According to the Bible, a saint is one who believes in God, and trusts in Him alone for their salvation. In the Bible, we find all the information we need to become a Christian, also known as a "saint".
When I refer to encouraging the saints, it means primarily that our work is concentrated in church services, and directed to those who already know Jesus as saviour. HOWEVER, we are more than happy to share with ANYONE who is interested, exactly how to know God in a personal way, and how to KNOW FOR SURE that you have a home in heaven after this life is over.
How can I become a Christian?
They were enticed to rebel against their Creator by a created being called Satan. He is not, however, all powerful, does not have all knowledge and is not present everywhere. Originally, Satan was not created evil, but he also rebelled against his Creator. Satan was working hard in the Garden of Eden (where God had placed Adam and Eve) for the whole purpose of overturning the order of Creation. Satan now is an evil personal being, and together with the other evil beings, their purpose is to stand against the truth of God and oppose the Lord’s people.
It was not long before Adam and Eve committed sin (disobedience) against the Lord. Their responsibility before God was their own! Adam’s sin brought death, and death has proceeded to every single person – every descendant of this first man.
Because of Adam’s sin, death (in a spiritual sense) was immediate, for he was severed in his relationship with the Lord. We need to understand that this is not just coming from our perspective, but that a holy God could no longer have a relationship with people who are in sin. The Bible is clear, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die" (Ezekiel 18:20).
Physical death came as a result of sin. "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:" (Romans 5:12). Sin is simply rebellion against the Lord. Such rebellion has been in every person’s life. The Bible tells us "the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth" (Genesis 8:21). The book of Jeremiah declares, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9)
After Adam and Eve’s rebellion, God promised a resolution to this severed relationship in the sending of the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel" (Genesis 3:15).
Because a man (Adam) brought sin and thus death into the world, a man would be needed to pay the penalty for sin. The penalty, however, could only be paid by a perfect man – but all descendants of Adam would be sinners. God’s solution was to send his son (God Who became flesh, The Lord Jesus Christ), born of a virgin, to be a perfect Man (without sin), and yet a descendant of Adam.
Genesis 3:15 is actually looking forward to the coming of Christ (who was to be the new head, taking Adam’s place) into this world and the ultimate defeat of the Satan. Every person is responsible for him/herself before the Lord. Every person knows that the Living God exists, but many either reject or neglect this absolute truth. "Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them." (Romans 1:19). The reality is that people who trust in Christ will be with Him forever, but people who reject or neglect Christ will be forsaken for eternity.
The wonderful thing is that God sent Christ into this world for one main purpose: to bring repentant sinners into a true relationship with the Lord. The Lord Jesus Christ came to bring salvation. His birth into this world was very special. He was born of a virgin by the power of the Holy Spirit; no human male was involved (Matthew 1:18-21). From His birth to His death, He was without sin and yet at the same time, He was all of man, (i.e. a true human, and yet all of God). This is why He was one with us, because He was all of man, and yet remaining perfect; the only One who could, on our behalf, die for our sin, to remove the death that is the result of sin, to defeat Satan.
On the Cross, His blood was shed, for He was the true sacrifice which God had already purposed (Acts 2:23). The Cross on which He died was a curse, and He was forsaken by the Father, that you and I shall never be forsaken. He died and was buried, but life is in God, and the Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead triumphantly and is alive today and forevermore. He is the Sovereign Lord, and He will come again to receive His people to Himself.
What do I need to do?
Firstly, I need to repent!Repentance is essential. It really means "a change of mind." For me to be saved by Christ, I must turn from my self-centeredness, and from any desire that takes priority over the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance means a complete turning around from where I was as a person (focussed on myself), to submit and yield my life to the only living God. I must admit that I am a sinner, in rebellion against the Lord God.
In Philippians 3:8, the Apostle Paul makes a statement that needs to apply to each of us as individuals: "Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung[rubbish], that I may win Christ...."
Repentance is absolutely necessary. That’s why we can understand when the Lord Jesus came into this world, He spoke these words, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel" (Mark 1:15). Repentance is necessary for every person to become a Christian. Some people say that so long as I confess my sin, I’ll be ok. But dear friend, this is not sufficient.
The book of Proverbs tells us, "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper, but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy" (Proverbs 28:13). Repentance is a complete turning from my former life, and a full desire to live in the righteousness of the Lord.
Righteousness means "justice, straight, right." In other words, it simply means living the same life that the Lord Jesus lived. He was without sin. He was pure, holy, just, righteous. The life of the Lord Jesus is that quality of life that each of us needs to imitate in every respect. The Spirit of God was within Him, and He constantly displayed the reality of His life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control (Galatians 5:22-3). He was never conceited, neither did He provoke or envy other people. He always lived the truth of God, and spoke the truth.
Although we are people who are committed to our Savior the Lord Jesus Christ, we nevertheless will still sin regularly. When we know we are truly trusting Christ, forgiveness is real. The Bible tells us, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:8-9).
Secondly, I need to put my faith in Christ.Faith really means to trust, and to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. I need to trust in Christ and rely on Him alone. Faith is like an instrument the Lord provides by which we can believe in Christ. I am not brought into salvation because of my own doing.... No! It is because our loving Lord has poured His grace and mercy upon me. Grace is something I freely receive from the Lord—it is God showing His favor on us without our meriting it. Although I deserve nothing from the Lord, and I have no ability to boast, but the gift of salvation comes to me through faith. Faith is that instrument or that channel that the Lord gives me by which I can trust and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9).
The book of Romans points out that I am "justified freely by His grace" (Romans 3:24). This simply means that through faith, I am declared righteous in the sight of God.
Many years ago, Augustus Toplady wrote a great hymn, "Rock of Ages." One of the lines he wrote is: "Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to the Cross I cling." The only merit that can get me to Heaven is the merit of Jesus Christ alone. It is absolutely essential for each of us to focus on the Lord Jesus Christ and trust and believe in Him alone.
Thirdly, I need to pray.Prayer is very important. Prayer means that a true believer can speak to our Lord at any time. Satan will try his hardest to stop you praying. Prayer is really the breath of your soul. If your breath / prayer is taken away, you have nothing. Cultivating a habit of prayer is essential. All of us need to regularly turn our eyes to the Lord Jesus Christ in prayer.
There are many prayers in the Bible. Often it is very helpful to follow the examples of prayers, such as Matthew 6:9-13; Ephesians 3:14-21. There are many things I will need to thank the Lord for. Daily I should thank Him for my salvation, my life, and my family. I can always ask the Lord for strength, help, guidance, and wisdom. It is also necessary to pray for others who are in difficulty, or who need to know the Lord Jesus Christ.
Why not pray now, repent of your sin, receive Christ, and accept what He has done for you in His death and resurrection?
Fourthly, I need to read the Bible.Bible reading is essential. By regularly studying the Bible, which is God’s written revelation to us, I will grow up in my salvation. It is important to find a Church where the Bible is constantly read and preached, and where you can enjoy the fellowship with the Lord’s people. The Bible says, "Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word" (Psalms 119:9).
Fifthly, I need to enter into service.It is a privilege to love and serve the Lord. Service does not just mean going to Church. Service for the Lord means the desire to live a holy life for Christ, encouraging and building up one another. Also, to engage in the sharing of the Gospel of Christ with other people is a wonderful experience.
How can I be sure that I’m a Christian?
Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6). My desire must be to humble myself before the Lord in true repentance, with a sincere trust and belief in the Lord Jesus Christ alone. A Christian will display the evidence of living the life that Jesus lived, and even though I sin, there will be a sorrow in my life because of sin, and as I confess this before the Lord, forgiveness has already belonged to me. The Lord says, "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more" (Hebrews 8:12; 1 John 2:12).
I must certainly show that my life is different to the people of the world. As a Christian, "let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth" (1 John 3:18). We know that we belong to the truth when our lives are resting in the presence of Christ (1 John 3:19). Obedience to the Lord through the Bible is the quality of a Christian. As a Christian, I must persevere in faith, with true Christian living until the end, and be eternally saved.
My focus must be on the Lord Jesus Christ, with a desire for holiness and a true love for my neighbor. This certainly points to the genuineness of being a Christian, and reassures us of our security in Christ. The Bible says, "For I am persuaded, that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39).
If you trusted the Lord Jesus Christ after reading this publication, or would like to know more about becoming a Christian, (or to understand the Bible better), please write to us. Info@dickeyministries.org
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