A. That we accept the fact that we are sinners in need of a Savior. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Adam’s sin ruined the divine image of God in man ( Romans 5:12), and ever since man’s fall, all of Adam’s descendants have continued to fall short of the image and glory of God. The breaking of God’s law is sin (1 John 3:4) and God gave His law so we would know what sin is and what to repent of (Romans 3:20, 7:7).
B. That we make a firm choice to turn from, or repent, of all sin. “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19). Conversion is the basis of a genuine Christian experience. It is distinguished from the new birth (John 3:3, 5) only in that it may be considered as the act of man in turning away from his old life of sin, while the new birth, or regeneration, is the work of the Holy Spirit acting upon man simultaneously with his turning. Neither phase of the experience can be a reality without the Holy Spirit. But the Holy Spirit cannot do His work until a man is willing to let God take hold of his life (Rev. 3:20).
C. That we trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation, and not in ourselves in any way. “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me” (John 15:4). “The carnal mind … is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Rom. 8:7). It is impossible for man in his own strength to escape from the pit of sin into which he has fallen and to bring forth fruits unto holiness. Wherever men think that they can save themselves by their own works they have no barrier against sin and will not know the saving grace that Jesus has for them (Ephesians 2:8, 2 Timothy 1:9).
D. That we believe in Jesus Himself as our personal Savior. “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (Acts 16:31). Salvation depends on personal belief in the redeeming life and work of Jesus. We need to believe that the Lord not only forgives our sins but gives us complete victory over the power of sin in our lives. He gives us the freedom from the weaknesses of the flesh. God’s grace give us complete victory. “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57). This continued belief and surrender to Christ leads us to a life more abundant (John 10:10) and knowing Jesus personally gives us assurance of salvation (John 17:3).
When we genuinely repent of our sins and have “faith in Jesus Christ” as our Savior, only then can we be “children of God” (Galatians 3:26).
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In His service,
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