How can you know Jesus?
To know Him is to have relationship with Him. Sometimes we talk about ‘becoming a Christian’, getting ‘saved’ or ‘born again’. All of these simply mean starting a relationship with Jesus. Let’s look at how you can do that. Here are six verses from the Bible you need to understand.
All have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard. (Romans 3:23)
God has a standard by which we must live, and failing to live up to this standard is sin. God is perfect and His standard is perfection. None of us can attain this therefore we all have sinned.
The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
We have all sinned so we all deserve the punishment for sin; where there is a crime there must be punishment. God’s system has one punishment for sin: death.
And just as it is destined that each person dies only once and after that comes judgment… (Hebrews 9:27)
We get one chance at life; the decisions we make on earth have eternal consequences. Once we die, we are judged on what we have done with our lives. The only thing that will save us from being condemned is a relationship with Jesus.
God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
The good news is that Jesus came to take the punishment for our sin. He lived a perfect life, which is something we will never do. He couldn’t be punished for His own sin because He didn’t have any. His punishment was entirely for us.
If we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. (1 John 1:9)
Just because Jesus died doesn’t mean all of this happens automatically. We have to recognize what He has done for us and ask Him to forgive us for our sin. When we do this, He will forgive us and we will be made clean in God’s sight.
Those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life. (John 5:24)
If we respond to the message of what God has done, through Jesus, we will have new life. This new life will go on forever, it is eternal. We have left our sin, and all the death that goes with it, for an amazing new life in God.
I’d like to become a Christian, what do I do?
When the Apostle Peter was asked this question he said ‘you must turn from your sins and turn to God, and be baptised in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’ (Acts 2:38)
You must turn from your sins
God is perfect and we can only have a relationship with God if we are like Him. We must recognise that we have sinned and that we can never match up to God’s standard on our own. Sin deserves punishment and we are sinners; our sin separates us from God. There is nothing we can do to make ourselves acceptable; we need God to save us. This means completely turning away from the lifestyle we have been living and turning to God. The Bible calls this repentance. Before we are Christians we do what we want, we rule our own lives. When we become Christians we surrender this position to Jesus. He becomes the person who sets the direction of our lives. So we become like Him: that’s what it means to be Christian or Christ-like. Obviously our lifestyle will change but it’s not about a set of religious do’s and don’ts: it’s about a change of heart. If we can understand that repentance is turning away from what we have been doing and giving God control of our lives, everything else will follow.
And turn to God
We believe or put our faith in Him. And not just in Him but in what He has done for us. God sent Jesus to earth to die, taking the punishment for our sins. He raised Him from the dead so that we could have eternal life in relationship with God. That’s heaven. But He also has made everything we need available to us to fulfil the mission He has for us on earth. When we turn to God He becomes the centre, the focus, of our lives. That means everything else has to take second place to God and doing what He wants.
Be Baptised in the name of Jesus
John the Baptist was a contemporary of Jesus. He started preaching before Jesus did. Out in the desert He preached about repentance and baptised people as a sign of their repentance. Jesus was baptised by John and the Bible teaches that we should be baptised too. This can happen as soon as we’ve become a Christian, and wherever we are. Phillip baptised a man in a river at a roadside. Paul baptised a jailor, and his family, in his house. In both cases the Bible implies they where baptised within hours of becoming Christians. Many churches today have a structure or system in the way they baptise people and we should respect that. But we mustn’t lose sight of what the early church was doing. They were baptising, or immersing, people in water as a sign of their repentance. They were going right under the water as a symbol of dying with Christ, dying to their old life, and coming up again, rising with Him into a new life.
Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit
After Jesus’ baptism we read that the heavens opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus. This happened before Jesus started any of work that He’d come to do. If He needed to have the Holy Spirit to help Him fulfil God’s will then how much more do we need to? The Holy Spirit is given as a gift to anyone who asks. Jesus described Him as the comforter or helper. He also said we will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon us: power to be His witnesses. Trying to live a Christian life without the power of the Holy Spirit is like trying to use a power tool without the power. The hardware may look right, but it’ll never get the job done the way it was intended unless it is used in the way it was designed. We need to switch the power on and let God’s Spirit empower us to fulfil the mission He has given us.
Nobody can pray for you to become a Christian; you have to do that for yourself. But how?
Pray out loud. Repentance is not something you can think; you need to say something. Praying out loud will remove any doubt from your mind about whether you have really prayed or not.
Repent and ask God to forgive you. You may not feel you have much to repent of; you may feel you have loads. Write down everything you are repenting of. Then pray and turn away from these things. Thank God for His forgiveness.
Ask Jesus to come into your life as Saviour (from sin, death and hell) and Lord (your boss). You are putting your life into God’s control and saying that from that moment you will follow and serve Jesus.
Thank God for what Jesus has done for you.
Now go and tell someone what you have done!
Find a church where you can be baptised – in water and in the Holy Spirit. Meeting with other Christians will help you know Jesus better.
If you have prayed this prayer today, we would love to hear from you! Send us an email using the link below and we can talk to you more about what it means to know Jesus.