Do you want to have eternal life with Christ? If yes, the word of God tells us what we must do to attain it.
1. We need to know and understand that we are sinful people.
Sin was inherited from Adam. Sin entered the world through Adam’s sin, thus death came through sin. It is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). In the book “Acts of the Apostles” it is written: “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). The first words of John the Baptist preaching were, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (Matthew 3: 2). Jesus began his sermon saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (Matthew 4:17). Repentance means: a) change of thoughts; b) shame of sin; c) confession of our sins; d) hatred of sin; e) abandonment of sin and f) genuine conversion to God.
2. Believe in the Gospel (Word of God).
Jesus began His ministry saying, “Repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mark.1:15). Only through the Gospel we are able to understand that we need salvation. Christ said: “search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.” (John 5:39). Only Christ is able to save us from our sins. If we sincerely repent, accept His Word in our hearts, live according to His will, and recognize (acknowledge) Jesus Christ as our Savior, we can be sure to receive eternal life. It is written: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life” (John 5:24). No man can save himself from his sins by his good deeds. It is written: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Also says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9). By the hearing of faith we have received the Holy Spirit (Galatians 3:2). The hearing of faith works miracles (Galatians 3:5). We accept Christ by faith. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12). We are justified by faith: “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). Anyone can be freed of his sinful condition through the redemption accomplished by Christ Jesus, “whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed” (Romans 3:25).
3. Be born again.
To be born again is a key condition for salvation. “Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3). A man is spiritually dead because of his sin. However, due to the Word and the Holy Spirit, the spirit of men is revived by God and becomes a new creation. Jesus explained to Nicodemus that new birth is through water and the Spirit. Water is the word of God. “Having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever” (I Peter 1:23). From God’s standpoint all people are dead (Ephesians 2:5). God’s Word teaches that all people are required to be born again. Everyone must be born again (John 3:7). One may ask, “Why?”. Because we have inherited the sinful nature of Adam, and an individual cannot enter the kingdom of God with such nature. “But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.” (Revelation 21:27) “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5: 8) “LORD, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? He who walks uprightly, And work righteousness, And speaks the truth in his heart” (Psalms 15:1-2). Although Nicodemus was a religious man, a Jewish prince, and a teacher of Israel, he did not understand what Jesus Christ told him and asked Jesus, “how may it happen?” Christ answered him: “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.” (John 3:6-7). Then Jesus said, “No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.” (John 3:13). “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the
wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:14,15). Apostle Peter also explains this new birth, “Having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever… Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.” (I Peter 1:23-25).
4. Get baptized in the water.
Once we have repented and believed in the Gospel as the Word of God, and thus were born again (from the Word and Spirit), the next step is to take holy water baptism.
1) Water baptism is a commandment of the Lord Jesus Christ, who said: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19).
2) Water baptism is also Go d’s will: “And when all the people heard Him, even the tax collectors justified God, having been baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.” (Luke 7:29-30).
3) Jesus Christ said that water baptism is the fulfillment of all righteousness. “Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?” But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.”” (Matthew 3:13-15).
4) Water baptism is a commandment of the apostles. “Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”” (Acts 2:38), (Acts 8:36-38), (Acts 10:47-48), (Acts 19:3-5).
Jesus told his disciples: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:15-16).
Today Jesus still calls everyone without exception. Jesus says, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.” (John 6:37). “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6). Dear friend, rush to him, Jesus welcomes you. He says, ”Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29). “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12).
5. Grow in God.
We know we must eat food to evolve physically. Similarly, to grow spiritually, we are in need of spiritual food in order to know more of God and of His Son Jesus Christ. What type of food do we need to eat in order to grow spiritually?
1) The first key for spiritual growth is prayer.
Prayer is communication with God. The Word of God encourages us to pray, especially Jesus Christ. While on earth, He often prayed to His heavenly Father, though he was God Himself (Mark 1:35), (Luke 5:16). Through prayer God reveals Himself to us, and thus we get to know Him. Many Bible scriptures show the significance of our prayer. Christ taught His disciples how they should pray: “And whatever you ask in My name, I will do it” (John 14:13-14). Paul wrote to the Thessalonians: “pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (I Thessalonians 5:17-18). Paul also wrote to Timothy, “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority …” (I Timothy 2:1-2).
2) The second condition for spiritual growth is the reading of the Bible (Word of God).
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (II Timothy 3:16-17). “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.” (Psalms 119:11). “as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby” (I Peter 2:2). The Word of God – “it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes…” (Romans 1:16). Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. (Romans 10:17). Paul wrote to Timothy: “Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.” (I Timothy 4:16). “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.” (Revelation 1:3). “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.” (Revelation 3:10).
3) The third condition for spiritual growth is dedicating all your life to God.
We must serve the Lord with all our abilities: to pray, sing, and read poems to the glory of the Lord, be willing to assist in the need of the saints, be hospitable to strangers, be merciful to the poor and sick, and do everything as for the Lord with love. Also, we must remember that Christ gave His life for our salvation from hell and the second eternal death. Jesus Christ died for all of us, “that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.”(II Corinthians 5:15). “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (Colossians 3:17).
4) The fourth aspect of spiritual growth is the Church of God (House of Prayer).
In the Church, Christ appointed “some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-12). We should attend church and grow spiritually so that the Lord will be able to use us for His work. Everyone serves someone. Christ said: “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.”(Matthew 12:30). “No one can serve two masters… You cannot serve God and mammon.” (Matthew 6:24) Christ wanted to see His followers serving Him and said: “If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.” (John 12:26). Christ said: “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16).
The best type of service to Christ is our daily holy life. Moses warned the nation of Israel, saying, “You shall fear the Lord your God and serve Him…” (Deuteronomy 6:13). David commanded his son Solomon: “know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind…” (I Chronicles 28:9).
Also, we must tell others of what God has done for us and not be ashamed if those individuals laugh at us. It is written: “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10). “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32).
© Jesus Still Loves You Ministries 2015