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By John E. Russell



1. GOD LOVES YOU. Realize that God loves you and desires a life of joy and peace for you:

"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. (John 3:16, NIV).
Not only did God tell you that he loves you, but he proved his love by sending his Son to die for you! His love is also expressed by the full and high quality life he has planned for you NOW--in this life as well as in the life to come. Jesus said,
"The thief [Satan] comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they [believers] may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10, NIV).
Why is there so much evil in the world and why do many people not experience a life of peace and joy?

2. SIN HAS SEPARATED YOU FROM GOD. Because people are sinful, they are cut off from God and his blessings. The Bible teaches and human experience confirms that we are sinful:

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23, NIV).
We were created for fellowship with God, but that fellowship was broken when we rebelled against God. Sin brought us spiritual death:
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23, NIV).
We continually strive for the abundant life but always fall short. Business success, wealth, education, religion, fame, drugs, pleasure and all human substitutes cannot fill the God-shaped void in the human heart. How do we become reconciled with God and experience a life of peace and joy?

3. JESUS CHRIST IS THE ONLY ANSWER. Jesus Christ is God's only provision to forgive our sin and give us abundant life. Jesus died for us--he took our penalty of death:

Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: WHILE WE WERE STILL SINNERS, CHRIST DIED FOR US [Italics Mine]. (Romans 5:7-8, NIV).
God demonstrated that Christ's death was accepted as a sacrifice for us by raising Christ from the dead:
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 Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also. . . . (1 Corinthians 15:3-8, NIV).
Christ is the only way to God:
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6, NIV).
It is not enough to know that God loves you, that sin has cut you off from God and that Jesus Christ is the only way to God.

4. YOU MUST RECEIVE CHRIST PERSONALLY. You must personally receive Christ as your Lord and Savior. The Bible states that,

Yet to all who received 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. (John 1:12-13, NIV).
You receive Christ by faith:
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9, NIV).
If you choose to receive the truth about Jesus Christ, then the Holy Spirit will give you faith to trust him as your personal Savior. Then, when you receive Christ, the Holy Spirit will give you a spiritual rebirth. Jesus called this being born again:
In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." (John 3:3, NIV).

You should not be surprised at my saying, `You must be born again.' (John 3:7, NIV).
This is the most important experience that you will ever have. God will bring new life into your being. This new life will make you more like the Lord Jesus.

The Prophet Isaiah painted this beautiful word picture concerning the ministry of Christ:

The Spirit of the Sovereign
Lord is on me
because the Lord has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the
to proclaim freedom for the
and release from darkness for the
to proclaim the year of the Lord's
and the day of vengeance of our
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve
in Zion--
to bestow on them a crown of
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.
(Isaiah 61:1-3, NIV)

Isaiah speaks of the joy of deliverance from past guilt and bondage of sin. However, it does not happen automatically.

Christ stands at your heart's door, but you must open the door:

Look! I have been standing at the door and I am constantly knocking. If anyone hears me calling him and opens the door, I will come in and fellowship with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20, The Living Bible).
You can receive Christ in your heart right now. Pray this prayer from your heart:
Almighty God, I confess that I have sinned against you. I ask you to forgive me. I receive Christ is my Lord and Savior. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. In Jesus'
Name, Amen.
Tell someone that you have accepted Christ as your Savior. Please write me and tell me the good news also. (This presentation of the plan of salvation was adapted from Dr. Bill Bright's "Four Spiritual Laws.")


Copyright © 1995-1997 by John E. Russell, Revised 1997
Internet Version Copyright © 1998 by John E. Russell