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The most important spiritual step a person can take is to turn from his sins and commit his life to Jesus Christ. It’s sometimes called being “saved” or “born again,”and it’s often mistaken as being just a prayer that a person prays.
From Scripture, we see that being saved is much more than a prayer. Though it begins with a prayer of commitment, salvation involves the entire direction of your life. It’s a lifelong commitment to follow Jesus and to put His priorities above your own. Salvation happens when a person turns away from their sins and steps out in faith trusting that Jesus is the Son of God and that He alone can pay the penalty for his or her sins.
The life of Jesus is recorded in the Bible. It tells us that Jesus loves humanity so much that He chose to leave heaven to come to this world two thousand years ago to offer Himself as a sacrifice for all people. When He claimed to be God, people thought He was lying, and they had Him beaten and killed by hanging Him on a wooden cross. But death could not contain Jesus. After three days, God literally, physically raised Him from the dead to demonstrate that what Jesus said was true.
The Bible is clear that until a person commits his or her life to Jesus, they are cut off from God because of their sins. However, if a person gives their life to Jesus, they spiritually become a new creation and are no longer under the penalty of sin.
Being saved is different from being “a good person” or just better than other people you know. Instead, salvation is about realizing that without God, we are enslaved by our sins. We each need Jesus to save us.
Jesus Himself taught that a person must make a thoughtful and deliberate decision about whether or not to follow Him. He told people to count the cost. If you give your life to God, it will cost you everything you are… and in return, He will give you joy, peace, and love.
When a person is saved, a spiritual transaction takes place. God takes your old and broken life and replaces it with the righteousness of Jesus. When that happens, a person becomes a child of God.