Commitment

The Christian message includes God’s warm invitation for us the enter the kingdom of God and receive its blessings.

So how does someone enter the kingdom of God?

It is clear from the New Testament that five elements are involved:

  • Repentance
  • Faith
  • Receiving the Holy Spirit
  • Baptism
  • and Community

 

Repentance

U turnRepentance really means being willing to change. It is a change of thinking leading to a change of direction – a kind of spiritual and moral u-turn.

“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the Kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3)

Repentance means saying to God, “I am willing to let you change me.”

 

Faith

Faith in Jesus is not just believing certain things about him. It means putting your trust in him to forgive your sins and to lead you through life. Jesus leads his followers into a life of goodness, service, and the pursuit of justice, peace and love.

The earliest Christian confession of faith was ‘Jesus is Lord’.

…if you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)

 
O most merciful Redeemer, friend and brother,
May I know Thee more clearly,
Love Thee more dearly,
And Follow Thee more nearly.
Day by day.
[Bishop Richard of Chichester (1197-1253AD)]

 

Receiving the Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit Dove

 

Following Jesus does not just mean living by his teaching and example. It means living a life empowered by his presence, through the Holy Spirit.

The Apostle Paul writes:

God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit… (Romans 5:5)

We open our hearts to God’s love and to the power of the Holy Spirit through the means of grace, most importantly prayer.

 

Baptism

Baptism is the means of grace that marks a person becoming a Christian. It involves immersion in water (or water poured on the head) in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

 
Baptism
 

“All of you must turn away from your sins and be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ.” (Acts 2:38)

Baptism signifies belonging to Jesus, and being united with him in his death and resurrection.
 

Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. (Romans 6:3-4)

Baptism must be followed through with on-going commitment. Being a follower of Jesus is a lifelong journey.
 

Community

That journey is made as part of a band of brothers and sisters in the Church. Finding a Christian community in which to live out your faith with the support and companionship of others is crucially important. A Christian is a follower of Jesus in community.
 
Together
 
The Apostle Paul writes:
 
For we were all baptised by the one Spirit into one body… You are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
(1 Corinthians 12:13 and 27)
 

Why Should I Commit My Life to Jesus Christ?

We need God in our lives.  We need the love, the joy and the peace of God. We need God’s forgiveness and mercy.  We need God’s wisdom and guidance as we try to live complicated and challenging lives.  We need the inner strength and transforming presence of God.  We need hope in God’s triumph over evil and darkness.

A Prayer of Commitment

An old proverb says, “Even a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

Here is a prayer that can be used to take a step of faith:

 

Almighty God, our Father in heaven,

Thank you that you made me, and you love me. 

Please forgive me for turning against your love and shutting you out of my life.

Thank you that Jesus died for my sins to bring me your forgiveness.

Thank you that Jesus rose from the dead to triumph over evil.

Thank you for the hope we have in him.

I now accept Jesus as my Lord and King and choose to live with him at the centre of my life.

May the Holy Spirit come into my life and help me to grow in your love within the family of the Church.  Amen.