The most important step one can make in life is to cross the line of faith and receive eternal life. Christians often refer to this step as conversion, or getting saved, or being born again. Here at Grace, we use the phrase, "Beginning a love relationship with God." It's amazing that God invites human beings to have a love relationship with Him, but it's true! Every one of us has a God-shaped hole in our inmost being, and this hole can only be filled by God. Therefore, it behooves us to know what we must do to enter a love relationship with God. Having a relationship with God requires three things. Let's label them A, B, and C:
First, you must ADMIT that you have sinned against God by breaking His laws. The Bible says, ". . . for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Your first order of business with God, then is being forgiven. Forgiven for the things you have done, said, and thought that displeased Him, and for the things you should have done, said, and thought that He expected! The Bible says that it is your sins that have separated you from God (Isaiah 59:2). But the Bible also says God is willing and able to forgive you if you are truly sorry for those sins: "Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him, and to our God, for He will freely pardon" (Isaiah 55:6-7). So Step 1 is telling God, from your heart, that you are truly sorry for your sins, and asking God directly to forgive you and make you His child.
Second, you must BELIEVE that Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose form the grave to pay for your sins - even sins of which you are not aware. The Bible says, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31). It also says, ". . . to all who received Him (Jesus), to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God" (John 1:12). This is the heart of the good news! Though you and I have grieved God by sinning against Him time after time, He has taken the blame. He "so love the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). So Step 2 is trusting that Jesus died and rose again FOR YOU!. You are not forgiven because you reform your life, pray every day, go to church, or give money to the poor. You are forgiven through the blood of Christ and that's it!
Third, you must COMMIT your life to Christ by endeavoring to follow Him and obey His Word, The Bible. He does not merely want to be your Savior; He also wants to be your Lord. You see, being a child of God is more than a religion, it's a relationship. God will help you obey Him, and will pick you up and forgive you every time you fall! But you must mean business, being God's child is a commitment of your whole life to Him. The Bible says, "Repent, then and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come form the Lord" (Acts 3:19). So Step 3 is being willing to say good-bye to the old life and hello to God and His will for you. That can be scary! But God's promise to you is, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Here is a suggested prayer that may help you cross the line of faith through the A-B-C steps described above: "God, I know I am a sinner and do not deserve eternal life. But I believe that you sent you Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross and rise again for me. He purchased a place in heaven for me. So please, come into my life; take control of my life; forgive my sins and make me your child. I repent of my sins and now place my trust in you for my salvation. I accept the free gift of eternal life. Help me to follow you as your child from this point forward. Amen". If this prayer is the sincere desire of you heart, here is what Jesus Himself promises you: "I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life" (John 6:47).