This is one of the most important questions you will ever ask in your life because it has eternal consequences.
First of all we have to understand why salvation is even necessary in the first place. The problem is that every single one of us has been born separated from God. This means that from the moment we were conceived, as a member of the human race, we inherited a sin nature from our first human parents, Adam and Eve. When Adam and Eve sinned, they immediately died spiritually, which means they were separated from God (Genesis 2:17). Because of that act of disobedience, sin entered into the human race in such a way that we all incurred the guilt and consequences of sin (Romans 3:23; 5:12). Sin simply means falling short of the glory and perfection that God requires. So, every one of us has sinned. If you’ve ever told a lie, ever been unjustly angry, ever cheated, ever looked at another person lustfully, ever dishonored your parents, ever taken the Lord’s name in vain, ever not loved God or worshipped Him as Lord, ever stolen something, ever coveted someone else’s stuff, then you’ve sinned because you’ve broken God’s law. And what’s even worse is that if you break even the smallest part of God’s law, then you’re guilty of breaking the whole thing (James 2:10). So, we’re all guilty of having broken God’s entire law!
God is a just God and He will not let the guilty go unpunished. The penalty for sin is eternal death and separation from God (Romans 6:23). That means that each and every one of us deserves to be, and will be, separated from God for all of eternity because we have broken His law and turned away from Him as our Creator and King (Romans 3:10-11). If that wasn’t bad enough, there is absolutely no way we can make up for our guilt (Isaiah 64:6; Matthew 5:20; Romans 3:10-12). We are completely hopeless, guilty before God, with no way to make amends to a Holy God on our own.
But, the story doesn’t end there! God is full of mercy and has a made a way for us to be declared innocent and to be forgiven for the immense debt of sin that we owe to God. John 3:16 tells us that God loved the world He created in such a way that He sent His only holy, divine Son to save the world from sin. Romans 3:21-24 tells us that, through faith in Jesus, anyone who believes can now have the perfect righteousness that God requires…and it’s a completely free gift! If you will repent of your sin (which simply means to change your mind and turn away from it), come to Jesus, confess that He is Lord, believe in your heart that all He is indeed the Son of God, and follow Him as Lord of your life, then you will be saved (Romans 10:9)!
There’s no magic formula or special words you need to say. All you have to do is call out to God and ask Him to forgive you of your sins and place them on His Son Jesus. If you feel something in you yearning to be forgiven and reconciled to God, then here’s a prayer you might pray right now:
God, I confess that I’m a sinner. I have disobeyed You and I have broken Your law. I know that I deserve to be separated from you for all eternity. But, You have mercifully offered a way for me to be forgiven through Your Son Jesus Christ. I believe that Jesus Christ is Your Son and I believe that He was crucified for sinners like me. I also believe that He rose from the grave and is alive today. I believe that Jesus is my Lord and my Savior. God, I turn from my sin and ask You to forgive me of my sin and please give me the free gift of Your righteousness that is available to me because of who Jesus is and what He did on the cross. Thank you for sending Jesus to take my place and to bear my sin. Please give me Your Holy Spirit to live in me and to guide me from this day forward. Please adopt me into your family as your son/daughter. From this day forward, I give myself to You. Please help me to live like Your son/daughter and give me the strength I need to live a life that is pleasing to You. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
If you prayed that prayer, or something like it, and have trusted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, the Bible says that you’ve now been reborn into a new life by the power of God’s Spirit (John 3). Please let me know or another Christian in your life know about what you’ve done today so we can rejoice with you and welcome you to the family! Things will not necessarily get easier for you. In fact, the enemies of God will likely try to make things difficult for you and try to get you to go back on the decision you’ve made today. So, it’s important that you find a Bible-believing church that you can attend and begin growing in your new life in Christ. I’d be happy to help you find one in your area if you’d like, just drop me an email.