You Can Begin A New Life Right Now
2 Corinthians 5:14-20
Our firm decision is to work from this focused center: One man died for everyone. That puts everyone in the same boat. He included everyone in His death so that everyone could also be included in His life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own. Because of this decision we don't evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don't look at Him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life flourishes! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and Him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with Himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what He is doing. We're Christ's representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God's work of making things right between them. We're speaking for Christ Himself now: Become friends with God; He's already a friend with you.
Long ago, when the Roman Empire was at the height of its glory, a common saying was “All roads lead to Rome.” I want to tell about a very special road – a road that existed then and still exists now. This road, now over 2,000 years old, has never led to Rome. Yet, strangely enough, it is called the Romans Road.
The Apostle Paul described all of the landmarks along this road in an open letter to the Romans of his day. In this letter he pointed out that it is crucial for every man, woman, boy and girl to travel down this road at some point in his or her life. The eternal destiny of every soul on earth, even today, hangs on the decisions made while traveling down this road. For those who make the right decisions, the road can be very short, but for those who make the wrong turns, it can be long and very dangerous.
Please allow me to point out the highlights of Paul’s letter and then you can read it for yourself. The Romans Road is always best traveled with a guide who knows the way well, for it leads to . . . well, let me show you.
Believe God’s Book ... As your guide, I must warn you that the philosophies of this world lead to a dead end. We must accept the Word of God, the Bible, as the only immutable truth. Unless you do this, you will get lost in the maze and may never get back on the right track to heaven. The word that saves is right here, as near as the tongue in your mouth, as close as the heart in your chest. – Romans 10:8
The Wages of Sin ... The Apostle Paul wrote of a serious problem that all of us have which can only be solved by successfully negotiating the Romans Road. He put it like this: Romans 3:23: For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. – Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is hell; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. – Romans 6:12: That means you must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives. Don't give it the time of day. Don't even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life.
Repentance ... If you have not successfully passed the temptation to follow the path of sin, now is the time to turn from your sin. The act of turning from sin is called repentance and this is absolutely necessary to get the gift of eternal life. Repentance means to do a complete "turn around."
You didn't think, did you, that just by pointing your finger at others you would distract God from seeing all your misdoings and from coming down on you hard? Or did you think that because he's such a nice God, he'd let you off the hook? Better think this one through from the beginning. God is kind, but he's not soft. In kindness he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change. – Romans 2:3-4
If you sin without knowing what you're doing, God takes that into account. But if you sin knowing full well what you're doing, that's a different story entirely. Merely hearing God's Word is a waste of your time if you don't do what He commands. Doing, not hearing, is what makes the difference with God. – Romans 2:12-13
By Grace . . . Not Works ... At this point we encounter a most curious fact – one that seems to run contrary to conventional wisdom. Paul wrote: Being justified freely by His grace through redemption that is in Christ Jesus: – Romans 3:24. And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace. – Romans 11:6 Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the "stumbling stone." – Romans 9:32
Many people simply cannot believe that the correct way is the easiest and free. Without a guide, many people take this wrong turn and try to pay for the eternal life they hope to receive.
Blood Redemption ... At this point you may be thinking: “Paul certainly seems to say that eternal life is free, but I still can’t believe I can obtain something of such value for nothing. There’s still no such thing as a free lunch.” Congratulations, you have correctly analyzed the situation. Eternal life is so valuable no one can afford it.
Now, I want to tell you an old story. God created man with a free choice of will to serve God or serve himself. Man chose poorly and rebelled against God. God had already established the penalty for rebellion as eternity in hell, but He loved mankind and did not want to destroy him. The solution, was God’s decision to send His only begotten Son into the world. He lived and died as a man to pay the penalty for each of us.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8
Jesus lived a sinless life for 33½ years and then was hung on a cross by the Roman soldiers of His day. The blood He shed on that cross was the very blood of God and is sufficient to wash all our sins away if we request it. Jesus was buried in a tomb, but proving Himself to be God Almighty in the flesh, He conquered death and hell and arose from the dead.
He now freely offers the same resurrection to all who will accept His death as payment for their sins. How about you? Will you accept His gracious offer? The Apostle Paul wrote: Romans 3:25: God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood. He did this to demonstrate His justice, because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished. – Romans 5:9: Since we have been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
Salvation at Calvary ... We now come to the end of the Romans Road. Do you know where you are? Do you recognize that hill? It’s called Calvary; it’s the place where Jesus Christ, Immanuel, God with us – died to pay for the sins of all the world. You’ve come so far, now one more step and you will enter a whole new life in Christ Jesus. It is a step of faith as Paul put it: . . . but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. – Romans 4:24
Who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification. – Romans 4:25
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. – Romans 5:1-2
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. – Romans 5:6. Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: – Romans 3:24 . . . just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. – Romans 5:21
The End of the Journey
Now that we find ourselves at the foot of the cross of Calvary, let us humbly kneel before Almighty God and remember the things we have learned on our journey. We first learned that we have to believe God’s Word, the Bible, which includes the letter to the Romans to guide us down the right path. We learned that we are guilty of sin before God and we must repent or turn away from a life of sin to truly follow God’s will for us. Following this, we learned that God Himself, through Jesus Christ, paid for our sins with His own blood. This cleared the way for us to have eternal life. All that’s left for us to do at this point is ask for it.
If you will confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart you believe unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. – Romans 10:9-10
Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. – Romans 10:13
What's your decision? How about it? Will you open your heart and sincerely pray a simple prayer such as this one in order to receive eternal life?
Heavenly Father, Thank you for showing me how much I need You. I have sinned against You. Please forgive all my failures and the sins of my past. Make me clean and help me start fresh with You. I believe that Jesus died on the cross for me and that You rose Him again. Father, I give you my life to do with as You wish. I ask Jesus Christ to come into my heart and to grant me the gift of eternal life. Help me to love You and serve You with all of my heart. Amen
If you said the prayer above, please give us a call and tell us that you have received Jesus into your heart as you personal Savior and we can help you get started in the right direction. Tell your friends and family about your decision. Be bold and frank in acknowledging Him as both Savior and Lord over your life. Jesus said in Matthew 10:32: "Whosoever shall confess Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father which is in heaven."
Changing from your old life to a new life with Christ is a process and is going to take some time for you to try to get it figured out. Don't try to grow through these changes by yourself. It will be much easier if you find some Christian friends to start hanging out with and let them help you get adjusted to your new life in Christ. Find you a Christian Bible believing and Bible teaching church. Get into a small group Bible study. Also, read your Bible daily. Below is a reading plan for the Book of John.
John 1:1-18 John 1:19-51 John 2:1-25 John 3:1-36 John 4:1-38 John 4:39–5:15
John 5:16-47 John 6:1-21 John 6:22-71 John 7:1-36 John 7:37–8:11 John 8:12-30
John 8:31-59 John 9:1-34 John 9:35–10:21 John 10:22-42 John 11:1-44 John 11:45–12:19
John 12:20-50 John 13:1-38 John 14:1-31 John 15:1-27 John 16:1-33 John 17:1-26
John 18:1-27 John 18:28–19:16 John 19:17-42 John 20:1-23 John 20:24-31 John 21:1-25
One Heart at a Time
Red Stone Ministries