Jesus Christ is God's only provision for your sin. Through Him you can know and experience God's love and plan for your life.
Who is Jesus Christ? Why does He have the power to bridge this gap between a holy God and sinful people?
Jesus' miraculous birth, the life He lived, the miracles He performed, the words He spoke, His death on the cross, His resurrection from the dead, His ascension into heaven - all demonstrate He was no mere man. Jesus is God.
You must receive Jesus Christ as God, as your Savior and as your Lord. By receiving Christ you can know and experience God's love and plan for your life. You receive Christ through faith, by personally inviting Him into your life. Paul said, "It is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast." And Jesus said, "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will go in and eat with him, and he with me."
Receiving Christ begins by turning away from yourself, repenting of your sins, and turning to God. It involves trusting Christ to come into your life, to forgive your sin, and to make you the person He wants you to be.
Let me illustrate it this way:
Suppose you meet a certain young man or woman about whom you have heard many fine compliments. You like what you see - looks, personality and many other qualities. Would this be enough on which to launch a marriage?
No. There is more to marriage than mutual respect and admiration.
As you become better acquainted, you soon fall in love. Is this sufficient for marriage?
No. There is more to marriage than the intellect and the emotions.
Then you become engaged, and the wedding day arrives. How exciting! Intellectually you believe he or she is the most wonderful person in the whole world. Emotionally, your heart beats twice as fast when you are together.
But now something even more important is about to take place. As you stand before the minister or priest to exchange your vows, you commit your wills one to the other. The marriage is not a true marriage if there is no mutual giving of one to the other.
So it is when you become a Christian. When you commit yourself to Christ, you must give yourself wholly to Him in a commitment of your intellect, emotions and will.
Your life may be pictured in one of two ways. If you are living a self-directed life, you control your interests. This kind of life always results in discord and frustration.
If you are living a Christ-directed life, you are yielding to Christ, and your interests are controlled by Him, resulting in harmony with God's plan for your life.
Our lives parallel that of a caterpillar crawling in the dust - an ugly, hairy worm. One day this worm weaves a cocoon about its body. From this cocoon emerges a beautiful butterfly. We do not understand fully what has taken place. We realize only that, where once a worm crawled in the dust, now a butterfly soars in the air.
So it is in the lives of Christians. Where once we lived on the lowest level as sinful, self centered individuals, now as we trust and obey God, we dwell on the highest plane, experiencing full and abundant lives as children of God. This life begins by receiving Christ into your life as your Savior and Lord.
Some years ago, a woman who had just received Christ through the witness of a staff member asked me to talk to her father about Christ. He was the founder of one of the largest corporations in the world at that time. I visited him in his beautiful home. He was truly a great man. His bearing, his manner, everything about him suggested he was truly a statesman.
He showed me trophy room after trophy room filled with plaques and photographs of him with kings, presidents and all kinds of celebrities. He was a great philanthropist who had given hundreds of millions of dollars to very worthwhile causes.
After awhile he said, "My daughter tells me you have something important to share with me."
With this invitation, I began to talk with him about his relationship with Christ. He was very gracious, very warm, very open and responsive. I shared with him the words of our Lord in His discussion with Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was deeply religious, moral, ethical and above reproach. I read from the Gospel of John, chapter 3:
Jesus told him, "I tell you the truth, unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
"How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!"
Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.'"
At this point this dear, gracious man in his middle eighties said to me, "Mr. Bright, I've been the chairman of the board of my church for fifty years, and no one has ever told me that I have to receive Christ as my Savior or that I have to be born again! Do you think, in the light of all of the good things I have done through the years, that I must be born again?" I explained, "The need for you to be born again is not my suggestion. It is Jesus who said, 'You must be born again' to Nicodemus, who was also a fine leader and very religious."
Then I asked him, "Would you like to be born again?"
"Yes, I would," he replied.
Adapted from the Transferable Concept: How You Can Be Sure You Are a Christian, by Dr. Bill Bright, co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ. © Cru. All rights reserved.
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