Many people do not understand when a Christian tells them they need to be "saved." Saved from what they ask. They assume because they are "good" people they will automatically go to heaven. So, let's examine what it means to be "saved" from a biblical perspective.
The bible is very clear that no person is "good." We may do some good deeds, yet we are not "good." Instead the bible says, "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Rom. 3:23, ESV) And "the wages of sin is death." (Rom. 6:23,ESV)
Now, you might be thinking, "What are you talking about? I think I am good enough." Let me give you a short test. We need to examine ourselves in light of God's ten commandments. For instance, have you ever lied? Have you ever stolen anything, even something small? Have you ever taken the Lord's name in vain? Have you ever coveted what someone else has? Have you ever lusted after someone in your heart?
Every person, if being honest, must answer yes to one, or all, of these questions. And these are only five of God's ten commandments. In sum, we all fall short of how God expects us to live. And this separates us from God. God is morally perfect. God is just and holy. And God will not have our disobedience, God will not have our disloyalty, God will not have our sin, in his presence. That is the Bad News.
Now, here is the Good News. 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." (John 3:16, ESV)
God loves us so much that God sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to be our substitute. Jesus Christ died on a Roman Cross, in our place, to pay a sin debt we could never pay on our own. Eph. 1:7 says, "In him [in Jesus Christ] we have redemption through his blood [through his death], the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace." (Eph. 1:7, ESV)
And because Jesus died for us, in our place, God's word declares that "whoever believes in him [and commits to following him because faith must manifest itself in action] should not perish but have eternal life."
Jesus Christ died to pay our sin debt for us. And then, the power of God raised Jesus from the dead to prove that God's love had overcome the penalty of sin. When we put our faith in Jesus Christ, his life, through the power of God, the Holy Spirit, comes to dwell in us giving us eternal life. The forgiveness of our sins; the giving of eternal life through the indwelling of God, the Holy Spirit; this is what it means to be "saved."
All we need to do is respond to what Jesus has already done. So, let me ask you directly. Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? If not, you may begin a new relationship with Jesus by saying this prayer.
"Dear heavenly Father, I come to you in Jesus' name. I admit that I have disobeyed you, and have been disloyal to you, in many ways (name your specific sins as you are able). I am sorry. I believe Jesus Christ died in my place, for my sins. I ask for forgiveness of my sins through Jesus Christ. I receive Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I ask for your Holy Spirit to come and fill me, and empower me to follow Jesus Christ from this day forward. Thank you Lord, for this tremendous gift of salvation. Amen."
If you have prayed this prayer for the first time, please let us know. You can contact me at email@example.com or call 323-202-5078.