How Can I Get Closer to God and Experience Forgiveness? Discover the Gospel Plan of Salvation!

Mark Virkler's picture

You may want to improve your relationship with God. Or you might want to overcome negative patterns you see in your life which are destroying you and your relationships, and you want a better quality life. Or, maybe you want to be sure that you will go to heaven when you die. The wonderful thing is, you can! Here’s how…

The Bible teaches that God hungers to share His love with you.

In the Garden of Eden, God walked and talked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day. That is what God wants to do with each of us, also. He yearns to be able to share His love with us and have us share our hearts with Him on a daily basis. As our Creator and Sustainer, He knows what we need even more than we do, and He answers our questions even before we ask.

God’s heart was broken when sin entered into Adam and Eve’s lives and stole away that relationship He had with them. The enemy tempted Adam and Eve to live like gods themselves, rather than enjoy God’s life through them. In choosing to look to self, rather than looking beyond to the wonderful Giver of Life, Adam and Eve cut off much of the flow of God within them.

So God sent His Son, Jesus of Nazareth, in the form of a man to remove the sin which separated mankind’s heart from the heart of God. By entering the world as a man, God was able to take the sins of the entire world upon His own shoulders and pay the penalty of this separation by allowing His Son, Jesus Christ, to be separated from Him for a moment of time. That is why Jesus cried out while dying on the cross, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” However, in forsaking His Son in that moment, God was restoring the opportunity for you and me to return to the experience of the Garden of Eden and once again have fellowship with Almighty God. Once again we could walk with Him in the cool of the day and share our lives with Him and have God share His life with us.

Our relationship with God can be restored by honoring Jesus as Lord and receiving the sacrifice of Jesus’ life for our sins. The steps are quite clearly laid out in the Bible.

Four Steps to Restoring a Relationship with Your Heavenly Father

Step 1 - I REPENT for being master of my own life and living separate from God

"The kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel" (Mark 1:15).

To repent means you change your mind. I repent of satan’s big lie in the garden of Eden, when he said, “You will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Gen. 3:5). His suggestion was that instead of taking daily walks with God in the cool of the day, and hearing from God and receiving His wisdom, we could figure things out ourselves. Satan suggested independent living (out of self), rather than dependent living (out of the Holy Spirit).

Jesus came to restore relationship: Jesus modeled the original design of the Garden when He said, “I do nothing on my own initiative, but only what I hear and see the Father doing” (Jn. 5:19,20,30; 8:28,29,38).

No more striving with my own strength: The first foundation stone in the Christian life is to repent from my own strivings which the Bible calls dead works (Heb. 6:1,2). A dead work is a work which originates with self rather than God. It is a work which follows satan’s suggestion to live out of MY initiative. This is the FOUNDATIONAL SIN, out of which all other sins flow. So if at the point of salvation, we deal with this one foundational sin, this will restore us to a relationship with our Heavenly Father. We can once again live out of His voice and receive His power.

Once fellowship with God is restored, other sins will get cleaned up. Indeed, evidence that one has repented of this foundational sin and been born again is that these other sins are disappearing (1 Pet. 2:1-2; Acts 26:20; Heb. 5:9; 1 Cor. 3:15; 1 Cor. 5:5; Titus 2:11-14; 2 Thess. 2:13).

With your spiritual eyes fixed on Jesus, pray this prayer: Jesus, I change my mind about You. You are the Son of God and You are God. You came into this world to show us the way we are to live and to provide eternal life to those who would accept You. 

Step Two - I CONFESS with my mouth that Jesus is Lord and BELIEVE in my heart that God raised Him from the dead

“If you confess 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).

“God so loved the world that He gave His one and only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

With your eyes fixed on Jesus, pray this prayer aloud: I confess with my mouth that You, Jesus, are Lord, the Ruler over all. You are the Christ, the Son of God. I believe in my heart that God raised You from the dead and You are alive forevermore, seated on Your throne in heaven next to the Father. The heavenly hosts worship before Your throne. I believe Your blood that was shed on the cross washes away all my sin. 

Deepen the experience: You may want to repeat the above a couple of times, slowly, reverently and emotionally while seeing each scene as you speak it. This allows these truths to sink deeply into your heart and spirit.

Step Three - I RECEIVE You, Jesus, as my Lord and my Savior

“To all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:11,12).

With the eyes of your heart fixed on Jesus, pray this prayer: I receive You as my personal Lord, King and Commander. I invite You into my life as the Lord and Ruler of my life. I no longer choose to be in charge of my life. I give it to You. I invite You, Jesus, to have first place in my heart and my life. I ask for Your cleansing blood that was shed on the cross to come now and wash down over all my sins. Come make me clean. Restore me to a right relationship as a child of my heavenly Father. Thank You, Lord, for Your cleansing blood! I stand clean and white in Your presence. I put on Your robe of righteousness which You are handing to me. Thank You, Lord.

Pause in His presence: Now tune to flow and watch Jesus come and wash away your sins, cleansing you, and placing His garment of pure white upon you, covering you with His righteousness. What does it feel like, wearing the garment of Christ’s righteousness?

Step Four - I WELCOME You, Holy Spirit, into my life to rescue and empower me and to restore me to intimacy with my heavenly Father.

“You will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). 

“If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you” (Romans 8:11).

Pray this prayer as you watch the Holy Spirit enter into your heart: Holy Spirit, I welcome You into my heart, my soul and my body. Come, enter me now. Take up residence within me. Be the Source of power in my life. Be the Source of my life. I choose to live and walk by Your leading within. I acknowledge You as the River which flows from the throne of God, and is now flowing within my heart (Jn. 7:37-39). Come flow within me. I want to sense Your flow within, and live out of Your flow for the rest of my life. Give life to me now, I pray in Jesus’ name. I receive the Holy Spirit. I receive the River of Life. I receive You, Lord Jesus. You are my all and my everything. Thank You, Lord, for saving a sinner such as I was and now equipping me with Your empowering Holy Spirit. What amazing gifts You have given to me!

Now wait quietly in His presence: See the light and energy of the Holy Spirit swirling around within you, changing you, transforming you, enlightening you, empowering you. Is He speaking something to you? Tune to His voice, which is flowing thoughts, and hear what He is saying to you. Respond with, “Yes, Sir.” as He is giving you your very first instructions as your new-found Commander and Friend.

The Four Steps for Entering the Kingdom of God

Speak this aloud, prayerfully and from your heart

Step 1 - I repent for trying to be master of my own life. I change my mind about who I want to be in charge of my life. I turn from my useless and unproductive thoughts that I am the center of my universe and choose to believe in the living God who created everything, including me (Acts 14:15). I have lived without a purpose but now I will live to hear and obey You, God (Jn. 5:19, 20,30).

Step 2 - I confess with my lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in my heart that God raised Him from the dead. I believe that God so loved the world He sent His only Son Jesus to shed His blood to wash away the barrier of sin (Jn. 3:16).

Step 3 - I receive You, Jesus as MY Lord and Savior (Jn. 1:11,12).

Step 4 - I welcome You, Holy Spirit, into my life to rescue and empower me and to restore me to intimacy with my heavenly Father (Acts 2:38).


Go deeper with this website on salvation:  http://www.bornofthespirit.today/


 

Related Resources: 

How to Be Empowered by the Holy Spirit!   
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