For those who have accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior, it is important to understand a profession of faith is not the end of a journey to God, but rather the beginning of an an eternal walk WITH God. Accepting Christ is NOT:
- a get out jail (Hell) card.
- getting access to a 24/7 vending machine who will give you your every earthly desire.
- an excuse to go on sinning trusting that ALL your sins will be forgiven.
- a guarantee that the rest of your life will be filled with joy and peace.
Indeed, the life of a Christian can be increasingly one of trials and alienation from the secular world as you begin to see how deep sin has crept into your life and you strive to become more Christ-like in your attitudes and behavior. We have a phrase we use around OVBC a lot when struggles, persecution or battles with God’s word happen; “That’s Sanctification baby!”
Indeed Jesus warns that any who would follow him should “count the cost” (Luke 14:28). And in fact, what cost does Christ ask of us? Everything! When we consider that Christ purchased our salvation with his blood, we come to realize our lives are not our own and we begin to willingly put aside our desires and our wants and replace them with prayers to just be in God’s will and grace.
The more one comes to understand the Gospel, the more the immensity of what Christ has done becomes clear and with that is the realization that the gift of the Gospel requires a life-long response from us. Some of the key ways in which we are called to respond to the Gospel are:
- Repentance of our sins: Sin is simply those action where we fall short of the perfection that God requires. All of us have sinned and will continue to sin even if we have accepted Christ. The difference once we have accepted Christ as our Savior is that we begin to recognize sin for what it is and that we turn away from it because we begin to see Christ as more desirable than whatever temporary fulfillment our sins may offer now. We realize that ultimately sin leads to death and separation from Christ.
“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” – Acts 3:19
- Study the word of God: As Christians we believe the Bible is God’s message to his people. In studying and reading the Bible we can come to a greater understanding of who God is and what hiss will is for our lives. Through the Bible we gain wisdom and reinforce our faith in order to become aligned with God’s will and purpose.
“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.” – 2 Timothy 3:16
“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.” – Hebrews 4:12-13
- Be in constant prayer: Through prayer we open a dialogue with God. Prayer is our opportunity to praise God, to give voice to our love and gratitude and to offer to God the right desires of our heart. Through prayer we begin to see how our will is becoming aligned to God’s and to recognize and affirm God’s work in our lives. Through prayer we become intimate with God because he longs for us to be with him, to know him. We were created for this purpose to be in communion with God. Prayer allows us to fulfill his purpose in our lives and be obedient in carrying out our duties to pray always. Prayers allows us to obtain the blessing of God in our lives and those around us.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7
- Share the Gospel: As you begin to grow in understanding of who God is, what Christ did, and how immense the gift of God’s Grace and Salvation is, it is with a new heart and a new mind that you begin to love and to want to serve God. In fact in Ezekiel 36:36 God says “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” The gift you have been given is not yours to keep, rather it becomes one you will want to share with others. Sharing the Good News you have received, sharing the Gospel, is one of the main purposes we are called to do. And when we realize the importance of saving grace, it is something we should want to do. It is the Great Commission that Christ gave his apostles and everyone who believes in him.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:19-20
The message of the Gospel is very simple, the truth and impact of it is so enormous, and the living out of all that it implies is part of the eternal walk we now take with God.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to call us at 714.637.3250 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to answer any questions or concerns you might have. Most of all, we want to feel welcomed when you come.