How to accept Christ as Savior

A simple, clear, 4-point understanding of salvation:

Point One

Romans 3:23 states, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

The Greek word translated “glory” in this verse can also be translated “approval.”  This verse means that no matter who you are or what you’ve done, good or bad, not one of us can be good enough to meet God’s standard.  Think of it like this:  If you were asked to jump across the Atlantic Ocean, you might jump further than I could, but neither of us would come anywhere close to making it across the ocean.  In the same way, none of us can be good enough to earn God's salvation.  We cannot get there by our own efforts.

This verse of Scripture show us that we have a problem.  Let’s look a little further at just how bad this problem is.

Point Two

Romans 6:23 states, “For the wages of sin is death.” 

If you worked at a job for, say, $10 an hour, at the end of an eight-hour workday, your employer would legally owe you $80.  You have a legal right to ask for your wages and could take them to court if they don’t pay.  This verse says that the legal payment that we are due from God because of our sin is death.  You see, God has a legal system that predates the creation of the earth, and he abides by it.  God’s very nature is truth in a way that is so strong that no human can fully understand it, but it will not be compromised.  Since we all have sinned, the payment that God legally owes us for those sins is death.  And those wages must be paid.

Point Three

Romans 5:8 states, “But God demonstrates his love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” 

This point is best illustrated by a parable.  Let’s say you were guilty of murder, and you had been sentenced to death.  But on the night before your execution, your twin brother or sister came to visit you in jail and decided to switch places with you because they simply couldn’t bear to see you die.  So you change clothes with them, you walk out of the jail in their place, and the next day, they are executed instead of you.  Right then, heartbroken, you break through the crowd, sobbing, and scream, “The wrong person died for this crime!  I committed the crime; they did not.  I’m the one who should die!”  But the judge looks at you and says, “I’m sorry; the penalty for this crime has been paid.  It cannot be paid more than once.  You are free to go.  You can never be charged with this crime again.”

This is what Jesus has done for you.  The repayment that you and I are justifiably due for our sins is death – eternal death in hell.  But Jesus took that payment for us on the cross.  The eternal God who cannot die, died.  And a man, who cannot be raised from the dead, arose, proving that God himself paid the price for your sins.  Death was overcome, and now Jesus lives eternally.  And so can you, if you will accept his payment for your sins.  That’s all you have to do.  Just believe in your heart that he died for your sins and confess with your mouth that he is your Lord, and you will be saved (Romans 10:9).

Point Four

Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For 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.”

What does saving faith look like?  It’s very simple.  If you are sitting while you’re reading this, chances are that you did not inspect the piece of furniture you’re sitting on to see if it would hold you before you sat down.  You simply believed that couch, chair, or whatever you’re sitting on, would do what it is designed to do.  You believed that it would hold you when you sat on it.

This is exactly how you need to believe in the cross.  You simply choose to believe that Jesus’ death on the cross did what God said it would do.  Just like you choose to believe that a chair will hold you when you sit in it, you choose to believe that Jesus did pay the price for your sins, and you accept that as truth for yourself.  Romans 10:13 says, Anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.”  Your salvation can be confirmed by the simple prayer that follows:

Lord Jesus, I am a sinner.  I have fallen short of your standards and your goodness.  But you came to earth, walked among us, committed no sin, and died for me on the cross.  You took the punishment that I deserve so that you could come into my life and be my Savior.  I ask you to forgive me of my sins because of your death on the cross.  Please come into my life and be my Lord.  Renew me, teach me to follow you and make my life into one that brings glory to your name.  Thank you for being my Lord.  Thank you for being my Savior.  Thank you for allowing me to say, “Jesus Christ who died on the cross is my Lord."

If you have just prayed this prayer, you are now saved for all of eternity.  No one and no power under heaven or earth can ever take it away.  In the same way that it is impossible to change who your earthly father and mother are, you are now God’s child, and he’s your father.  No power in heaven or earth can change that or take away your salvation.

Assurance of salvation

Colossians 2:14-15 states, When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he made you alive together with him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and he has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.”   

This means that all of the legal demands against you were met on the cross, and that by nailing your sins to the cross, all rulers and authorities have been triumphed over. This is a legal statement in the kingdom of God.  It cannot be revoked!  It is a law of God that is stronger than any law under heaven.  It states you have been bought with a price – the price Jesus paid on the cross for your sins - and no one can ever change that.  You belong to God through Jesus Christ.  You're now his forever.

Your salvation can never be lost or stolen from you.  You cannot walk out from under it.  It is God’s gift to you – forever and unconditionally.  Jesus himself said this in John 10:27-29 when he said, My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. "I and the Father are one."  

Notice that Jesus said that the life you have been given is eternal, that you will never perish, and that no one can snatch you out of the father’s hand.  God’s word is either true or it isn’t – and it is.  Jesus’ language here is strong, it’s definite, and it is irrevocable.  Once you accept Jesus as your Savior, you are God’s child, as is Jesus.  In the same way that Jesus, who is God’s Son, will never perish in hell, you, who are God’s Son will never perish there either.

Another witness to your salvation being eternally secure is Romans 11:29.  It states that “the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable.”  In case you’re wondering whether this includes salvation, it does.  For Ephesians 2:8 tells us that salvation is a gift, “it is the gift of God.”  And Romans 8:28 says that you have been called according to his purpose.”  According to the Bible, your salvation is both a gift and a calling, and it is irrevocable.  You cannot lose it because of anything you do or may have done in the past.  Neither can it be cannot be stolen from you.

If you have been living with doubts about your salvation, it is best to confess this belief as sin - false belief that contradicts God’s word.  You can do this simply by praying:

Heavenly Father, I have been wrong in believing that I could lose my salvation.  Your word is clear that nothing can deliver me out of your hand, and all that you set out to do will be accomplished.  I confess that I did not do anything to gain my salvation; therefore, I cannot do anything to lose it.  It is a gift from you, and your gifts are irrevocable.  Please forgive me for not believing rightly in this precious and holy gift that you have given to me.  I repent of this false belief and ask you to help me walk my life out in the truth of your eternal security from now until the time I join you in the kingdom of heaven.