Christ's example (Matthew 3:13-15).
- Jesus began His public ministry with baptism (Mark 1:9-11).
- Immersion in water (placed under) is the proper way to be baptized (Acts 8:38).
- Jesus has given authority to the local church to baptize (Matthew 28:19-20).
- Request the local church to baptize you.
- Be baptized as an expression of obedience to Christ (Acts 2:41).
- Influence others through your baptism (Acts 16:31-33).
In summary, the essentials of baptism are: Believe in Jesus for salvation; ask the local church for baptism; be immersed in water.
My commitment: Father, I want to obey You and let others know I have a new life in Jesus Christ. Bless me as I follow Jesus in baptism.
Are you an active member of a local church? Where? Jesus built the church (Matthew 16:18) and gave Himself for the benefit of the church (Ephesians 5:25). The church is made up of God's people. To love, Christ is to love His church.
- We can be a part of God's work through the church. "So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another, (Romans 12:5).
- As a part of the church, we can worship with other Christians (Hebrews 10:25; Ephesians 5:19-20).
- As a part of the church, we can evangelize (share our faith) (Acts 1:8; 2 Corinthians 5:18-20).
- As a part of the church, we learn how to become the kind of people God wants us to be (2 Peter 3:18).
- As a part of the church, we can minister to one another (1 Corinthians 12:12-26).
- We need the fellowship of other Christians (1 John 1:3).
- We need to publicly identify with the family of God (Acts 2:41-42).
- We need strength for daily living, which comes through fellowship with other Christians (Hebrews 3:13).
- We can express our personal talents and spiritual gifts through the church (Romans 12:4-8).
- God established the church as the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:4; Colossians 1:18).
- God provides for church membership through the invitation of the local church (Revelation 22:17).
- God encourages every Christian to participate in church membership (Hebrews 10:25).
- Jesus set the example for us through His custom of regular synagogue attendance (Luke 4:16).
You may become a member of the local church fellowship by professing your faith and by being baptized (Acts 2:41,47).
You may share the fellowship of the local church by joining its membership.
You may join a church by a statement that you have been baptized by a local church of like faith and order.
Will you commit yourself to become an active member of a local church?
My commitment: Dear Lord, thank You for the church. Help me to be a faithful church member and support my church family.
Is Jesus Christ Lord of your life? Why do you think you are not as close to Him as you once were?
- God wants to reclaim the usefulness of your life and restore the joy of your salvation (John 15:10-11).
- Christ wants to be Lord of all your life. "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46).
- God wants to cleanse you from sin.
- God wants you to live in fellowship with Him (1 John 1:7).
- God wants to fill you with His Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).
- God will make you acceptable for ministry (2 Timothy 4:11).
- Often we fail to please God./li>
- Personal sin hinders fellowship with God. "But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear" (Isaiah 59:2)./li>
- We feel the need for a closer relationship with Jesus (Luke 15:21).
- God is ready to forgive and restore you (1 John 1:9).
- The blood of Jesus will cover sins. "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin" (1 John 1:7).
- Christians will forgive you and welcome you back (Galatians 6:1).
- Confess your sins (Proverbs 28:13).
- Recommit yourself to the lordship of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:36).
- Yield yourself daily to Jesus Christ and experience the fullness of His life in you (Romans 6:12-13; Galatians 2:20).
- The heart of the matter is lordship! We are reminded that Jesus said, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me" (Luke 9:23). We must so commit ourselves to Him that reaffirmation will have lasting significance.
My comntitment: Lord Jesus, I want to acknowledge my sin and recommit myself to You as Lord. I trust You to provide the strength for me to live for You the rest of my life.
What do you think God wants you to do with your life? God wants you to know His will (Ephesians 5:17), and He will help you discover it (Romans 12:1).
- Every Christian is called to Christian service (Ephesians 4:1).
- God reaches out through His people to the world (2 Corinthians 5:20).
- God gives us spiritual gifts to minister to others (Romans 12:6; 1 Peter 4:10).
- God gives leaders to the church to equip its people for ministry. "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ" (Ephesians 4:11-12).
- Our need is to be laborers in the fields that are white to harvest (Luke 10:2).
- We need to win the world to Christ because the world is lost and going to hell (Matthew 7:13-14).
- Our need is to do the will of God (Philippians 2:13).
- We need to train others for service (Ephesians 4:11-12).
- God will not ask you to do anything He will not equip you to do.
- God calls you to Christian service (1 Samuel 3:8; Acts 9:1-20).
- God promises to be with you and to help you (Exodus 4:12; Joshua 1:9).
- The Holy Spirit will empower you (Acts 1:8).
Anything He leads you to do is possible in His strength (Philippians 4:13).
- Prove what is God's will for vocational service by complete surrender to Christ as Lord (Romans 12:1-2).
- Be willing to do God's will (Acts 9:6).
- Trust God for guidance. "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths" (Proverbs 3:5-6).
- If you are willing to do God's will, He will reveal His will to you. There is no need to be anxious. He will lead you a step at a time. Respond to each step as He reveals it and act by faith. Counsel with Christian leaders (1 Samuel 3:1-10). Begin serving faithfully where you are (Ecclesiastes 9:10). Pray for guidance.
My comnittment: Dear Lord, thank You for providing a perfect plan for my life. I am committed to doing Your will as You reveal it to me.
Do you want to grow in your relationship with God each day? As a Christian it is natural for you to want to know Jesus better and to be complete in Him (Colossians 2:10a). Through your obedience Jesus can become involved in every intimate part of your life (John 14:21). You will move beyond yourself, letting Christ assume full direction and control. This will lead you into a maturing, personal relationship with God.
- Abide in Christ. Then God will help you grow as a Christian; but you must keep a close relationship with Him. As a disciple, you must deny yourself (renounce your self-centered life), take up your cross, and live daily for Christ (Luke 9:23).
- Live in the Word. You grow as you study the Bible regularly (1 Peter 2:2). Begin each day by reading the Bible and you will grow to maturity (2 Peter 3:18).
- Pray in faith. Prayer is worship and conversing with God (John 15:7). Your prayer delights God. Talk to Him throughout each day. Believe His promises. Prayer will help you gain strength and overcome temptation.
- Fellowship with believers. Christ wants you to fellowship (participate, share) regularly with your brothers and sisters in Christ in His church. Your love for others will show that you are a disciple (disciplined follower) of Christ (John 13:34-35).
- Witness to others. Tell others how you came to know Christ (Acts 1:8; 2 Corinthians 5:18-20). God is pleased when you bear fruit (John 15:8). The greatest fruit is leading others to Christ.
- Practice faithful stewardship. Giving helps keep your priorities in order. Start systematically giving (tithing) 10 percent of your income to Christ's church (1 Corinthians 16:2). Practice giving to meet the needs of others (Luke 6:38). You will reap joy as you sow (2 Corinthians 9:6-7).
My commitment: Heavenly Father, I want to be more like You. I commit myself to study Your Word, to pray, to fellowship with believers, to share Christ with others, and to give faithfully. Help me to grow in Christian maturity in each area.