Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” – 2 Cor. 5:17
God has chosen to draw us to Himself by getting rid of our sinful nature and replacing it with His own righteousness. He does that through Jesus Christ who as we read in 1 John 2:2 “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”
Through Christ Jesus, we become His children who are born by the Spirit as we read in John 1:12-13 – “But to all who believed Him and accepted Him, He gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn! This is not physical birth resulting from human passion or plan – this rebirth comes from God” and John 3:3, 5-6: “I assure you unless you are born again you can never see the kingdom of God. The truth is no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life but the Holy Spirit gives new life from heaven.” (NLT)
4 Steps to Salvation
The Great Commission Movement of Ghana has a booklet on “Four Spiritual Laws” which determine our relationship with God and teaches about steps we can take to become a Christian.
Step One: Know that God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. He created you to have a personal relationship with Him – Gen 3:1. Because of His love for us, He sent His One and only Son that all those who believe in Him will come into His plan of having eternal life. As the scriptures say in John 3:16 and John 17:3.
Step Two: Admit that you are sinful and separated from God thus, making it difficult to know God personally and experiencing His love and plan for you – “For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” Rom. 3:23 (NLT) Even though we were created to have fellowship with God, we are unable to do so because of our stubborn self-will that is characterized by an attitude of active rebellion or passive indifference to God. Sin means that we have missed the mark set by God who is altogether Holy. Sin broke the relationship we had with God causing us to be spiritually separated from Him – Gen. 3:1-19.
Step Three: Know that Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for your sins. It is therefore through Him alone that we can be reconciled to God and thus, get to know God personally and experience His love. In order to atone for our sins, Jesus Christ died in our place. “But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” – Romans 5:8 (NIV). But Christ did not remain dead. He rose again as we read in I Cor. 15:3b-6. “Christ died for our sins… He was buried and was raised from the dead on the third day, as the Scripture said. He was seen by Peter, and then the twelve apostles. After that He was seen by more than five hundred of His followers” (NLT) Because God accepted Christ’s sacrifice for our sins, He is the only way to God as He Himself says in John 14:6; “I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”. (NIV) It is however, not enough to know the three truths.
Step Four: To become a Christian, each individual must receive Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord, be able to know God personally and experience His love, as we read in John 1:12: “But all who believed Him and accepted Him He gave the right to become children of God”. (NLT) We can only accept or receive Christ by faith. “For it is by God’s grace that you have been saved through faith. It is not the result of your own efforts but God’s gift, so that no one can boast about it.” – Eph. 2:9 (NIV)
We receive Christ by His personal invitation as we read in Rev. 3:20. When we receive Christ we become born again, that is born of the Spirit of God as we have already read in John 1:13 and John 3:5-8. Receiving Christ means turning to God, by making an about turn from our sin; (this is called repentance) and trusting God to come into our lives to forgive us our sins and to make us the kind of people He wants us to be. Becoming a Christian therefore means that intellectually we accept that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross for our sins.
It also means that emotionally our hearts acknowledge, what our intellect is telling us. Then, by an act of our own will we decide by faith to accept God’s gift of salvation.
Source: Culled from SALM’s article in the Spectator newspaper.