Section 1 – How do I (or how did I) become a Christian?

In the Bible, you see some people, like the apostle Paul, had a dramatic conversion experience. Paul was very opposed to Christianity and even spoke of continuing to struggle with certain things after he made a decision to follow Jesus. Others, like Timothy, grew up in a believing home and the decision to follow Jesus may not have been so dramatic. Regardless of your background or decision process, the Bible is clear: You can have confidence in your relationship with God. Not only that, God desires you to be confident in it as well. Just as a perfect Father would want his son or daughter to know that He loves them, God desires you to be confident in His love, grace, mercy, and acceptance through what Jesus has done. 

God’s Promises

Salvation does not depend on your feelings or having an emotional experience.  Our faith is in God and his word, not our feelings.  Feelings come and go, but God’s promises are completely trustworthy and never change, because God never changes.  Here is one of those promises to stand on: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

This means that our salvation is entirely based on what Jesus has already done. That’s the gospel* .

Now, you’ve probably already seen that verse above (John 3:16), but most of us haven’t spent the time to think about what it means to us.  Reread the verse and answer the questions below.

•   Are you are part of “the world” that God so loved?

•   Are you one of the whoevers who believed in him?

•   If the answer is yes, then what does God promise you in this verse?

Can you trust God’s promise?  Of course. Our faith is in the trustworthiness of God and his word.

Notice the present tense, you have eternal life now {present tense – you have eternal life} because of something Jesus has done {past tense – gave his life}. This means that you became a Christian based on what Jesus did and not on what you have done or will do in the future. Take that in for a minute… You are a Christian because you have placed your faith in the good news that Jesus died for you and rose from the dead, making a way for you to be reconciled to God solely through His action on your behalf. It was a literal, factual thing that already happened in the past. You cannot change it. If you have placed your trust in Jesus, then you are a Christian!

Now read John 3:16 again and put your name in there. For God so loved _______________.  Be assured: You are saved!

One of Jesus’ followers / disciples, John, wrote to a group of believers to reassure them,

“Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.  I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”  (1 John 5:12-13)

•   John did not say believers can “hope” that they have eternal life?  What word did he use instead?  Why is that significant?

Key Truth: It is possible to know for sure that God loves you right where you are in life and that your salvation is secure. If you believe and trust in Jesus and accept what He’s done for you, then you are saved!

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