New to Christianity

Once you have asked all your questions, weighed all the evidence, and tested all the arguments, you will ultimately be confronted with the basic question Jesus asked in Matthew 16:15: “But who do you say that I am?” One of those who heard Jesus, Simon Peter, replied: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

What is your reply?

If you have come to the same conclusion as Simon Peter, you are a few steps away from having a personal relationship with our loving God. It is our sincere hope and prayer that each of you reaches this conclusion, for we really do believe that true happiness, joy and peace only come when we recognize our purpose for existing and yield our lives and wills to our Creator. As you will see, Christianity is not based on a religious building, formula or ritual, it’s a matter of a person relationship with Christ.

First, you can be sure that God loves you unconditionally and desires to have a personal relationship with you.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

Second, you need to admit your sinful nature to God, because this is what separates all of us from Him.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

Third, you should stop trying to please God through your own efforts, and realize that salvation through the death of Jesus Christ is a gift that none of us deserves, but all of us need and can receive.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Finally, you just need to decide and truly accept God’s gift of new life in Jesus Christ.

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name (John 1:12).

So, now you know the basic steps to becoming a Christian. If you desire God’s gift of eternal life and fellowship with Him, you are as close as a sincere act of faith.

Jesus says:

I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me (John 14:6).

Jesus also says,

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me (Revelation 3:20).

Receiving Jesus is a matter of truly asking Him to come into your life, to forgive your sins, and to become the focus of your life and the directing force in your life. It’s not merely an intellectual undertaking, but rather, an act of deciding and trusting, of entering into a relationship with Jesus.

If you want to receive Jesus now, and accept His gift of salvation, it’s a matter of saying yes to Jesus’ invitation to follow him and learn from him, repenting of your sins, and turning the rest of your life over to Him. This is not a ritual based on specific words, but rather, a prayerful guideline for your sincere step of faith.

Father, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that your son, Jesus Christ died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey You, and to do Your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38).

If you decided to become a Christian today, welcome to God’s family!

Now, as a way to grow closer to Him, the Bible tells us to follow up on our commitment.

  • Get baptized as a testimony to your faith in Christ and decision to follow him.
  • Tell someone else about your new faith in Christ.
  • Spend time with God each day. It does not have to be a long period of time. Just develop the daily habit of praying to Him and reading His Word. Ask God to increase your faith and your understanding of the Bible.
  • Seek fellowship with other Christians. Develop a group of Christian friends to answer your questions and support you.
  • Find a local church where you can worship God. We’d love to have you at VCBC.

Tell a pastor about your decision to accept Christ!

Assurance of Salvation: Is It Possible?

Salvation is the experience of being reconciled to God; of having our sins forgiven because of God’s grace shown to us in the death of Christ; and because we have been reconciled to God, brought into God’s family through our faith in Christ and commitment to follow him, we are to grow more and more like Christ in thought, character and action.

Yet, sometimes Christians doubt the guarantee of their new relationship with God. They need reassurance and assurance of salvation is possible. Consider 1 John 5:11-13: “And this is what God has testified:

He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. So whoever has God’s Son has life; whoever does not have his Son does not have life. I write this to you who believe in the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life” (NLT). God wants us to know we have eternal life through Christ. These verses make it clear that those who have believed in Jesus Christ and accepted Him as their personal savior have eternal life. Eternal life is just that – eternal, everlasting. This the objective assurance – based on God’s word and promise.

There is also the subjective/personal assurance given to us through God’s Spirit:

“It is the very Spirit of God bearing witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.” Romans 8:16.

And nothing can separate a child of God from their relationship with God.

Romans 8:38-39 says,

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Assurance of Salvation: Why Do I Doubt?

Many Christians have questioned the assurance of salvation. They may be going through a time of emotional unsteadiness. Perhaps they have allowed doubt to creep in or are being led by their emotions. They may be going through a time of spiritual dryness and they might not be experiencing joy in their spiritual walk. Living in sin may also be the cause and Satan may be trying to deceive them into thinking they aren’t good enough to receive God’s forgiveness and eternal reward.

Be assured that many struggle with one or all of these from time to time. Consider these helpful suggestions:

  • Ask the Lord to reveal unconfessed sin. Then follow through by repenting.
  • Read your Bible daily. Study specific verses about salvation.
  • Pray regularly. Talk to God and ask that He help you.
  • Trust the Lord. Remember He loves you greatly.
  • Offer praise and thanksgiving to God. Do not let feelings rob you of your joy.

Assurance of Salvation: Understanding the Biblical Support

Jesus tells us personally that He gives us eternal life and nothing can take that away:

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one” (John 10: 27-30).

Salvation is a gift of grace and God doesn’t take back his gifts which are received.

Ephesians 2:8 says,

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.”

Romans 10:13 also says,

Let us also be secure in knowing that “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Having this knowledge gives us hope. We can know Christ will claim us as His for all time.

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4: 16-17)

If you are struggling with questions of doubt, you can pray a prayer similar to this:

“Dear God, I’m not sure if I am Your child. I believe that you sent Your Son Jesus to earth to die for my sins. I believe that He rose from the dead and is offering me eternal life. I accept Him as my Savior. Thank You for forgiving me and giving me eternal life with You. Help me to have assurance that You have answered my prayer. In Jesus’ name, amen.”