In most athletic contests, a coach prepares a game plan ahead of time. God designed a plan for our lives before the world began.
God is holy and perfect. He created us to love Him, glorify Him, and enjoy Him forever.
The Bible, God's playbook, says that the standard for being on his team is to:
"Be holy, because I am holy." - 1 Peter 1:16
"Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." - Matthew 5:48
God created us to:
"Jesus replied: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind"- Matthew 22:37
Glorify (honor) Him.
"You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being." - Revelation 4:11
Enjoy Him forever.
Jesus said, "...I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." - John 10:10
Why is it that we cannot live up to God's standard of holiness and perfection?
Man is sinful and is separated from God.
Sin means missing the mark, falling short of God's standard. It is not only doing wrong and failing to do what God wants (lying, gossip, losing our temper, lustful thoughts, etc.), it is also an attitude of ignoring or rejecting God, which is a result of our sinful nature.
The Bible says, "Surely I have been a sinner from birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me." - Psalm 51:5
God is holy and we are sinful and separated from Him.
Man continually tries to reach God through his own efforts (being good, religious activities, philosophy, etc.) but, while these can be good things, they all fall short of God's standard.
"...all our righteous acts [good works] are like filthy rags." - Isaiah 64:6
There is only one way to bridge this gap between God and man.
God provided the only way to be on His team by sending His Son, Jesus Christ as the holy and perfect substitute to die in our place.
He is God.
Jesus said, "I and the Father are one." - John 10:30
He is Man.
"...the Word (Jesus) was God...The Word became flesh and lived for a while among us." - John 1:1,14
He died as our substitute.
"...God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." - Romans 5:8
He rose from the dead.
"...Christ died for our sins...he was buried...he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and ...he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred...." - 1 Corinthians 15:3-6
He is the only way to God.
"...I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." - John 14:6
God has bridged the gap between Himself and man by sending Jesus Christ to die in our place as our substitute.
Jesus defeated sin and death and rose from the grave. Yet, it isn't enough just to know these facts. To become a part of God's team, there must be...
Knowing a lot about a sport and "talking the game" doesn't make you a member of a team. The same is true in becoming a Christian. It takes more than just knowing about Jesus Christ; it requires a total commitment by faith in Him.
...Just knowing the facts.
"You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that - and shudder." - James 2:19
...Just an emotional experience.
Raising your hand or repeating a prayer is not enough.
Turning to God from sin.
"Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret..." - 2 Corinthians 7:10
Receiving Jesus Christ.
Trusting in Christ alone for salvation.
"Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God...." - John 1:12
To make sure we are making the right call, let's look at the...
God is holy and perfect; we are sinners and cannot save ourselves.
who Jesus is and what he's done as our substitute.
by turning to God from sin.
Jesus Christ by faith as Savior and Lord.
to Jesus Christ in Baptism and a life of obedience.
Does God's plan make sense to you?
Are you willing to repent and receive Jesus Christ?
If so, express to God your need for Him.
If you're not sure what to say, consider the "Suggested Prayer of Commitment" below. Remember that God is more concerned with your attitude than with the words you say.
"Lord Jesus, I need you. I realize I'm a sinner and I can't save myself. I need your mercy. I believe that you died on the cross for my sins and rose from the dead. I repent of my sins and put my faith in you as Savior and Lord. Take control of my life and help me to follow you in obedience.
In Jesus' name,
If you just prayed that prayer from your heart, please let me know!
Once you have committed your life to Jesus Christ, it is important for you to...
I am a New Creation in Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 2:20
I have Everything I need for life and godliness.
2 Peter 1:3; Ephesians 1:3
I am His Witness and His Workmanship, created for good works.
Acts 1:8, Ephesians 2:10
I am Loved and accepted completely in Christ.
Ephesians 1:6; Romans 8:39
I am Indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 6:19, 20; 1 John 4:4
I am Forgiven and Free from condemnation.
1 John 1:9; Rom. 8:1-2
I have Eternal Life in Christ.
John 5:24; 1 John 5:11-13
But just knowing your position is not enough.
Daily Die to Self.
"I die every day...in Christ Jesus our Lord." - 1 Corinthians 15:31
Yield complete control of your life to Jesus Christ every day.
"Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." Luke 9:23
Every day, commit yourself to obeying God and His Word.
Daily Bible Reading.
"...they...examined the Scriptures every day...." - Acts 17:11
Spend time every day reading God's Word. (First read through the Gospel of Mark.)
"...give us today our daily bread." - Matthew 6:11
Devote time every day talking to God in prayer.
"...encourage one another daily...." - Hebrews 3:13
Get involved with your local church, and seek regular fellowship with other Christians.
"Day after day...they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ." - Acts 5:42
Witness for Jesus Christ every day through your words and actions.
"Seven times a day I praise you." - Psalm 119:164
Praise God every day for who He is and what He has done. Each morning set aside a few minutes for "Quiet Time." During this time you can talk to God and let Him talk to you through the Bible. There are a lot of good methods that can be used for your Quiet Time.