Spiritual growth begins with a true, active relationship with God. Many people have many ideas as to what it takes to enter a true relationship with God, but the only right way is to examine what God Himself says in His Word. Here is what the Bible says about becoming a part of God’s family:
1) I must accept the fact that I am a sinner. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)
2) I need to realize that all who remain in sin will suffer the awful punishment of spiritual death – separation from God for all eternity, but that God has provided something better for those who are willing to accept it. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
3) I must realize that to receive God’s gift of eternal life, I must reject my current life of sin and become a part of God’s family. That is done by believing in and receiving Jesus Christ as the Savior of my soul. “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12)
4) I must believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:31)
5) I must also believe that God loved me so much, He sent His Son to pay the price for me by shedding his blood and dying on the cross in my place, then rising to a new life. “For God so loved 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) “Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!” (Romans 5:9)
6) I must then receive Jesus as my Savior so that the provision He made for salvation will be available to me, personally. I do this by confessing Jesus as my Lord. “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” (Romans 10:9-10)
7) In making that good confession, I realize that I am opening the door and inviting Jesus to come into my life. “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20)
8) I can open the door of my heart with the following prayer:
Dear God in heaven, I come to you in the name of Jesus Christ, your one and only Son. I am sorry for my sins and the life I have lived, neglecting your love for me. I ask you now to forgive my sin, and cleanse my heart by the blood of your own Son. I believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, that he died on the cross in my place and that God raised him from the dead. Jesus, I open the door of my heart and ask you to come in and take over my life. Satan, I renounce you and your control over me. Jesus, I accept you as my Savior, and I will do my best to live for you from now on, and will look forward to being with you in heaven for all eternity.
9) Did you really open the door of your heart to Jesus in that prayer? Since God cannot lie, where is Jesus right now? Do you realize that the Spirit of Jesus is in your heart?
If you prayed the above prayer for the very first time today, you need to tell someone. Please send an email to The Upper Room at [email protected] and let us know.
Now that you have settled the initial question about your relationship with God through Jesus Christ, there are important steps for you to take to help that relationship to grow. We have prepared a series of lessons entitled “First Steps” to meet that need. The series consists of 12 lessons, sent out one per month. They deal with a variety of topics (such as the Word of God, prayer, the Church, and evangelism) that will help you to a strong start in your new walk of life, if you will read them carefully and put them into practice in your life. If you would like to enroll in this free series, send an email to us at [email protected] and give us your regular mailing address. You will see a dramatic change in your life as you obey God’s Word and make Jesus the center of your attention.