Steps to salvation
Steven P. Wickstrom
all Scriptures quoted from the NIV

Step 1: God's Purpose: Peace and Life.

God loves you and wants you to experience peace and life - abundant and eternal. It is his desire that we spend eternity with Him. But there is a catch; there is only one way to heaven, and that is through Jesus.

The Bible says …

“We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” - Romans 5:1 (NIV)

“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 (NIV)

“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” - John 10:10 (NIV)

So why is it that most people do not have this peace and abundant life that God planned for us to have? It is because people have a problem that they do not even realize that they have.

Step 2: The Problem: Our separation from God.

God created us in His own image to have an abundant life. He did not make us as robots to automatically love and obey Him. He could have done that, but HE did not. Instead, God gave us a will and a freedom of choice. We chose to disobey God and go our own willful way. Sin is doing anything that is against the will and instruction of God, as found in the Bible. We still make this choice today. This choice results in separation from God.

The Bible says …

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

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” - Romans 6:23 (NIV)

Our Attempts to Reach God

People have tried in many ways to bridge this gap between themselves and God, but it never works …

The Bible says …

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” - Proverbs 14:12 (NIV)

”But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” - Isaiah 59:2 (NIV)

There is no bridge that reaches God … except one.

Step 3: God's Bridge: The Cross

Jesus Christ died on the Cross and then rose from the grave. He paid the penalty for our sin and bridged the gap between God and people. He took our sins upon himself and died in our place.

The Bible says …

“For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ.” - 1 Timothy 2:5 (NIV)

“For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.” - 1 Peter 3:18 (NIV)

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” - Romans 5:8 (NIV)

God has provided the only way. Each person must make a choice. You must choose God's way. No other way will lead to God.

Step 4: Our Response: Receive Jesus Christ

We must trust that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior and receive Him by personal invitation. Receiving Christ involves turning to God from self (repentance) and trusting Christ to come into our lives to forgive our sins. God will then begin to transform our lives to what He wants us to be. It is not enough to just to agree intellectually that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died on the cross for your sins. Nor is it enough to have an emotional experience. You receive Jesus Christ by faith, as an act of the will.

The Bible says …

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” - Revelation 3:20 (NIV)

“Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” - John 1:12 (NIV)

“That 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.” - Romans 10:9 (NIV)

Do you want to be saved from your sin?

Will you receive Jesus Christ right now? Jesus is calling out and reaching out to you. He will come and live in you if you will let Him. Here is how you can receive Christ:

  1. Admit your need (I am a sinner).
  2. Be willing to turn from your sins (repent).
  3. Believe that Jesus Christ died for you on the Cross and rose from the grave.
  4. Through prayer, invite Jesus Christ to come in and control your life through the Holy Spirit. (Receive Him as Lord and Savior.)
How to pray:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and need Your forgiveness. I believe that You died for my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I now invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as Lord and Savior. In Jesus' name. Amen.

God's Assurance: His Word

If you have prayed this simple prayer of salvation, you are now a Christian. Jesus now lives in you and is your Lord and Savior.

The Bible says …

“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” - Romans 10:13 (NIV)

Did you sincerely ask Jesus Christ to come into your life? Do you know where Jesus is right now? Do you know what Jesus has given you?

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast." - Ephesians 2:8,9 (NIV)

By receiving Jesus Christ, we are born into God's family through the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit who indwells every believer. This is called regeneration, or the "new birth." Regeneration is a rebirth which brings in a new life. To be regenerated, to be born again, does not mean to adjust or correct ourselves. It means to have the life of God, just as to be born of our parents means to have the life of our parents.

This is just the beginning of a wonderful new life in Christ. To deepen this relationship you should:
  1. Get baptized.*
  2. Read your Bible everyday to know Christ better.
  3. Talk to God in prayer every day.
  4. Tell others about Jesus Christ.
  5. Worship, fellowship, and serve with other Christians in a church where Christ is preached.
  6. As Christ's representative in a needy world, demonstrate your new life by your love and concern for others.
Even if you decided not to become a Christian, God still loves you! But He will not save you from your sin unless you believe in His Son Jesus! Believe it or not, God desperately wants you to get saved. He's proven His love for you, no matter what you've done, by giving His Son Jesus to save you. Even now, God is convicting you of your sin. Won't you please listen to the voice of God calling to you? Won't you accept His salvation and His eternal love? There is no other hope! There is no other way to heaven. Do not put this off … none of us are guaranteed that we will be alive tomorrow. When we are dead, it is too late to decide. Please decide today to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior.

* Baptism is a public declaration of a person's identification with Christ which uses water to symbolize your identification with his death, burial, and resurrection.

If you prayed the prayer of salvation after reading this page, please e-mail me so I can know about it.
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This article on salvation has been adapted from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and is used with their permission.