Basics of the Christian Faith: How Do We Become Children of God? By Minister Abby Phillips, Speak Life Ministries

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From our last lesson we learned why we need Jesus Christ to save us so that we can become children of God. Now let us look at what we must do for this to take place.
Dear Lord, help those hearing this message understand what Your word says about our salvation and how they can receive it. In Your son Jesus’ name we pray, Amen
Realize the Problem
In order for any of us to fix a problem, we must first accept that there is a problem. If we pretend the issue does not exist then we cannot take the steps needed to repair it. The first step in receiving Christ and becoming children of God is to realize that there is a problem. Sin is the problem. Remember the Romans 3:23 scripture from last week?:

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“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
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God is perfect and has no sin, and He cannot tolerate sin. Since sin is part of our nature, it is not something we can change ourselves any more than you can change the natural color of your hair or eyes. You may change your hair color but when the dye grows out, your hair is still the same color it originally was. You have covered up your true color, but you have not changed it.

The same thing applies to our sin: we can do good works and kind acts but those things only cover our sin, they don’t change the fact that we still have sinful natures. Our good behavior cannot save us. Isaiah 64:6 tells us:

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“But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;
we all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”
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So we must accept and acknowledge the facts that:

· we are sinners
· God cannot stand sin
· we cannot change this part of ourselves

Now we know there is a problem and we realize that we cannot fix it. The question we may ask is “Who can fix it?”

Understand that Jesus is the Solution to the Problem
There is a song that says “Jesus is the answer for the world today. Above Him there’s no other â€" Jesus is the Way.” Those words are very true. Romans 6:23 says:

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“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
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The Bible tells us that death and eternal separation from God in Hell is the punishment for our sin. But Jesus died in our place, and then rose from the dead, destroying sin’s power over us. Instead of eternal death and suffering we now have eternal life with God because of Jesus. He fixed our sin problem! And God the Father sent Him to do that because He loves us! Remember John 3:16 from our lesson last week?

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“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
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Even though God hates our sin, He did not hate us! He loved us so much that He allowed His son to suffer and die in our place. He loves each and every one of us!

We must believe that Jesus died and rose again from the grave for our sins. He is the only solution for the problem of sin.


Acknowledge Who Jesus Is
A very important part of accepting Jesus as our savior is to know who He really is. He was not just a good man who tried to help people. He was not just a wise prophet. He was the Son of God. Before He was born, angels told both Mary and her future husband, Joseph, exactly who Jesus was to be.


Let us look at Luke 1:30-35 to see the conversation the angel, Gabriel, had with Mary:

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“Then the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God
will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.’ Then Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be,
since I do not know a man?’ And the angel answered and said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit
will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also,
that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.’ ”
~~~

Now let us look at Matthew 1:18-23 for an angel’s conversation with Joseph after he found out Mary was pregnant:

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“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed
to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.
Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold,
an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.
And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.’ So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by
the Lord through the prophet, saying: ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son,
and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which is translated, ‘God with us.’ ”
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After Jesus’ birth, Luke 2:8-14 tells us of a choir of angels that appeared in the sky and sang an announcement of His birth:

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“Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch
over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory
of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them,
‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.
For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!’ ”
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Later when Jesus had grown up and was baptized by His cousin, John, God the Father Himself as well as the Holy Spirit made it very clear who Jesus was. Matthew 3:16-17 says:

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“When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold,
the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’ ”
~~~

In John 14:6 Jesus says about Himself:

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“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”
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I have shown you all of these scriptures so that you may see that over and over again in the scriptures Jesus is revealed as the very Son of God. We must believe this if we want to have a relationship with God.


Receive Christ in Your Heart
When we understand that we are sinners who need our sins forgiven and that Jesus Christ, the son of God, is the only way to have that forgiveness, we should desire to have Him in our lives.

In Acts 2:37-39 Peter, one of the disciples who worked with Jesus, is asked how one becomes a child of God:

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“Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?’ Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.’ ”
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We must admit that we are sinners and be sorrowful for our sin. We must be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, knowing that He alone can forgive us of our sins. Then we will receive the Spirit of God and be saved! Baptism, being in water or having water poured over you, symbolizes that, just as water washes dirt from your body, Jesus washed our sins away. Romans 10:9 explains to us:

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“that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that
God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
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We must acknowledge out loud and truly believe that Jesus, the son of God, died for our sins, and that God the Father raised Him from the dead. Then we are promised that we will be saved!


Remember:
· Admit that you are a sinner and be truly sorry for your sin
· Acknowledge that your sin keeps you from God and that you can’t change your nature
· Believe and confess (say it and truly mean it) that Jesus Christ is the son of God
· Believe and confess that Jesus died for your sins and that God raised Him from the dead
· Ask Jesus Christ into your heart
· Be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus

That is how we become children of God.

I know that some of the scriptures I used are familiar from last week and that I stated some of the things in this lesson more than once. It is only because they are very important things to know and understand and were worth repeating so that they are clearly understood.


The Sinner’s Prayer:
If you have never asked Jesus to be your Savior, and would like to do so now, pray what you’ve learned today:

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“Father, I understand that I am a sinner. It is a part of my nature. The Bible tells me that my sin keeps me from You, and that my death and eternal separation from You, is my punishment for my sin. I believe that Jesus died on the cross in my place for my sins, and that He rose from the dead, defeating Satan and hell. I know that if I ask Jesus into my heart that He will save me, so I accept Jesus as my Savior today! In His name I pray, Amen.”
~~~

What Should I Do Now?
If you prayed that prayer sincerely from your heart, you are saved! You are a Christian! Satan and sin have no more power over you! You will never experience separation from God, or Hell! Rejoice!

Join yourself to a group of Christians who truly seek to understand God’s word. Join a local church if one is available. Do you have access to a Bible? If so, read some of it every day so that you will know what God’s word says. Pray to God every day, thanking Him for saving you and asking Him to help you live for Jesus.

Welcome to you, child of God!

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