The Greatest and Most Important Decision You Will Ever Make!

The Greatest and Most Important Decision You Will Ever Make

The greatest and most important decision you will ever make in your lifetime is the decision to become a Christian.  In Acts chapter two Peter preached a sermon that convicted the hearts of those who heard him that they were sinners and needed to change their life and relationship with God.  Many of them responded to Peter’s message and those who obeyed the gospel “gladly received his word” (Acts 2:41).  Today, many are responding to that same message and are becoming Christians.

To become a Christian one hears the word of God.  The apostle Paul tells us that our “faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17).  Through the word of God we come to believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God.  Jesus said, “unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins” (John 8:24).  He also said, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be save, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16).

When one becomes a Christian they have repented of their sins.  One way to understand repentance is that it is “a change of heart that leads to a change of life.”  Peter told those who heard his message in Acts 2 to “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” (Acts 2:38).  The apostle Paul instructed his hearers that “God . . . commands all people everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30).

Confession of faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God is also part of the gospel message.  Romans 10:9-10says “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth once confesses and is saved.”  This is the same confession made by the Ethiopian who desired to baptized when he heard the “good news about Jesus” (Acts 8:35b).  The Ethiopian said, “See, here is water!  What prevents be from being baptized?” (Acts 8:36)  “And Philip said, If you believe with all your heart, you may.’ And he replied, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God”” (Acts 8:37).

The forgiveness of sin is realized when we take the step to participate in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  In 1 Corinthians 15:1-3we read the gospel that saves is the message about the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.  The apostle Paul wrote, “I would remind you brothers, of the gospel I preached to you . . . by which you are being saved . . . that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.”  So, how do we participate in Christ’s death, burial and resurrection?  We do it when we are baptized (immersed in water) for the forgiveness of our sins.

We have already noted that in Acts 2:38people are to “repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins.”  When someone is baptized into Christ they are baptized into His death.  We are “buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4).   When we are baptized we “wash away”  our sins (Acts 22:16), are ”forgiven” of our sins (Acts 2:38), are “dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus (Romans 6:11),”  raised to “walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4, Colossians 2:12),” are “a new creation,”  become reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:17, 19), “put on Christ (Galatians 3:27),” become His disciples (Matthew 28:19-20) and are “saved” (Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21), freed “from our sins by his blood” (Revelation 1:5).

As a Christian you are a child of God (1 John 3:1), a member of the household of God (Ephesians 2:19) and a part of His family, the church (Acts 2:47).  You can know on the basis of God’s promises that Christ is living in you and that you have eternal life from the moment you obeyed the gospel.  “This is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.  Whoever has the Son has life . . . I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John5:11-13).  Yes, the greatest and most important decision you will ever make in your life is to become a child of God.

 Bruce Leonard