Just about everyone has an opinion about Jesus. You're probably no exception. Maybe you think He was just some great prophet or teacher. Maybe you think He's just some made up legend that never really existed. Whatever you believe, we can probably agree that Jesus changed things.
At LoamiCC, we believe Jesus was a real person who lived a real life. We believe that He was much more than just a really good teacher. We believe that He was God on a rescue mission. A rescue mission to save a world of humans who had walked away from God.
Just see what Jesus said about himself:
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also."
Jesus said that He was the way back to a life with God. This might sound like a pretty arrogant and exclusive claim, but if Jesus was, in fact, God, then it's not arrogant. If Jesus actually came to offer salvation to everyone, then it's not exclusive at all. It's incredibly inclusive. Jesus says that no matter who you are, what you've done, no matter where you were born, or what skin color you have, He is the way for you to have a relationship with God. Everyone is invited. Everyone is included. He came to save everyone.
Even you. You might be thinking of reasons why you don't qualify for Jesus' love, but you're wrong. Jesus absolutely loves you.
I'm considering putting my faith in Jesus, what do I need to know?
If you are considering putting your faith in Jesus and being saved, first you need to ask the simple question, "What am I being saved from?"
You see, Jesus didn't just come so we could be nicer people. He came to save us from a real danger. That danger is something that people don't like to talk about: Hell. In fact, just seeing that word written here might make you want to click away. Even a lot of Christians don't like the idea of Hell. But if humans weren't in any danger, why did Jesus die on the cross? Why did He suffer? Why did He willingly choose that path as if it were necessary?
The afterlife is a powerful belief that seems to be built into the human soul. Humans for thousands of years have longed for and believed in an afterlife. In our culture, we tend to divide the afterlife into two categories: Heaven for the good people and Hell for the bad. One of the recurring themes throughout the Bible is another topic people don't to talk about: sin. Sin is knowing disobedience or disregard to God's way of living our lives. Sin is what makes us "bad people". We see throughout the Bible that all humans are sinners. We say that Heaven is for good people. But what if none of us are naturally good people? What if we've all done things, said things, and thought things that are evil and thus disconnect us from God.
If we are all sinners or "bad people", that means upon death, we deserve to go to Hell. That's not something that we want to believe, but just because an idea is undesirable doesn't mean it's not true. And if it is true, then humans need rescued. And that is why Jesus came. That is why Jesus, the God who created all things, stepped out of Heaven and into a human body to die a painful death on a cross. He was on a rescue mission to save us.
What makes Jesus' human life different from ours is that He never gave into sin. He was perfectly innocent. Despite His innocence, He willingly surrendered Himself to be tortured and executed on an ancient Roman torture device called a cross. We learn that as Jesus was suffering, He took every human being's record of sin, our record of guilt and He took the punishment for it. Every ounce of suffering we deserve as sinners was paid for on the cross by Jesus. He died on the cross for our sin so that we wouldn't have spend our afterlife in Hell for it.
So how do I actually become a Christian?
Becoming a Christian is not a very complicated process. The Bible helps us understand exactly what goes into it:
"If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved."
"Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins."
Let's highlight three things that we do as we put our faith in Christ.
- Believe and Confess: First we must believe in the depths of our souls that Jesus was who He said He was. He was God in a human body who died for our sins and was actually raised from the dead. It is this belief that is your faith must hang on. This belief must be so strong that it doesn't just stay in your heart, but it is something you aren't afraid to admit with your mouth. You aren't ashamed to tell others that you believe that Jesus is Lord of all things.
- Repent: Repentance means turning from the sinful life you've been living, and turning toward a life that honors God in all things. You might not feel as if you've been an overly sinful person. You can probably think of a lot of people who have done worse things than you have. But, like all people, you have lived life for yourself, your own glory, your own desires. It was that way of living that led you to lie at times, to say hurtful things, to feel joy when you heard about someone else's downfall. To repent means you want to turn completely away from that selfish way of living and begin living a life that pleases God and follows His path for you.
- Be Baptized: Baptism is a symbolic activity where you are fully immersed in water to show that you are uniting your life with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. As you go under the water, you connect yourself with His death and burial. Just as Jesus died for your sins, so you are letting your old life of sin die and be buried. As you come up out of the water, you connect yourself with His resurrection. Just as Jesus rose from the grave, so He gives you a new life free from the hold of sin to be lived for God.
Are you ready to put your faith in Christ? If so, let us know! We would love to offer you any help that you need.