Connecting With God…
is the best thing in life ever!
We all have a God shaped vacuum in our hearts that only God can fill. We try to fill it with people, possessions, giving or being good. None of this fulfills us. If you have a yearning to connect with God, you are at the right page of this website. Read below to see how you can have a personal relationship with the God of the Universe! Only God can truly satisfy the longing in your heart.
God’s Plan of Salvation in the Bible
How can I know that I am going to heaven? What do I need to do to be saved and become a Christian? How can I have a personal relationship with God? How can I receive forgiveness of sins? These are the most important questions anyone can ask because they deal with eternity and our relationship with God. God has not left us in the dark. What does the Bible say is God’s plan of salvation? The Gospel, or good news of salvation, can be summarized in four points:
1. God’s Plan: He created us for a relationship of love with Him and with each other. Adam and Eve had wonderful fellowship with God and each other in the Garden of Eden. God did not make us because he needed servants or slaves; God is omnipotent and doesn’t need anything. Out of the overflow of his infinite love he made us in such a way that we could love him and be loved by him as well as love each other; this is why loving God is the greatest of all commandments (Mark 12:28-34). But Adam and Eve blew it, which also wrecked it for the rest of us (Romans 5:12-21). This brings us to the second point.
2. Our Problem: Sin severed the relationship and must be judged. Adam and Eve sinned by disobeying God and as our representative passed down to all of us a sinful nature. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death…” Before we can understand the good news (gospel), we have to comprehend the bad news. God cannot simply overlook sin; otherwise he would be a bad judge. God is holy and must punish sin. Because we sin against the infinitely perfect and holy God, our sin deserves an infinite punishment. The fact is our sin is so bad we cannot save ourselves. We have to recognize we are sinners in need of a savior before we can be saved.
3. God’s Solution: Jesus died on the cross, paying our penalty for us. Romans 5:8 says, “…while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Isaiah 53 describes how the Messiah would come as suffering servant in order to die for us, paying the penalty we were supposed to pay for our sin. God is holy and he is loving. How could God love us when we are sinners and still remain holy? John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” The cross is the only explanation for how God could be loving and holy at the same time. Our sin must be punished so Jesus, the second person of the Trinity, became a human being and was crucified, suffering God’s wrath in our place. He rose from the dead on the third day, validating and solidifying that his actions were accepted by God in our behalf. This is how he could remain “just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:26).
4. Our Response: Faith from the heart. It is not enough to know the facts listed above. We must each individually receive God’s provision of salvation. John 1:12 says, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” We must personally receive Jesus into our lives, placing our faith in him and his provision for our salvation. Salvation is a free gift, but we must receive it. The Bible says we receive salvation by grace through faith. How do we do this?
First we have to want to be saved from our sin before we can be saved from our sin. To repent is to have a change of mind and heart about our sin. We feel bad about our sin; we don’t want tosinanymore; we recognize we our powerless to stop sinning so we cry out to God to save us from sin.
1. Faith is not just believing facts about Jesus, It involves the heart as well. James 2:19 says, “You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe – and shudder!”
2. Faith is trusting in Jesus, not ourselves. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” To trust in Jesus means to lean on him alone. When Jesus died on the cross he said, “It is finished.” He did everything necessary for our salvation. We cannot add anything. To claim we are saved by grace and our works is to assert that the cross was not sufficient. He completely paid for all of our sins and so when we place our faith in Christ, all of our sins – past, present and future sins – are forgiven.
3. Faith is surrendering to Jesus as Lord. Romans 10:9 says, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” To confess Jesus is Lord means that you surrender to him as your Lord. ‘Lord’ means master. You recognize that while you were in charge of your life you miserably failed, and so now you are willing to turn over your life to Christ and follow him. Whenever Jesus called people to himself he said, “Follow me.” Are you willing to follow him?
Baptism is the initial outward expression of your repentance inward faith in Christ. The act of baptism doesn't save you, but it is important because it is the normal, Scriptural outward expression of our faith when we receive Christ (Acts 2:37-38; 8:36-39; 16:29-34). When we place our faith in Christ we are entering into a covenant with God, what Jesus called the New Covenant (Luke 22:20). A covenant is a binding agreement between two persons, like marriage. The marriage covenant includes vows of faithfulness and love and is sealed and signified by a ring. The ring signifies that the two people have committed to each other in marriage. In salvation we are covenanting with God. He promised to be our God and forgive our sins when we repent of our sins and place our faith in Christ. Baptism is the initial sign of the New Covenant and the Lord’s Supper is the continuing sign. The ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the signs and seals of our salvation much like the ring is the sign and seal of the marriage covenant.
If you were drowning in the ocean and a boat was driving past you, what would you need from that boat? A life-preserver. What if someone threw you an anchor? We need to know the right gospel which tells us what Jesus did for us and how we receive this gift and appropriate what he did for us. You can personally receive Christ into your life and receive the free gift of salvation by saying this prayer if you truly mean it in your heart:
Dear God, I am a sinner. I don’t want sin in my life anymore but I cannot change myself. Please forgive me (mention personal sins that he is convicting you of). I believe that Jesus died on the cross so that my sins could be forgiven and so that I can have a wonderful relationship of love with you as your child. Come into my life and save me from my sin and I will follow you all the rest of my days here and throughout eternity. Thank you for the free gift of eternal life. Amen.
If you prayed that prayer and really meant it from your heart you are saved, born again, completely forgiven and on your way to heaven. It is time to celebrate. The Bible says the public expression of that faith is baptism (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:37-39; 10:44-48). Let your pastor know you have prayed to receive Christ and now want to be baptized. Baptism is the outward representation of what took place in your heart – you have died to sin and the old way of life and have risen again in newness of life (Romans 6:3-4). You will also want to nourish this new relationship with God through daily prayer and Bible reading as well as getting involved in a local church that teaches the Bible. If you don’t have a local church please come and visit us.
Pastor Larry Siekawitch
Did you make a decision to follow Christ? If so, a party is going on in heaven right now, just for you! We would love to know if you did so we can pray for you. Please take a moment to fill out the form below. May God richly bless you with His peace, love and joy!