In an earlier post I wrote about why we need a Savior. In summary:
-God is holy and can’t have anything to do with sinful people.
-God is just, and requires a penalty must be paid for wrongdoing.
-God is merciful, and had Jesus pay the penalty on our behalf, because the penalty is so large we could never pay it ourselves.
With this in mind, the question becomes, “How do we respond to this loving and merciful act of God?”
How We Respond
The daily devotional I read (In Touch Magazine, Atlanta, Georgia) spelled out how we are to respond in the following day’s article. That article starts out with this introduction:
“The more we understand the contrast between God’s holiness and our sinfulness, the clearer the magnitude and depth of His grace will become. This knowledge will cause us to turn to Him in:”
Then the article lists three actions we should take:
1. Confession of our sins
The first thing we do in response to God’s grace is to acknowledge that we have done wrong and need forgiveness. The article puts it this way:
“The prophet Isaiah, upon seeing God’s holiness, clearly grasped his own uncleanness. In a similar way, recognizing the Lord’s perfection will lead us to realize our own unrighteousness. We may think we’re doing okay until it becomes clear that God’s standard for us is to be holy—without sin. Only through faith in Christ can we meet that standard. The first step is admitting we are not the good person we thought ourselves to be. Rather, we are sinners in need of divine help. Confession is also to be a regular practice of all believers.”
The article references Isaiah’s visit to heaven, where he found himself before a perfectly holy God. Here’s his reaction to being in the presence of a totally holy and righteous God (Isaiah 6:5):
“Woe to me! I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” NIV
We think we’re OK, but compared to God and God’s standards, we fall very short.
2. Acceptance of Christ’s sacrifice
The next step, after confession, is a conscious decision to accept God’s gift of forgiveness, reconciliation, and eternal life. The article has this to say:
“On the cross, our Savior gave up His life so that we might be reconciled to God. By receiving His sacrifice as our own, we enter into a personal relationship with the heavenly Father. He offers forgiveness of our sins and adoption into His family because we have accepted the atonement Jesus made on our behalf.”
As I said before, it must be a conscious and deliberate acceptance of Christ’s sacrifice for us, sometime called “Making Jesus your Savior.”
3. Commitment to His Lordship
The third step is sometimes called “Making Jesus your Lord.” The article explains it this way:
“When Isaiah heard God’s call, ‘Whom shall I send?’ he answered, ‘Here am I. Send me!’ (Isa. 6:8). Because Jesus is our Lord, His purpose is to guide our life. As we grow in awareness of His grace, we will be increasingly motivated to live a life of obedient service.”
Another way of explaining this is that you make Jesus the priority in your life – no thing and no body is more important.
The article ends with these words:
“Ponder the impact of God’s amazing grace on your life. Let your gratitude lead to one of these responses.”
Are you grateful for what God has done for you in Jesus? When God calls you, do you answer ‘Here am I. Send me!’? Have you made Jesus your Lord and your Savior? If so, good! If not, why not? What’s holding you back? Seriously consider making that decision now – accept what God is offering. Your life will be so much better, both now and in the hereafter.