Brothers, listen! In this man Jesus there is forgiveness for your sins. Everyone who believes in him is freed from all guilt and declared right with God-something the Jewish law could never do.
Acts 13:38-39 (NLT)

A couple of weeks ago, I received a comment to a blog that mentioned my husband Phil’s heart attack. The writer said that they were confident my husband was saved but how could they know that they were saved. In the hectic time of Phil’s initial recovery, I never responded, then I accidentally erased the comment. To the writer of the comment – I sincerely apologize. I have been thinking about you a lot and I pray that you are still reading Apprehending Grace and find this response.

There are many ways to know that you are saved, but there is only one way to be saved, and that way is through knowing and following Jesus. Acts 13:38-39 tells us that it is in Jesus that we can find forgiveness for our sins and when we believe in Him, we are from all the guilt associated with that sin and declared right with God. Now that seems like a mouthful. Let me unwrap it.

What’s it Really Mean?
God is a holy God – totally righteous, good and loving. When we sin, we create a separation between this holy, righteous, perfect God and ourselves.

Think about it – when you do something against another person, don’t you feel the wall that develops between you? It’s the same with God. To break that wall down, Jesus said “I’ll be the middle-man.” I’ll sacrifice myself so that you can continue to have a relationship with God. All you have to do is believe in me and trust what I’ve done as being enough – all that is required – for you to be forgiven by God. And once you’re forgiven, you can begin a tremendous relationship with Him.

Now there was a key word there – believe. In the language that the Bible was written in, “believe” means more than just have a mental agreement with something. No, when we truly believe something, it means that we live accordingly. For example, if we believe that an airplane has the capability to fly and we want to travel a long distance, we’ll get on board, relax and enjoy the flight. If we don’t believe it, we’ll drive. One way depends on others to get us there, the other depends on ourselves. So believing in Jesus doesn’t mean you agree that He lived and died a couple thousand years ago. It means that you trust that He will forgive you of your sins and open the way to a relationship with God and that you depend on Him to do so.

How do you do that? It’s really very simple – you just tell Him so. Yes, if you’ve never prayed before, you may feel foolish at first – it may seem like you’re talking to the air. That’s OK. Scripture says:

But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things-and the things that are not –to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.
1 Corinthians 1:27-29 (NIV)

In God’s world, there is no boasting of how good we are…because the truth is that we are not good. We have all rebelled in one way or another, and that rebellion is called sin. We all need someone to save us from our sins. That someone is Jesus. All we have to do is wholeheartedly agree with Him that we have sinned, ask Him to save us, then begin to live our live as He directs us to live it.

And doing so, we can know that we have eternal life – that we are saved. How can we know? The same document that explains all of this to us – the Bible – also says that the things were written so that those who believe in Jesus “may know that you have eternal life.” (1 John 5:13)

More on the Subject
Still confused? Trying reading these two posts:

“The Gift of Life”
“How Very Much We’re Loved by God”

More questions? Please comment on this blog or send me an e-mail. My hubby is recovering and life is returning to normal – I’ll try to respond a bit quicker this time!

If you’ve made this decision for the first time, please e-mail me at sandy@ApprehendingGrace.com. I’ll help you get off to a good start in your new life with Christ.

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