Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17
The Creator King has chosen to pardon and reconcile to himself all who repent and swear allegiance to him by putting their faith in Jesus (Mk. 1:15, 8:34-38; 2 Pet. 3:9). Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (Jn. 14:6). “‘The time has come,’ Jesus said. ‘The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!’”(Mk.1:15). The result of faith and repentance is a real relationship with God. “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (Jn. 17:3). Humans are restored to a right relationship with our King and Father through Jesus (1 Pet. 3:18). We begin the process of being renewed into God’s image by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit received at the moment of conversion (Rom. 8:29; 2 Cor. 3:17-18). Acts 2:38 tells us, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Now in Christ, your life is completely made new (2 Cor. 5:17). God gives you a new nature and places his Spirit inside of you. You are now a vital part of his forever family, and begin living your life in the context of his people and purposes. His will and kingdom is now your life and purpose.
Jesus said, “no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again,” (Jn. 3:3).
After you have believed in Jesus’ death, and been born again by the Holy Spirit, you must turn from sin and begin following Jesus as your Lord (King). This is not an option. 1 Jn. 2:6 says, “Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.” Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commands,” (Jn. 14:15). Without being born again by the Spirit, no one can live as Jesus did
or keep his commands.
To demonstrate trust in Jesus, and commitment to him as King, new believers must obey Rom. 10:9, “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord’, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
You do this by telling others, especially those closest to you, that you are a Christ-follower, and publicly proclaiming your faith by obeying Christ’s command to be baptized (Mk. 16:15). God wants all people everywhere to come to the knowledge of the truth, and to return to a relationship of worshipping and serving him (1 Tim. 2:3-5).
The movement of all human history is headed toward the great day when people from all ethnic tribes and languages will stand before him as one people, worshipping and adoring their great Creator and Savior (Rev. 7:9- 12). Rev. 5:9 says, “And they sang a new song, saying: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your
blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.’”
Who are those whom God has pardoned? Only those who choose to enter the kingdom of God, and live under his rule for their lives. This involves at least three things:
1. Trusting Jesus as the only Savior (Jn. 3:16, 18, 36).
2. Receiving the Holy Spirit (Jn. 3:3-6).
3. Repenting from all sins (Mk. 1:15; 8:34-38; Acts 2:38).
Acts 4:12 makes clear that “salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Jesus makes this demand: “Whoever wants to be my disciple, must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it” (Mk. 8:34-35).
“At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when
the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” (Tit. 3:3-7)
God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness,” (2 Tim. 2:19). “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in
Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful
flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (Rom. 8:1-4).
Are you ready to:
Trust Jesus as the only Savior?
Receive the Holy Spirit?
Repent from all your sins?
Live in obedience to your King?
Which of the previous questions makes the least sense to you?
What areas of sin are holding you back from receiving Jesus as King?
Used by permission from Michael Mowry; Chi Alpha Director Central Washington University