The basic tenet of Christianity is that Man, separated from God by the original disobedience of the first humans, can be reconciled to God and saved from just punishment by accepting the gift given by Christ through His death and resurrection. The gift is available to all people, regardless of their individual sins or shortcomings. It is freely given as expression of God’s grace and mercy, generated by His intense love for those He created.
Step One: Acknowledge Sin
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23
Every person – no matter how moral or immoral – is imperfect. Because God is entirely perfect, our imperfections separate us from Him. Because God is entirely just, this separation must be maintained while the stains of our imperfection remain. Those imperfections which separate us from God are called sin. The first step to eternal life is to acknowledge your own sinful nature.
Step Two: Understand the Penalty
“For the wages of sin is death.” Romans 6:23
God is eternal, unchanging, and completely just. Total justice demands punishment for those who break the laws of God, and His eternal nature makes the duration of that punishment also eternal. The term death in Romans 6:23 refers to eternal spiritual death, endless separation from God, that is the just punishment for sin.
Step Three: Acknowledge Love
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16
God did not create people in order to be separated from them and subject them to punishment. Because of His great love for us, he has provided a way to purge sin and restore His intended relationship with us. This verse, the most quoted passage of the entire Bible, indicates the depth of God’s love for us.
Step Four: Understand the Gift
“While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
Not only has God offered His only Son as the sacrifice that covers our sin, He knew even before we were born that we would need the gift. No one is too sinful to be saved – the gift was given for all. The sacrifice of Christ cancels the penalties of sin for every person who chooses to receive it. A gift is free – the only requirement is that it is accepted.
Step Five: Accept the Gift
“But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God.” John 1:12
You can become a part of the eternal family of God by simply accepting the gift that Christ has already given. The life, death and resurrection of Jesus establish the means by which the sinful nature of people can be reconciled with the perfect nature of God. Because Jesus, as both Son of God and Son of Man, paid the penalty through His sacrifice, we can enter into the presence of God without punishment. Accepting the gift will begin your personal relationship with God, a relationship deeper than any earthly family can provide.