There is a God who is altogether holy, who is perfectly just, and who declares that he is going to judge the world and hold every human being accountable for their life. As a perfectly holy and just God, he requires from each one of us a life of perfect obedience and of perfect justness. If there is such a God and if you have lived a life of perfect justness and obedience—that is, if you’re perfect — then you certainly don’t need Jesus. You don’t need a Savior because only unjust people have a problem.
The problem is simply this: If God is just (and He is) and requires perfection from me and I come short of that perfection and he is going to deal with me according to justice (and He will), then I am looking at a future punishment at the hands of a holy God. If the only way I can escape punishment is through a Savior and if I want to escape that, then I need a Savior. Some people will say that we’re just trying to preach Jesus as a ticket out of hell, as a way to escape eternal punishment. That’s not the only reason we would commend Jesus to people, but that is one of the reasons.
Many people in today’s culture don’t really believe that God is going to hold them accountable for their lives—that God really does not require righteousness. When we take that view, we don’t feel the weight of the threat of judgment. If you’re not afraid to deal with God’s punishment, then be happy as you can be if you want. I would be living in terrible fear and trembling at the prospect of falling into the hands of a holy God.
The absolute necessity for the regenerating operation of the Holy Spirit in order for a sinner’s being converted to God lies in his being totally depraved. Fallen man is without the least degree of right disposition or principles from which holy living comes about. He is completely under a contrary disposition: there is no right exercise of heart in him, but every motion of his will is corrupt and sinful. If this were not the case, there would be no need for him to be born again and made ‘a new creature.’ If the sinner were not wholly corrupt he would submit to Christ without any supernatural operation of the Spirit; but fallen man is so completely sunk in corruption that he has not the faintest real desire for God, but is filled with enmity against Him (Rom. 8:7). Therefore does Scripture affirm him to be "dead in trespasses and sins" (Eph. 2:1).
BUT THERE'S GOOD NEWS! "As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, to them which believe on His name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" (John 1:12, 13). When Christ saves us we are totally changed, his righteousness becomes our righteousness. The Bible tells us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9 NKJV).
Confess that you are a sinner.
No matter how good a life we try to live, we still fall miserably short of being a good person. We were all born sinners; we've all broken God’s commandments. We've told lies; we taken things that did not belong to us (stolen), we've taken God's name in vain. Jesus said if we look at a woman (or man) and lust after them in our heart, we’ve committed adultery-- and that's only 4 of 10). We've all fallen short of God’s desire for us to be holy. Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God— Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man (Adam), and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned—
Recognize that Jesus Christ died on the cross for you.
The Bible tells us, “But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while were still sinners” (Romans 5:8 NLT). This is the Good News, that God loves us so much that He sent His only Son to die in our place when we least deserved it.
Repent of your sin.
The Bible tells us to “repent and be converted” (Acts 3:19 NKJV). The word repent means to change our direction in life. Turn away from sin! Quit sinning. The Spirit of Christ gives power over sin to those who come to Christ in brokenness and contriteness.
Surrender your life to Jesus Christ.
Becoming a Christian (Christ-like) is not merely believing some creed or going to church. It is having Christ Himself take residence in your life and heart. Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door (of your life) and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in . . .” (Revelation 3:20 NKJV).
Put your faith in action.
When you know that you have been forgiven; when Christ has become your life... put your faith in action, spend time with God by reading your Bible, praying, connect with a group of followers of Christ who gather together regularly in a corporate place, and tell others about Christ. As you are filled with the Holy Spirit, he will give you power over sin (Galatians 5:16,17); and, He will give you power to become a witness for Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8).
The moment we receive Christ by faith many things happened:
Christ came into your life (Revelation 3:20 and Colossians 1:27).
Your sins were forgiven (Colossians 1:14).’
You became a child of God (John 1:12).
You received eternal life (John 5:24).
You have just begun this new life in Christ. (John 10:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17 and 1Thessalonians 5:18). Serving Christ is a great joy.
'Repentance is more than just sorrow for the past... repentance is a change of mind and heart, a new life of denying self and serving the Savior as King in its place.
Spiritual growth results from trusting Jesus Christ.
G Go to God in prayer daily (John 15:7).
R Read God's Word daily (Acts 17:11) - begin with the Gospel of John.
O Obey God moment by moment (John 14:21).
W Witness for Christ by your life and words (Matthew 4:19; John 15:8).
T Trust God for every detail of your life (1 Peter 5:7).
H Holy Spirit - Allow Him to control and empower your daily life and witness (Galatians 5:16,17; Acts 1:8).