Our Response to the Gospel
.... Jesus was crucified for our sins as the prophets foretold, buried, and rose again on the third day, as expressed in the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:1-8). And He was seen alive after His resurrection by many witnesses.
.... This is the message of the gospel, and the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes (Romans 1:16). But in the Scriptures, the whole concept of ‘believing’ carries deeper, very personal implications so let’s discuss them more fully:
.... The context of the gospel is in the identity of Jesus, who came to us from heaven and returned to heaven, so to begin our response we must begin by acknowledging Him as Lord of all. With our mouth, we must confess Him to God in prayer. But the same is true when we are questioned by men. Jesus said that if we confess Him before men, He will also confess us to His Father in heaven; but if we deny Him, He will also deny us (Matthew 10:32-33).
.... Since Jesus died for our sins, we must accept the implication that we are sinners, and confess this to God as well. He knows all about our sins anyway, and He has already made a Way of accepting us through Christ, so we might as well be completely honest in discussing them with Him. It is a time to be humble but not fearful, because His intention is to miraculously cleanse us and receive us:
.... "if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
(1 John 1:9 - 95 A.D.)
By acknowledging our sins to God, we are showing Him that we value the righteous character of His Son, for this is the natural contrast that appears. We are showing Him that we respect
Jesus’ sacrifice, and that we are thankful
for what He has done (Romans 7:16
; Hebrews 10:29
). And finally, through our confession, we are admitting there was nothing we could ever have done to save ourselves
.... Confessing our sins to God will naturally lead to repentance, as we express our sorrow and regret. This allows a mending to occur between ourselves and God in a personal way, because our sins had clashed with His character and had separated us from Him. It also signifies a desire for change as we submit unruly areas of our lives to Him. And the changes He brings will always make us more like Jesus:
.... "But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord"
(2 Corintiains 3:18 - 57 A.D.)
Each of these three responses may be expressed to God in prayer, simply by talking to Him as we would talk to another person (Psalm 51:4
; Matthew 6:6
). In modern times, it has become customary to express our belief through a sinner’s prayer.
This is an excellent way to declare our faith to God as long as we understand what it means and our hearts are sincere in what we’re saying. Below is an example, but feel free to express these basic thoughts in your own words:
.... God, I believe that Jesus came from You, and that You sent Him into the world. I believe You gave Him Your words and that He spoke to us all that You commanded Him. I believe You have made Him Lord of all; and I humble myself, confess Jesus as my own Lord, and surrender my life to You, that you may do with my life as seems good to you.
.... I believe that Jesus gave Himself for my sins, and I believe in my heart that You have raised Him from the dead. I confess my sins to You, and my need for You; I repent of my sins, I ask for Your forgiveness through Jesus, and I ask for the new life that He brings.
.... And I thank You for Your love, which You have shown us in giving Your Son. Please continue to teach me and help me understand your words, that You may be glorified through my life; and always make me more like Jesus. I am eager to hear from You, and to know You better.
.... In Jesus’ name I pray . . .
.... By offering this prayer to God, or something similar in your own words, you are expressing your belief, trust and submission, your needs and your thanks, and your commitment to continue sincerely in walking with God through Christ. You may end this prayer by saying ‘Amen’ if you like, which literally means, ‘So be it.’
To continue, please proceed to the article below.