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Scenic Park Bible Church
7145 Madelynne Drive
Anchorage, Alaska  99504
Phone: 333-1414
Contact Via Email

How to Become a Christian
WHAT IS SALVATION?  


Why do I need to be saved?    God leaves no doubt about our condition. We set our standards of right and wrong by society´s values. God's standard for us is His own holiness. How do we measure up? "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). It's only fair that God demands holiness; that´s how He first created mankind. We have rebelled against Him as a race and as individuals.

Our pathway away from God has brought its consequences. "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23a). The Bible compares sin to a cruel slave master. There is no mercy in suffering, no freedom from bondage, no lasting joy, no hope for the future. But most frightening is the final consequence of sin. The Bible warns that without God's salvation, death is the doorway to eternal punishment (Hebrews 9:27).

It is from this that we need to be saved. From our own sin. From its bondage. From its consequences. "How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?" (Hebrews 2:3).

How does God say I can be saved?    God is holy and God is love. His holiness demands that our sin be punished infinitely. His love provides a way for us to be saved from this punishment. How is this possible? Another was willing to suffer what we deserve. Our substitute had to be a sinless man, able to suffer the infinite anger of God against our sin. The only one able to take our place was God's only Son.

The greatest display of God's love unfolded as His Son left heaven to become a man. Born of a virgin 2000 years ago, Jesus Christ lived with His creation. He never sinned. He showed compassion to sinners all around Him. However, men hated Him because His holiness revealed their sinfulness. He willingly allowed them to nail Him to a cross of wood outside Jerusalem. They suspended Him so they could sit and watch Him die. The climax of God's plan of salvation had arrived as God covered the earth with darkness. The Bible tells us that for three hours He laid on His Son the infinite punishment we deserve for our sin. The darkness was broken when Jesus Christ called out with a loud voice "It is finished". He had accomplished the mighty work, God's great plan of salvation.

After three days in death, Christ Jesus rose from the dead. This is evidence to all that saw Him afterwards and to all who read God's word that Christ's suffering completely satisfied His father. He was victorious over death itself...the ultimate consequence of our sin.

God's plan of salvation places us "in Christ". Into His righteousness, His suffering, His death, and His victory. We are saved when we "repent" (change our mind about sin and seek God's help in living a life of integrity) ask for God's forgiveness, and accept what Christ Jesus has done as being fully sufficient to forgive our sin and make us forever acceptable to God.

...the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel (Mark 1:15).
And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son (1 John 5:1).
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12)
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If you just made a decision to believe the gospel and ask Christ to be your Saviour, please take a moment to let us know who you are. We will send you a free book entitled ULTIMATE QUESTIONS and a copy of the New Testament. There is no obligation and we will not contact you again. Click here to send us an email.

WHAT DO I DO AFTER I HAVE PLACED MY FAITH IN CHRIST?



Find and attend a good local church.    Of all the decisions we make following salvation, this is perhaps the most significant. You are joining with other Christians to worship God and to be a testimony of His grace in your community.

How should you decide which believers to join?    Each person who accepts Christ as Saviour becomes a part of "the church which is His body" (1 Corinthians 12:12-27) of which Christ is the Head. However, the New Testament also describes the features of a "local church." Just as the "body of Christ" is made up of believers, the "local church" is not a building, but a gathering of Christians in fellowship together. The following are some of the principles found in the New Testament that should characterize such an assembly of believers.
  1. Their only guidebook is the Bible, and they seek to understand and follow it in every matter. 
    "I have given unto them the words which thou gavest Me; and they have received them..." (John 17:8).   "And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine..." (Acts 2:42).   All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

     
  2. Christ is Head, and they gather to His name   "...and gave Him (Christ) to be head over all things to the church," (Ephesians 1:22)   "But Christ as a son over His own house; whose house are we..." (Hebrews 3:6)   "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them" (Matthew 18:20).
  3. Believers' baptism and the Lord's Supper are among the scriptural practices of the assembly.    "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized, and the same day there were added unto them..." (Acts 2:41).   And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me (1 Corinthians 11:24).
  4. There are several elders that care for the assembly. They, with the assembly, are responsible directly to God.    "The elders which are among you I exhort...feed the flock of God..." (I Peter 5:1-4).    Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you (Hebrews 13:17).

This is just a brief overview of some characteristics to look for in a "local church." If you are seeking God's will as far as where to gather, this has hopefully been encouragement for you to continue searching the scriptures. There is a God given pattern, and no gathering on earth compares to an assembly of believers meeting in this way with the Lord "in the midst" (Matthew 18:20).

Share with others what you have done.   Once God has saved us, it becomes our great privilege and responsibility to "bring glad tidings of good things" (Romans 10:15) to others who don't know our Saviour.

The world is full of individuals searching for real peace: they are in our families, live next door, and work beside us. They have discovered that sin never brings lasting satisfaction, yet they don't know where to turn. We want nothing more than for them to know Jesus Christ, but "how shall they believe in Him of Whom they have not heard?" (Romans 10:14).

Speaking a little word about Christ to one who is lost doesn't require years of Bible study. Anyone who has been saved can tell of their Saviour. Tell others about how God showed you your need. Explain how the Spirit of God revealed the Lord Jesus to you. Recount the moment when you trusted Him. Give witness to the new life you have in Jesus Christ.

What a comfort to know that "it is the Spirit that makes alive." (John 6:63). We depend on the Spirit of God for wisdom to speak and leave it with Him to bless in His time.

Pray on a regular basis. We read that the early Christians "continued steadfastly in prayers" (Acts 2:42).

Pray for a specific individual. Perhaps a person you know well, or even someone you have just met today. We know so many who still need God´s salvation. Pray earnestly for their soul, that God will deal with them as he has with us. We probably little realize how many prayed for us.

Pray for a missionary or evangelist. Many men and women have left family and friends behind to go forth and preach the message of God´s salvation. They need our prayers as they face difficulties we may never experience. Pray regularly for them by name, asking God to meet their specific needs.

Pray for an area of need. It may be a country far away, or a little town nearby. Remember the multitudes in need, many of whom don´t have the privilege of hearing the gospel message preached. Ask God to raise up those to go among them and present Christ as Saviour.

Pray for a specific work. If you were saved in a local church, pray for its ministry and its leaders. It may be that your first encounter with the gospel was someone preaching or handing out papers on a street corner. Ask God´s continued blessing of that work. Pray that the many Bibles and New Testaments handed out will be read and used of God. Remember the texts and pamphlets given door to door. Seek God´s blessing for the gospel being presented on the Internet.

Read the Bible on a regular basis.    All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
We suggest you begin with the Gospel of John in the New Testament.

Be baptised.    "Then they that gladly received His Word were baptized" (Acts 2:41).

In the New Testament, as you read from the book of Acts on, you can´t help but see a definite pattern. Once a person has received Christ as Saviour, they are soon baptized. This follows from the command given by our Lord Jesus to His disciples: "go ye therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things..." (Matthew 28:19).

For your interest, you may want to look at the following passages that tell of baptism. You will notice in all of these that the individuals first trust Christ as Saviour and then are baptized.
1. Men and women in Acts 8:12-13.
2. The eunuch from Ethiopia in Acts 8:27-39.
3. Saul who became the apostle Paul in Acts 9:18.
4. Cornelius' household and friends in Acts 10:47-48.
5. Lydia and her household in Acts 16:15.
6. The prison guard in Acts 16:23-33.
7. The chief ruler of the synagogue in Acts 18:8.

The word "baptism" literally means "to immerse." Why is it God's will for believers to be immersed in water, then brought out again? To understand this we look at the significance God´s word places on this act. "Know ye not that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:3-4).

For a believer, baptism is identification with Christ. He died, was buried, and rose again the third day. In baptism the believer is lowered under the water and brought back up again. It´s a public display of their association with the work of Christ: his death, burial and resurrection. Coming out of the water, we are stating publicly that when we were saved, we received new life in Christ. After our baptism, we look back on it as reminder to us of the "newness of life" that should characterize a child of God.

If you´re saved but not baptized in the way Scripture describes, we hope the Bible passages we´ve referred to will encourage you. It´s an important step of obedience to God´s will for the believer´s life.


 


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