What Must I Do To Be Saved?

If you’ve followed this blog for a while, and have studied the articles related to the evidence for God’s existence, Jesus’ Resurrection from the dead, and have had many of your intellectual barriers to the Christian faith removed by my writings, perhaps you were convinced of the truth of the Christian worldview. You now believe that God exists and has revealed Himself in the person of Jesus Christ. You may be wondering what you should do now. “What do I do now that I’m convinced?” is what you may be asking yourself. I’m going to walk you through the process from going from mere belief that God exists, that He created the universe, that Jesus claimed to be God, and that Jesus proved those claims by rising from the dead….to belief in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. If you’ve read my blog post “Belief That and. Belief In”, you'll know that there’s a distinction between merely believing that Christianity is true verses belief in Christ as your Savior. The former is mere acknowledgement, something even the demons do (see James 2:19), the latter is a requirement for salvation. The former is based on solid scientific, historical, and philosophical evidence. The latter is based on faith. The latter is putting your trust/faith in the one you’re now convinced is real. The latter is what is required to become born again (John 3:3) so that you’ll become a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).

First, Do You Know What Jesus Did For You?

The Bible says in Romans 6:23 that the consequence of sin is death: "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." The death it's talking about is not just physical death, but spiritual death - living for eternity in hell apart from God. Romans 3:23 says we are all sinners, and we all deserve to be separated from Him. Because God is just, He cannot let sin go unpunished. But because of His love and mercy, He provided a way for us to be pure and holy in His sight - to spend forever with Him in heaven. That way is through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus lived a sinless life, providing the perfect sacrifice for our wrongdoing. He willingly died on the cross to pay the price for our sins. Then He rose again 3 days later, defeating death! ... 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 tells us that those who do not accept Christ into their lives and live for Him "will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His might." and Jesus said in John 3:18 that those who do not believe in Him will be judged for their sins. But God doesn't want that to happen (Ezekiel 18:23, Exekiel 33:11). He gives us a choice whether to accept Him or not (Deuteronomy 30:15-19, Joshua 24:15), but His hope is that we will all accept Him. 1 Timothy 2:3-4 says, "God ... desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." 2 Peter 3:9 says God is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” He wants us all to be with Him forever in heaven, but He lets us choose for ourselves ((see Deuteronomy 30:15-19, Joshua 24:15).
The Bible teaches that God will forgive us of our sins if we turn to Him in repentance (Isaiah 55:7) and if we confess our sins to Him and ask Him to forgive us (1 John 1:9). No matter how bad our sins are, if we are truly remorseful over what we’ve done and if we truly have a desire to change our ways and start living a life of righteousness, God will forgive us. God forgives everyone who throws themselves on the mercy of Christ and who believes that they are saved for one reason: two thousand years ago the human version of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15) was crushed by the Father (Isaiah 53:10). He died on the cross for our sins, paid our fine in full (1 John 2:2). Now you have to repent and trust in Him alone for salvation (Mark 1:15) . The minute you do that, God will grant you the gift of eternal life immediately (John 3:16), forgiving every sin, (Colossians 1:14, Acts 10:43, 1 John 1:9) and you will strive to do his will every day by the empowering of the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 5:17, Hebrews 12:8-9). This issue will be settled once and for all and you'll never again have to wonder if you're doing enough good works for your sins to be forgiven (Isaiah 64:6).

If you’re convinced that Christianity is true, and you realize that you’re a sinner in need Jesus’ blood to cover your sins, then confess your sins to God, and as 1 John 1:9 tells us, He will forgive you of your sins, and cleanse you of all unrighteousness. The Holy Spirit will enter you, and God will adopt you as one of His many children. As John 1:12 says “For as many as received Him, to them who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.” Christian Apologist Lee Strobel says that this is basically like an equation for how to become a child of God.

Believe + Receive = Become (a child of God).

If you want to become a child of God, I’d encourage you make the following prayer your own:

Dear God in heaven, I come to You in the name of Jesus. I acknowledge to You that I am a sinner, and I am sorry for my sins and the life that I have lived; I need Your forgiveness.

I believe that Your only begotten Son Jesus Christ shed His precious blood on the cross at Calvary and died for my sins, and I am now willing to turn from my sin.

You said in Your Holy Word, Romans 10:9 that if we confess the Lord our God and believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead, we shall be saved.

Right now I confess Jesus as the Lord of my soul. With my heart, I believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. This very moment I accept Jesus Christ as my own personal Savior and according to His Word, right now I am saved.

Thank You Jesus for Your unlimited grace which has saved me from my sins. I thank you Jesus that your grace never leads to license, but rather it always leads to repentance. Therefore Lord Jesus transform my life so that I may bring glory and honor to you alone and not to myself.

Thank you Jesus for dying for me and giving me eternal life.

That’s it. If you’ve prayed that prayer with sincerity, truly desiring to turn away from your life of sin and a desire to be reborn in the Spirit of God, then have confidence that God has answered that prayer. Next, I’ll give you some advice on where to go from here.

Start Building A Relationship With God, and Buy A Bible (if you don’t already have one)

We speak to God through prayer, and He speaks to us through His Word, the Bible. I suggest you begin to read The Bible for these contain the spiritual truths that God wants you to apply to your life. It will also help you defend against the spiritual forces of darkness (i.e Satan and his various goons) that will try to trip you up in your walk with God, for scripture is “The Sword Of The Spirit” (see Ephesians 6:10-17).

Talk to God in prayer constantly throughout the day. When you slip up and do something wrong, don’t try to sweep it under the rug, but confess it immediately to Him and ask His forgiveness and cleansing. Each day when you get up, take a moment in silent prayer to yield your life to the Holy Spirit and ask Him to guide and empower you. As you yield your life to him, he will gradually change you from the inside out to become a better person. This is what The Bible means when it says that we "become conformed to the image of the Son" (Romans 8:29). 2 Corinthians 3:18 says “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

Find A Church, and Join in Worshipping God With Other Believers

Finding a church when you’ve literally just become a Christian can be difficult, since you know you believe basic Christianity but don’t have all the details of your theology worked out. New believers like you simply don’t know where to turn. Christian philosopher William Lane Craig gives some pretty good advice for finding a church to attend. He writes:

“It has been said that the theological character of a church is determined by its preaching and its music. So look for a church where the minister faithfully expounds the Bible in his sermons. The sermons should deal with specific Bible passages, and the minister’s exposition should illumine the text for you. Look as well for a church where the great hymns of the church are sung, hymns by people like Isaac Watts and Charles Wesley. Pay close attention to the words that you are singing. These hymns are theologically rich and deepen your worship of God. Stay away, if you can, from churches featuring pop worship bands singing repetitive and superficial ditties. Despite its initial appeal, such music may ultimately stunt your growth and lead to a church as superficial as its music.”

Tell the pastor at the church you attend that you’ve recently committed your life to Christ and wish to be baptized. Baptism is a public proclamation of your decision to follow Christ. It’s a ritual similar to marriage. Just as a wedding is a symbolic act of your commitment to your spouse, baptism is a symbolic act to declare to the world that you are now firmly committed to a relationship with God Almighty. In Baptism, we publicly identify with Christ’s death and resurrection.

I thank God for your salvation. God bless you brother/sister. :-)  

For Those Reading This Who Are Not Yet Convinced

I would implore you to study the articles on this blog for yourselves. Interact with me in the comment sections if you have any questions about the content in the articles. Articles such as "The Kalam Cosmological Argument" which seeks to prove that the universe was created based on the scientific fact that the universe had a beginning to its existence, or "The Fine Tuning & Objections To It" which argues that the physical laws were intelligently designed by a Creator based on the scientific fact that the laws of physics have to fall within a very narrow range to permit the existence of life, or "The Moral Argument" which seeks to prove God's existence from the ontological reality of right and wrong. Or even "The Ontological Argument For God's Existence" which seeks to show that the very possibility of God's existence entails that God exists (that sounds interesting, doesn't it?).

But perhaps no subject is more important than the resurrection of Jesus. Jesus claimed to be God as I point out in the article "The Self Understanding Of Jesus". As C.S Lewis pointed out in his book Mere Christianity, He was either lying when He said that, He was crazy when He said that, or He was telling the truth. The resurrection of Jesus proves that He really is who He said He was. Because if God raised Jesus from the dead, that is God placing His stamp of approval on every spiritual teaching Jesus ever put forth. God would not raise a heretic and a blasphemer (which is what Jesus would be if His claims were not true). But if Jesus rose from the dead, God implicitly placed His stamp of approval on those claims. I go into the historical evidence for Jesus' Resurrection in a two part blog post; "The Minimal Facts Case For Jesus' Resurrection PART 1" and also "The Minimal Facts Case For Jesus' Resurrection PART 2"

I implore you to check out those above articles. You owe it to yourself to investigate this issue. For as C.S Lewis wrote "Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important". If Christianity is true, and I believe it is, then it is of infinite importance that we come to believe that its true, for in Christ is where eternal life is found. 

Also, it might benefit you to watch some of the debates I've had with unbelievers. The YouTube videos of those debates can be found on the page "My Video Debates".  This way, you can hear both sides of the argument and determine which one of us  has the better argument.

I promise you that if you investigate the evidence with an open mind and heart, you will find the truth that sets you free (John 8:32). God said "If you seek me, you will find me, if you seek me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:13). It might even help that before you even read the articles, you pray "God, I'm not sure if you're real. But if you are, help me come to believe that you are. Because I know that if you're real, then you'll help me find reasons to believe since The Bible says you want me to believe." 

I believe that you can come to believe the truth of Christianity because you used the brain God gave you, not in spite of using it. It is possible to have a Cerebral Faith. Good luck in your quest for truth.