Some say that Jesus was nothing more than a religious teacher who gave out a series of rules and regulations; others that he was simply a man that did a lot of positive things and helped a lot of people. While the Bible does teach that Jesus established helpful guidelines for us to live by and miraculously came to the aid of a lot of people, he is so much more than that. He is God himself; he cared about each person he came in contact with, taught that we can all know God personally, lived a completely perfect life, and died an undeserved death by being nailed to a cross. Remarkably, he rose from the dead three days later, defeating sin and death! He is Savior. Sanctifier. Healer. Coming King. Friend
That’s all well and good, and many of us would even say that it’s true. But why does it matter and how does it affect us 2,000+ years later? All of us share a common problem; it’s called sin. No matter how hard we try to be moral, good people and do the right thing in life, we all at some point have committed sins such as lying, cheating, or stealing. How does this affect our relationship with God? According to the Bible, our sin and brokenness separate us completely from him because he is perfect. The end result of this sin is God’s punishment. Jesus, with love and having lived a sinless life, bore the punishment that we deserve for our sins by dying on a cross, but being sinless God, he was resurrected three days later. Now, he offers forgiveness and eternal life to any who comes to him.
What does one have to do to be saved and have eternal life?
Believe in Jesus and affirm your faith in him.
If you declare 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 profess your faith and are saved.
Here’s a simple prayer that you can pray to do this right now:
Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. Amen.
Being saved and knowing Jesus is about much more than just praying a prayer once. It’s about knowing God more every day, obeying him, and helping others know him as well. Here are a few suggestions for what to do next:
Attend church: Coming to church is about learning more about God, worshipping him, and making friends with others. We don’t want you to come just to fill a seat.
Join a group: At Bloomingdale Church, there is a group for just about every stage of life and faith.
Read the Bible: It’s more than just an old book; it’s God’s message to each one of us and worth reading. Not sure quite where to begin? Try with the Book of John; it’s one of the four accounts of Jesus’ life. We think it’s a good place to start.
Pray: Many view prayer as something only the most “spiritual” people can do, but it’s simply a conversation anyone can have with God. He is interested in hearing what we have to say and speaking to us, too.