When someone humbly and sincerely trusts Christ as Saviour, remarkable things begin to take place immediately. Lives are radically changed forever. We are aware of some of these changes because they are visible. But some we are not aware of because they are invisible. There are two sides to this exciting story, that which we see on the outside and that which God sees on the inside. I invite you to read on, as we investigate that which happens outwardly, and then inwardly. First, let’s look at that which happens on the outside.
When we come to Christ, there is a sense of relief and peace, because He forgives every sin, past, present, and future. Paul affirmed this when he was inspired to write in Ephesians, that in Christ, “we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” There has come a new interest in the Bible. And we desire to be with other Christians. We are brothers and sisters with similar interests. Peter wrote of this as a desiring “the pure milk of the Word” that we “may grow thereby.”
It is not long before we are drawn to the Lord in prayer to thank Him, and to ask for strength and help. We also notice a gradual change in our lifestyle. We change how we think, how we see things and the way we act. This is because something new and real is going on inside of us. Paul explained, “If anyone is in Christ, he (or she) is a new creation, old things have passed away, behold all things have become new.” We develop a strong desire for godly living, and a love for people. When this happens, others notice, as in the case of the early disciples. People “…took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus.”
However, as we observe these positive changes in our lives, God sees what is happening on the inside. We have now become a part of His family. John stated clearly, “…as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God, to those who believe in His name.” At the time of conversion, our names are written in what the Bible calls “the lamb’s book of life.” This confirms that we are Christians, part of the great family of God. We are saved, born again, converted. We are “sinners saved by grace.”
When a person comes to Christ, it is natural to wonder if it will last. The answer is that yes, it will last forever. Ephesians speaks of the Holy Spirit by whom we are “sealed for the day of redemption.” In John’s gospel, God promises, “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.”
But perhaps the best news of all about this “inside story” is that if we have invited Christ into our lives, when we come to the end of our days here on earth, we will be welcomed into heaven. We will be as the Bible says, “absent from the body and present with the Lord.”
If I were not a believer, I would be asking, “How can I become a Christian?” The answer is clearly stated in God’s Word. First, by honestly acknowledging my true spiritual condition. God tells us, “There is none righteous, no not one.” Second, admit that I cannot make myself into a Christian. The Bible reveals that it is “not by works of righteousness that we have done, but according to His mercy He saves us.” Jesus wrote, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Third I honestly cry out to God. One Bible passage says, “seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near.” Then, when these steps have been taken, I am ready to ask Christ into my life. Paul was inspired to write, “Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” A simple prayer could be, “God be merciful to me, and save me for Jesus’ sake.”