A – Admit that you are a sinner.
But what is sin?
Simply, sin is any choice you make that isn’t what God wants.
Sin can be when we do something He tells us we shouldn’t do.
For example, God says “do not steal,” so if we steal something, then we have disobeyed & sinned.
Sin can also be when we don’t do something God tells us we should do.
For example, God says to “honor your father & mother,” and if we don’t honor them, then we have sinned.
And the Bible tells us two very clear things about sin:
1. “…all have sinned….” (from Romans 3:23)
2. “The wages of sin is death….” (from Romans 6:23)
Everyone has sinned, and there is serious punishment because of it.
Since we are sinners, the punishment means that without Jesus we cannot have a relationship with God. Jesus says He is the only way to begin a relationship with God. So how does this work?
We have to realize that we are sinners and that we have done something that God didn’t want us to do. And just as we apologize to another person when we do something unkind to them, we need to apologize to God when we realize we have sinned. In Acts, when Peter told people about having sin, they asked “What should we do to be saved?” And the first thing Peter told them was to “Repent” – to apologize to God and turn away from the sinful things they were doing.
B – Believe Jesus is who He said He is: the Savior of the World
John 3:16 & Romans 10:9 indicate that we are to Believe that:
1. Jesus is God’s Son sent to earth because God loves us,
2. Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins, and
3. Jesus was raised from the dead by the power of God.
Let’s take an imaginary trip back to grade school for an illustration of how Jesus can be the substitute sacrifice for us:
Imagine that you disobeyed a teacher at school and were told that your punishment was going to be seven licks with a paddle swung by Coach McMuscles, and you are fearful of the coming punishment. But just before you are paddled, your best friend comes in and asks to be paddled in your place… that would make your friend the willing substitute. If they allowed that substitution, your friend would be standing in your place and receiving the punishment you deserved so that you could go free without any consequences. Your friend did nothing to deserve the paddling, but your friend was willing to pay the price that you owed.
All of us owe a much higher price than a paddling for our sins. Because we broke God’s commands and committed treason against Him, our punishment is our whole life. Because of your sin, you are condemned to eternal, spiritual death. And no one else could be your substitute because everyone has sinned and everyone owes the same amount. So Jesus, the only One without sin and therefore without the same condemnation, stepped in to take your place – to be a substitute sacrifice for you and to pay the cost of what you owed because of your sin. He did this by dying on the cross, in order that you could have a relationship with God. And now you have to believe that this good news of Jesus dying for you and then rising from the dead is true.
C – Confess Jesus as Lord
Romans 10:9-10 tells us to confess that Jesus Christ will be your Lord, meaning that He will be the one to control your life from this point forward. This means that you will no longer live to please yourself, but that you will commit your life to please Jesus and to show your love for Him. A lord or a king had servants or workers that were obedient to him. When we confess Jesus as Lord, we are saying to Him that He will be our King and will be in control of our lives, because we are committing to serve Him completely.
It is because Jesus loved you first and was the substitute sacrifice for you that you are able to:
A – admit your sin to Him, repent, and ask forgiveness;
B – believe that Jesus is God’s Son and that He died on the cross for you so that you could have a relationship with God;
C – confess that Jesus will be your Lord & commit your life to Him so that He controls all that you do.
So the simple (yet most important) question for each of us is…
Have you Admitted, Believed, and Confessed?