When someone humbly and sincerely trusts Christ as Saviour, remarkable things begin to take place immediately.
Lives are radically changed forever. We are aware of some of these changes because they are visible. But some we are not aware of because they are invisible. There are two sides to this exciting story that we see on the outside and that God knows about what has happened on the inside. I invite you to read on, as we investigate that which happens outwardly and then inwardly.
First, let’s look at that which happens on the outside.
When we come to Christ, there is a sense of relief and peace because He has forgiven every sin, past, present, and future. Paul affirmed this when he was inspired to write in Ephesians, that in Christ, “we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” There is a new interest in the Bible. Peter wrote of this as desiring “the pure milk of the Word” that we “may grow thereby.” There is a desire to be with other Christians since we are brothers and sisters with similar interests.
It is not long before we are drawn to the Lord in prayer to thank Him and to ask for strength and help. We also notice a gradual difference in our lifestyle. We change how we think, how we see things and the way we act. This is because something new and real has happened inside of us. Paul explained, “If anyone is in Christ, he (or she) is a new creation, old things have passed away, behold all things have become new.”
We develop a strong desire for godly living and a love for people. When this happens, others notice, as in the case of the early disciples. People “…took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus.”
However, as we observe these outward positive changes in our lives, God knows what is happening on the inside. We have become a part of His family. John stated clearly, “…as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God, to those who believe in His name.”
A soon as we receive Christ as our personal Saviour our names are written in what the Bible calls “the lamb’s book of life.” This confirms that we are Christians, part of the great family of God. We are saved, born again, converted. We are “sinners saved by grace.”
When a person comes to Christ, it is natural to wonder if this relationship with God will last. The answer is yes, it will last forever. Ephesians speaks of the Holy Spirit by whom we are “sealed for the day of redemption.” In John’s gospel, God promises, “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.”
But perhaps the best news of all about this inside story is that if we have invited Christ into our lives when we come to the end of our days here on earth, we will be welcomed into heaven. We will be, as the Bible says, “absent from the body and present with the Lord.”
However, if we are not believers, we should be asking, “How can I become a Christian?” The answer is clearly stated in God’s Word. First, by honestly acknowledging my true spiritual condition. God tells us, “There is none righteous, no not one.” Second, by admitting that I cannot make myself into a Christian. The Bible reveals that it is “not by works of righteousness that we have done, but according to His mercy He saves us.” Jesus wrote, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Third by honestly crying out to God. One Bible passage says, “Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near.”
Then, when these three steps have been taken, we are ready to invite Christ into our lives. Paul was inspired to write, “Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” A simple prayer could be, "God be merciful to me, a sinner, and save me for Jesus' sake.
Alex Rockwell is the host of “Just a Minute”, an inspirational thought for the day heard on CFCY Charlottetown (95.1) weekdays at 12:30 p.m., on CIOG (91.3) Charlottetown weekdays at 8:05 a.m. and 5:05 p.m., on internet radio station HopeStreamRadio and on several other Maritime radio stations. His website is toolsforhope.com A guest sermon runs regularly in Saturday’s Guardian and is provided through Christian Communications.