In preparation for the call that would result in this transformation, I started to go through my Bible (one of many). I was surprised to see how the Lord had already been laying the groundwork for such a time as this (Esther 4:14).
As I thumbed through my "living room Bible", I found scraps of paper with scriptures on them, spread throughout the pages. These bits of paper, as it turned out, were like a road map for the steps to salvation. On each one was one or two scriptures, and each piece of paper was on the pages where the scriptures were. I hadn't realized I had done this so thoroughly. It was then that I realized once again that there are no coincidences - only divine appointments.
I used the scraps of paper to put together a brief syllabus for the conversation that I planned to have with my new-friend-turned-sister-in-Christ, but not before praying and asking God to guide me, to give me the words to say, to prepare my heart and my friend's heart, and for the Lord to be glorified. This is what He gave me to share:
- Confess and believe that Jesus is Lord. This is done with an open heart and no reservation. You are confessing this to God, Himself, and to others, that you DO believe that Jesus is Lord and Savior. Romans 10:8-10 tells us that if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. And we are assured that “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13)
- Repent and be baptized. To repent means to turn around or away from. When we repent, we are essentially telling God that we are sorry for what we’ve done, and that we will stop doing it, or turn away from it. Repentance is needed on a daily basis, as many times as we do wrong. Sometimes the behavior for which we repent is difficult to stop, and often it is impossible to stop without the help of the Lord. However, we must continue to repent and allow God to do the work in us that will change us from the inside out.
To be baptized means to be submerged or fully immersed in water. It is symbolic of washing or cleansing. Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:13, Matthew 3:16, Mark 1:9, Luke 3:21). He set the example for us to follow. If we, as Christians, are to follow Christ, we are also to be LIKE Christ.
Peter said in Acts 2:38, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."
- Be born again of the water and the Spirit. To be born again is to be spiritually transformed, spiritually renewed, as a Child of God. One who is born again has submitted his or her life to Christ and trusts Him. To be born of the Spirit refers to birth in the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God that dwells within the believer.
In John 3:3-7, Jesus told Nicodemus that in order to see the kingdom of God, one must be born again. When Nicodemus asked how that can be possible, Jesus explained to him that "no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’
- Indwelling of the Holy Spirit. As children of God, the Holy Spirit guides us, convicts us when we’re wrong and makes intercession to God on our behalf. The Holy Spirit is our “internal compass” that shows us how to live our lives as children of God. Being filled with the Holy Spirit, with evidence of speaking in other tongues (Acts 2:4), directly connects us to God. When we "pray in tongues" (also referred to as "praying in the spirit), our spirit prays to God, and the Holy Spirit makes intercession for us (Romans 8:26). We don't know what we are praying in this pure language, but the Holy Spirit does; and God most certainly knows. We should endeavor to pray in the spirit on a daily basis, because, though the devil can understand what we pray when we pray with our natural mind and natural tongue, he cannot understand our prayer language! Praying to God in the spirit, our prayers can't be intercepted by the enemy! Acts 1:8 tells us one of the primary benefits of being filled with the Holy Spirit is that [we] will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on [us]; and [we] will be [his] witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
- The Great Commission. The Great Commission is the instruction by Jesus Christ for us, as His disciples, to tell people about Him. This can be as simple as just sharing your testimony with others about what God has done in your life. Has He healed you? Has He provided for you? Has He worked a miracle in your life? Has He answered your prayers? Then do as Jesus commands and “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation." (Mark 16:15)
Evangelism (the winning or revival of personal commitments to Christ, as defined by Webster.com), sharing your testimony and doing missionary work, are all examples of how to carry out the Great Commission.
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