What Does It Mean To Accept Christ As Your Savior?


Today I received Christ in my heart as my savior, and I accept it…today I was saved…salvation only by this?  What about to have good actions, and to be good?  According to what I understand only to repeat the famous prayer that each evangelical says to repent his or her sins and accept Christ and he or she is saved…how is that? What about James when he says faith without deeds is dead?

My Reply:
First, congratulations on accepting Jesus!  I'm happy to call you my brother (or sister)!

Second, I can see you're reading your Bible!  That's good...so is asking questions about the things you're reading in it.

Accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior means to accept His invitation and free gift of salvation, thus renouncing your sins and sinful life; Accepting Jesus as your Lord is to accept Jesus as God and your new owner.  Also with that, though, you're entering into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

James' letter was addressing Christians who would often figure that since they've accepted Jesus and received the Holy Spirit, they're set, and didn't move forward in their faith (you'll see such "Christians" today, too).  But you can't lay idle.  Faith without works is dead, in the same way that if you plant a seed for an apple tree, but the seed never grows up into that intended tree.  You need to serve others, demonstrate Christ in your actions, and let the Holy Spirit transform you from within.

As for being saved, yeah, salvation only by believing, repenting, and asking Jesus in. That's it.

The good actions and such begin as you read the Bible (as I see you have begun to do), which not only tells you about Jesus and God's work in the lives of humans since the beginning, but it also gives a place for Jesus to come and fellowship with you (and you've been doing that also).

Prayer is important, for it's your God's means of communication with you, and you with Him.  Some people think it's just about you talking and telling Him what you need help with, but prayer is supposed to be a 2-way streak...you listen, too.

Church is needed, for it's a gathering with other Christians, as well as a means to get involved with service and a Christian community.  And not just church services on Sundays, but it's also good to get involved with ministries throughout the week, such as small groups and Bible studies.

And if you haven't yet been baptized, you need to do so, for it's what unites you with the Body of Christ (the family of God...the Church).

As for your additional details, the Holy Spirit changes your desires.  Yes, we can "technically" do whatever we want, but as Paul mentioned in 1 Corinthians, not everything is good for us.  Also, the Holy Spirit directs us to doing that which glorifies God, which is our new mission in life. For example, you'll notice some things you used to enjoy doing that you're not into anymore.  As Paul said in Romans 8:5, "Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit, have their minds set on what the Spirit desires." 

Feel free to email me in the future if you have any questions.

---Pastor Andy