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1. Acknowledge that you are a sinner.
A brief reading of the Bible makes it clear that all of us have sinned against God in a variety of ways. The Bible summarizes mankind's condition with these words, "There is none righteous, no not one....all have sinned" (Romans 3:10, 23). John the apostle said, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves" (1 John 1:8). The first step to experience God's forgiveness and have your relationship restored with Him is to acknowledge (or confess) your sinfulness to Him. Click here on our "Good Person Test" (or here for Spanish edition) if you believe you are basically a "good person" who is not desperately in need of God's forgiveness.
2. Believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for you sins.
Jesus paid the penalty for your sins. When He hung there on that cruel Roman cross, He was hanging there taking the punishment that you deserved for your sins. He was absorbing the judgment you deserved so that you could be forgiven. And He did that freely out of His great love for you. He rose from the grave three days later, appeared for forty days giving evidence to hundreds of people that He was alive, then ascended victoriously up into heaven (Acts 1). Today, He offers all who will put their faith in Him, forgiveness of sins and eternal life. The Bible says, "If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved" (Romans 10:9). Jesus said, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). Do you believe? Genuine faith in Jesus will result in something the Bible calls repentance (step 3).
3. Change direction. Turn away from your sinful way of life to follow Jesus.
The Bible says, "God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent [repent means to change direction, i.e., turn away from your sins], because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness" (Acts 17:30-31). If you are willing to repent, God will not only save you from eternity in Hell and set you on a path to Heaven, He will begin to change you and help you live a life that is pleasing to Him.
So what will it be? Do you want to know God? Do you want to experience the kind of life He designed for you to live? Do you want to have your sins forgiven? Do you want to spend eternity with God when you die? You can have your sins forgiven right now and begin experiencing a relationship with God today. Pray something like this:
"God, I confess that I am a sinner. I realize that I need Your forgiveness. I believe that You, Jesus, paid the price for my sins on the cross. I believe that You rose again from the dead and want to have a relationship with me. Thank You. Come into my life. Forgive me of all my sins. Be my Lord, be my God. I want to turn away from my sins and begin to follow You. Help me to do that. Change me. Empower me with Your Holy Spirit to live my life for You. Amen."
If you prayed that prayer with a sincere heart, you have begun a relationship with Jesus Christ, and God has forgiven you of your sins.
We encourage you to...
A. Begin reading through the New Testament.
The Old Testament will make more sense after you've become familiar with the New. (If you have questions about the trustworthiness of the Bible click here).
B. Begin praying.
Simply put, talk to God. He loves you and wants to have a relationship with you.
C. Begin going to a church that teaches through the Bible and where the people love to worship the Lord. If they have a new believer's class, sign up to attend.
D. Make friends with other believers who can encourage you and be a blessing to you in your new relationship with Jesus. If you have a friend or a family member who is a Christian, call them and let them know of the decision you have made.