THE GOSPEL

THE GOOD NEWS OF JESUS CHRIST

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ - by grace you have been saved.

EPHESIANS 2:4-5

BEGINNING YOUR CHRISTIAN LIFE

Repent | Make a choice to think differently about Jesus and live for Him.

The word “repent” is not often used today. Repentance means changing what you think about Jesus, and apologizing for ignoring Him, belittling Him, excluding Him, and not trusting Him. It is a radical change in perspective. Repentance involves your heart being miraculously renewed so that you now love and value Jesus above everything else and are satisfied in Him. Repentance includes turning from your sins. However, Christianity is not primarily external behavior, but an internal conversion. The outer works flow from the inner work.


Repentance means reorienting your life around Jesus, and asking Him to rescue you and to be in charge from now on. It means changing from a life that is all about you, to a life that is all about Jesus. Repentance is such a simple concept, yet it does demand that your whole life change direction. You stop going your own way, and turn around; you convert.


Count the Cost

You must count the cost of such a decision. But the choice is between living your own way forever, apart from God and under His judgment, or following Jesus and enjoying His presence. Jesus warned us often that hell is a real place (e.g. Matthew 10:28). Why would anyone want to end up there? Sometimes repentance can be accompanied by strong emotions, but the key element is a sober decision to start on a lifetime of following Jesus:


For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. 2 Corinthians 7:10


Believe

In some of the other messages recorded in Acts, hearers are urged to “believe” in place of the word “repent” (see Acts 15:7 and Acts 16:31). While repentance is about more than just agreeing with certain truths, it does begin with what we must believe:


If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9


According to this verse there are three components to the decision to believe in and trust Jesus, which is at the heart of repentance:

a. “Confess with your mouth” Tell someone you want to become a Christian.

b. “Jesus is Lord” Choose to worship Jesus as God and follow Him as your Lord. Admit that you have sinned against Him. Ask Him to forgive you.

c. “Believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead” Thank Jesus for dying for you and rising from the dead for you.


A Free Gift

Becoming a Christian is neither learned nor earned. It is a free gift from God. This is the simple gospel message. Don’t let anyone tell you it is more complicated than this:


Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Romans 10:13


If you are ready to become a Christian right now, pray to Jesus: Thank Jesus for dying for you on the cross. Tell Him you believe in His resurrection. Talk to Jesus about your past, the good and the bad. Repent of your sins by asking Him for forgiveness. Acknowledge Jesus as Lord of your life and tell Him that you will worship Him. Invite Him to take control of your life and live in you. Tell Jesus that you will now follow Him for the rest of your life.


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*Adapted from the book Hope Reborn: How To Become A Christian And Live For Jesus by Tope Koleoso & Adrian Warnock.