Emmanuel… God with us!
I truly don’t think there is a more beautiful name ever given in all of history.
It’s not just a name though, it’s a promise to you and me. He is here, we are His bride, and nothing can separate us from that love. We were lost, and now we’re found!
But what does that really mean?
Romans 3:23 says, “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” Paul then writes in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Because of our sin, we deserve death. There is nothing we can do to save ourselves. We can never be good enough or do enough good things.
Jesus is our only means of salvation (John 14:6). He is the Son of God. He came to earth; lived the perfect life; and died on a cross for our sins. He rose three days after his death and did it all because of how much he loves you. Grace and forgiveness are available to everyone, because of his sacrifice.
While available, it isn’t forced upon us; we have a choice to accept it or reject it. We see in the Bible steps to accepting Christ as Savior:
- Believe in Jesus – A belief that results in action (Ephesians 2:8, James 2:14-26, John 14:15)
- Confess your belief – Say out loud what you believe (Romans 10:9-11)
- Repent of your sins – Sorrow that results in a change of heart (Acts 2:37-38)
Be baptized – Immersed in water with Him in order to live a new life (Acts 2:37-38)
Repenting is more than asking forgiveness. Repenting is to see our sin as God sees it and then to turn away from our sin and to turn toward God. It’s recognizing our actions that are against God and making steps to remove those actions from our life. Because we are imperfect, we will sin again even after accepting Christ. But because of our acceptance of Christ’s grace, all of our sin has been forgiven. Christ-followers are called to continually repent, to turn away from their sin, and to turn towards God.
Baptism is the the wedding ring of the Christian life.
- It was taught in order to be saved (Mark 16:16, 1 Peter 3:21-22).
- It is for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).
- It is for the washing away of our sins (Acts 22:10-16).
- We are baptized into Christ (Romans 6:3-4, Galatians 3:26-27).
This Christmas season as we celebrate Emmanuel, God with us, I would encourage you to consider making Him Lord of your life. If you have questions, need prayer, or would like to confess Jesus as Lord and be baptized, please don’t hesitate to contact me or someone at the church. We would LOVE to help you take the next steps in your journey!