1. Repent

To repent means to turn around, to change your thinking and your direction and go the other way (Mark 1:15). The Bible teaches that every person has a Sin Nature—a deeply ingrained inner tendency to go our own way instead of following God’s way (Romans 3:23). When we follow our sin nature, we violate our conscience and break God’s commands by not loving Him and not loving our neighbor as ourself (Mark 12:29-31). The results are broken relationships, lack of peace, loss of purpose, anger, worry, fear, frustration, and hopelessness. The ultimate consequence of sin is death (Romans 6:23).

You can pray a prayer of repentance like this: “God, I admit that I am a sinner and I deserve to die. I have broken your commands. I have not loved you as I ought to, and not loved my neighbor as myself. I repent of my sins. I turn from going my own way to go your way and obey you as Lord.”

2. Believe

The “gospel” (good news) of Jesus Christ is that we do not have to earn a relationship with God and pay for our sins by doing good deeds or religious rituals (Titus 3:4-7). Instead, God Himself took the initiative to come to us, being born as a man, suffering on the cross, and dying in our place on the cross. He won the victory over sin and death by rising from the grave (1 Corinthians 15:3-6). God promises a new spiritual birth to those who believe in Jesus, trusting Him by faith (John 1:12-13). This new birth makes the believer a child of God, and begins a process of inner transformation (2 Corinthians 5:17) that fills us with His joy, peace, and love, and the hope of eternal life (John 3:16).

You can pray a prayer of belief like this: “God, I thank you that Your Son Jesus died and rose again the third day. I trust in him alone to save me from my sins and give me your abundant, new, spirit-filled life to transform me now, and to give me the hope of resurrection and eternal life.

3. Commit

The decision to follow Jesus begins with repentance and belief, but it is lived out by a daily commitment to live according to the pattern of life and teaching Jesus showed us (Luke 9:23). Some of the ways you can follow Jesus daily include:

Become a member of a local church. The church is the Body of Christ (Ephesians 5:29-30), the living expression of Jesus on earth. Joining a church means more than signing up for a human institution. It means you are committed to building authentic relationships with other believers for worship, growth, fellowship, and service together.

Read and prayerfully reflect on the Bible. God has revealed himself to us through the scriptures (Hebrews 4:12). The Holy Spirit uses the words of the Bible to give us understanding of who Jesus is and how we can live like Him as we study it on our own and in community with other believers (John 14:25-26).

Serve others in humility. We enter into the experience of Jesus’ death and resurrection by “dying” to ourselves and our selfish desires so we can discover the joy of giving and living for others (Mark 10:43-45).

Make a commitment to Jesus

If you are making a commitment to follow Jesus Christ and would like to talk to a pastor about next steps, text "Freedom" to 334-xxx-xxxx.

Bible References (NIV)

1. Mark 1:15 - "'The time has come,' he said. 'The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!'”

2. Romans 3:22-24 - "This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."

3. Mark 12:28-31 - "'One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, 'Of all the commandments, which is the most important?''The most important one,' answered Jesus, 'is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these.'”

4. Romans 6:23 - "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

5. Titus 3:4-7 - "But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life."

6. 1 Corinthians 15:3-6 - "For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep."

7. John 1:12-13 - "Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God."

8. 2 Corinthians 5:17 - "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!"

9. John 3:16-17 - "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."

10. Luke 9:23 - "Then he said to them all: 'Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.'"

11. Ephesians 5:29-30 - "After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body."

12. Hebrews 4:12 - "For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."

13. John 14:25-26 - “'All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you."

14. Mark 10:43-45 - "'Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.'”