Praying

RESPONSE

What do I need to do to be saved?

1. COUNT THE COST

Although salvation is offered as a free gift, Jesus Christ’s call to follow him comes at a cost.

It means denying yourself and following Him as your Lord and Master. It may involve losing many things for the sake of following Christ. Some have lost jobs, money, relationships or respect from others as a result of their faith in Christ. However, in light of what we've seen so far - that God is holy, we are sinful and Christ is an amazing Saviour - the only appropriate response is to give Christ our all because He gave us his all.

Jesus said...

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?
Luke 9:23-25

Counting the cost...

Jesus tells us to ‘count the cost’ of being his disciple and following him. By doing so, we are saying that our very life is no longer our own, we instead belong to Christ. We recognize that Christ is worth the cost because He is the treasure beyond all comparison!

There is no other way to receive Christ than as Lord and Master of our whole life. Jesus does not call for half-hearted disciples, but rather sold-out followers and recipients of amazingly lavish love and grace!

The apostle Paul said it this way:

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Disciples of Jesus Christ are all in, or they’re not in at all.

The cost to following Christ in this world may be very high, but the reward for those who do in the life to come will be worth it. Jesus himself promises that those who follow him and lose in this life for his sake will be repaid both in this life (Mark 10:30) at the resurrection of the just in the life to come (Luke 18:29-30).

Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life..

Mark 10:29-30

Jesus is King

...and calls us to submit to His reign

At the beginning of his ministry, Matthew 4:1 records that,

 

From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

 

Jesus is the sovereign King of the Universe who is coming back to judge the living and the dead (2 Timothy 4:1). To follow him is to pledge totally allegiance and submission to his rule and reign. It is to spend your life in service of His Kingdom and His goals. It is to declare to others that they must also joyfully submit to this Loving and Good King. It means that all things must be subjected to Christ (Philippians 3:21) including the nations, cultures, education, law, politics, government, entertainment, arts, business, family, church, and all other spheres of society. Jesus's reign is total and He is coming back to claim His rightful inheritance.

Following Jesus may cost you everything in this life, but you will gain Christ – and therefore, gain everything in the end.

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18

But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.
Philippians 3:7-8

Perhaps at this point, you're saying to yourself, "OK. So I get that following Christ might cost me everything in this world, but because of all that He has done for me, I see that He is the treasure worth giving up everything to have!"

 

What's next?

Woman with Bible

2. REPENT & BELIEVE

The Bible sums up what our response to the Gospel should be in two words: “repentance” and “faith” in the Lord Jesus.

 

“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
Mark 1:15

REPENTANCE

...turning from sin

Repentance, at its most basic level, means to change your mind. But repentance involves not just the change of mind, but the change of the heart—and as a result, the direction of our entire lives.

 

First, repentance involves seeing the penalty and tyranny of sin and turning away from looking to other things and false gods to save us and give us life and ultimate satisfaction. Second, repentance involves acknowledging that we cannot lift a finger to solve the problems our sin created (penalty, power and presence), thereby, it causes us to stop trusting in our own good works to save us.

We turn away from going our own sinful way and we now go Jesus’s way—because Christ is our Lord and Master.

FAITH

...turning to God

In the same way, faith is not some vague feeling we have—it is putting our trust in what Jesus has done on the Cross to save us from the judgement of God. Before, you may have thought that your own morality could make you right with God—or that God would overlook your sin. But now you see the truth of the Gospel, and you know that the death of Christ is your only hope for forgiveness. You know that the resurrection of Christ is the only hope for life beyond the grave. And so, you place your trust in His promise that He will not turn away anyone who comes to Him (John 6:37).

Faith is biblically defined as ‘reliance’ or trust which is grounded on the rock-solid truths of God’s promises to us. It is being fully convinced that God is able and willing to do what He has promised (Romans 4:18-21). It is turning to God.

 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.

John 6:37

NEXT STEPS

I’ve believed in Jesus Christ for salvation, what now?

This is the primary difference between Christianity and other religions: every other religion puts their faith/trust in what they can do to reach God and earn their salvation. Christianity puts its trust in what God has done to reach us and give us our salvation.

Every other religion says “do”, Christianity says “done.”


Every other religion says, “do this and live” – in Christianity, God says, “I’ve done this so you can live.”

To have faith in Jesus Christ means to renounce all hopes in anything else to save us—we either trust in Christ alone, or not at all.

If you've come to trust in Jesus Christ for salvation...

TELL SOMEONE!!! And tell me...

 

Go talk to a Christian friend, or find a local church to talk to some Christians - because for what's next, you need the fellowship and encouragement of a group of other believers, and pastors and leaders to help you grow in your faith...

GROWING IN FAITH IN COMMUNITY

Our Christian journey can be filled with many difficulties and struggles. Jesus said that the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life (Matthew 7:13-14), but we cannot walk it alone. When you were saved, you were adopted into God’s family – into His Church. As a result, the Christian life is meant to be lived in community – helping to encourage each other, to love one another, to keep one another accountable and minister to one another. This is why it is important for you to find a good local church where you can grow and be encouraged in your new walk of faith.

RISE AND BE BAPTIZED!

Jesus commands those who repent of their sins and put their trust in him to be baptized as an outward symbol and witness of their faith in him (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38). Baptism is not something advanced for later, but rather something basic to obey now because of its blessings to those in Christ.

 

Baptism is a sign of the reality that we are not only saved individually but also into the corporate body of Christ - the Church (1 Corinthians 12:12-13). It is an outward sign of obedience and of the reality of the Gospel – going under the water to represent being united to Christ’s death to sin, and coming back up to represent our union with his resurrection to new life! It confirms to us the reality of what has happened spiritually. So don't put it off! Find a Biblical Church to get connected with and get baptized!

Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

Mark 16:16