We Christians use this expression a lot: “accept Jesus Christ as one’s Savior”. But what does it mean?
First of all, let’s look at the problem. If someone needs a savior, it is because they need to be saved from something, right? So what do all humans need to be saved from?
The quick answer is: we need to be saved from our sins. Why are our sins a problem? Because our sins keep us away from God. That means that all humans are, by default, doomed to living apart from God in this life and through all eternity.
But your iniquities have separated you from your God;
your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. (Isaiah 59:2)
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)
The Bible refers to being away from God as “death”. So even though a person may be “physically” alive (breathing, heart beating, etc), spiritually they are dead if they are away from God:
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins (Ephesians 2:1)
You might think that when you do something good, you make up for your sins. You might think that the good erases the bad. But that’s not how God thinks. God demands perfection, so one single sin in your whole life will keep you away from Him.
The solution to the problem is one of two things: (1) the person lives a perfect life with no sins at all or (2) their sins are redeemed. As for the first option, it is impossible for a regular person not to sin (we’re talking about their whole life, since birth). Even the great heroes of faith sinned, so we know that this option is not doable. That leaves us option 2, a redemption. Someone else has to pay for our sins in order to save us. That’s where Jesus comes in.
Jesus became the sacrifice that payed for all our sins, so that they don’t keep us away from God anymore. Jesus gave his own life so our sins would be forgiven and forgotten. Through Him, we can be made just and righteous at the eyes of God.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
And after dying for our sins, He was raised from the dead to give us life (a relationship with God).
Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. (John 17:3)
Salvation is given to us through Jesus as a gift. It means that we don’t work to earn it, God gives it to us freely:
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
So when we say that we accept Jesus as our Savior, what we mean is:
- we recognize our sinful nature, and our inability to save ourselves;
- we recognize that we need God’s forgiveness;
- we accept Jesus’ sacrifice as an atonement for our sins;
- we accept Him as the Lord of our lives and start pursuing a relationship with Him.
If you want a relationship with God, but no matter how hard you try, you can’t seem to be good enough; if you realize that you need God’s forgiveness for things you did in the past; if you want life, true life, eternal life with God, it’s time to accept Jesus as your Savior. You can pray these words to God now:
Heavenly Father, I know that I have sinned against you and that my sins separate me from you. I am truly sorry. I now want to turn away from my sinful past and turn to you for forgiveness. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that your Son, Jesus Christ, died for my sins, that He was raised from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become my Savior and the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
If you prayed those words, and meant them, be sure that you’re a new person now. All your sins were forgiven, and now you have direct access to God. You’ve just started truly living!
I strongly suggest that you look for a Christian church nearby so you can continue learning and growing in faith.
Feel free to contact me (by email, Twitter or Facebook) if you want to ask any questions or share something. You can also use the comment section below (please keep in mind that the comments are public).
God bless you!