Continued from previous post: The Story of Redemption
John the Baptist calls Jesus the “Lamb of God, who take away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Jesus came into this world knowing what it would cost Him, and He explains that salvation comes through His death on the cross as the perfect and sufficient sacrifice for our sins (3:14-15). He bore in His pure being the fullness of sin, that God might forgive sinners and make them pure. And the price of Christ’s bearing those sins was death. The gates of salvation are open wide to all who accept His invitation to enter by faith.
Chapter 18 – 19 describe Jesus’ death, and then chapter 20 describes His glorious triumph over death as He rose from dead. Jesus’ resurrection means that he can give eternal life to all who believe in Him. “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believe in me, though he die, yet shall he live and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die” (John 11:25-26).
DO YOU BELIEVE?
The last verse (John 11:26) actually ends with Jesus asking, “Do you believe this?” It is a question that every person must answer: Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God? Is Jesus the object of your faith? Not faith in ritual, not faith in sacrifices, not faith in morals, not faith in yourself. Do you believe that he Jesus died on the cross to free you the guilty and judgment of sin? Do you believe that He rose from the grave, breaking the power of death and making a way for you to have eternal life in heaven? If so, you may express your faith in Him praying this prayer:
“Heaven Father: I believe that Jesus Christ is Your Son, and that He died on the cross to save me from my sin. I believe that He rose again to life, and that He invites me to live forever with Him in heaven as part of your family. Because of what Jesus has done, I ask you to forgive me of my sin and give me eternal life. I invite you to come into my heart and life. I want to trust Jesus as my Savior and follow Him as my Lord. Help me to live in a way that pleases and honors You. Amen.”
GROWING IN CHRIST
Once you have received the gift of eternal life and have been made a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), you will want to grow in your knowledge of Jesus and your obedience to Him. Jesus’ teaching about how to live for God can be summed up in three simple instructions.
- READ THE BIBLE. Jesus said, ‘’whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me” (John 14:21). One way to show your love for God is to read the Bible and to live out your new life on the basis of its teaching. Read the Bible daily to learn how to live a life that honors God and gives testimony to others that Jesus has made a difference in your life.
- PRAY. Communication with God through prayer keeps your focus on eternal things. If you are truly following Jesus, your desires will be for God‘s glory and for His kingdom, the church. Jesus promised, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7).
- SEEK CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP. Meeting regularly with Christian brothers and sisters allows you to follow Jesus’ example of love and to fulfill His command to “love one another…just as I have loved you” (John 13:34). Just as Jesus surrounded Himself daily with His disciples and followers, find a Bible-believing church where you can meet with other Christians. There you will find joy and encouragement in the fellowship of God’s people.
If you have accepted Christ as you Savior, you may be wondering, What happens if I sin after I’m saved? All Christians sin from time to time. But the good news is that Jesus’ death paid for your sin, both past and future. If you humbly admit your sin to God, the Bible promises that God will forgive you and cleanse you from all your sin. Pray for God‘s help to keep you from falling into sin again. Jesus assures us that “whoever comes to me I will never cast out” (John 6:37). Your salvation is sure because Christ’s sacrifice of himself on cross is greater than any sin.
You might also wonders, What happens when I don’t feel close to God? Am I still saved? When a person has accepted the gift of salvation, Jesus describes His relationship with them as begin like the relationship between a shepherd and His sheep: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand” (John 10: 27-28). Salvation is not based on your feelings but no the fact that God has welcomed you into His family through faith in Jesus. Nothing on earth or in heaven can break that bond—nothing.
If you feel far away from God, examine your life to see if there is unconfessed sin standing between you and God continue to read the Bible and pray regularly. Filling your mind with God’s truth and goodness. Talk with other Christians and learn from their experiences. You will grow closer to God as your knowledge and experience of Him grows. Rest assured in the promise that no one can separate you from His love (Romans 8:35-39).
Source: The Daily Reading Bible – by Crossway Bibles. All Scriptures are quoted from the Holy Bible in English Standard Version