The choice to become God’s child is the most important decision a person can make in life. At the point of becoming a Christian, everything changes. The person has died to sin and has been given a new life in Christ.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.2 Corinthians 5:171
Salvation is found only in Christ (2 Timothy 2:10), and one cannot be in Christ without repenting of sins and being “baptized into Christ” (Romans 6:3–4). If you haven’t decided to be added to the Lord, then do so today!
As heavy as the decision to become a Christian is, believe it or not, it’s the easiest part of a person’s walk with Christ. Remaining in that relationship is the hardest. In the Old Testament, circumcision brought a person into a covenant relationship with God (see Genesis 17; Acts 7:8). When Paul wrote to the Colossian Christians, he called their baptism “a circumcision made without hands.” Let’s read that in its context.
In Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions.Colossians 2:10–13
Being baptized into Christ puts one into a covenant relationship with God. If you have made this decision, you have, in essence, appealed to God to become His child and you want to serve Him for eternity. He adopts you into His family (Acts 2:38–42), and promises you an inheritance.
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.Galatians 3:26-28
Every parable that Jesus tells about His return (see Matthew 25) indicates two things. (1) His return will be unexpected. (2) Only those who are found faithful on that day will receive the blessing of heaven. At the very beginning of His ministry, Jesus taught His disciples continued faithfulness.
You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.Matthew 10:22
After His resurrection, He sent His apostles to teach the world. They also taught continued faithfulness. There is warning after warning to Christians of the dangers of falling back into the world—going back on the covenant. Perhaps the most visual is Peter’s warning about disciples who become false teachers.
For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them. It has happened to them according to the true proverb, “A dog returns to its own vomit,” and, “A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.”2 Peter 2:20–22
Most of us don’t like visualizing either one of those—the pig or the dog. But Peter calls the images to our mind on purpose. We had poison in our body that would have killed us, but Christ purged it from us, offering life.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 6:23
God wants us to picture a vomit-eating dog anytime we consider turning our back on the Lord, drinking the poison of sin again. The blessing of Christ is the forgiveness of sins and reconciliation to God in His kingdom. The continuation of that blessing is conditional on our continual faithfulness.
If we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.1 John 1:7
The word if, although it’s only two letters, is a huge word. Christ had a similar burden when He was on the earth. He was tempted in all ways we are tempted (Matthew 4:1–11; Hebrews 4:15). However, He kept His focus on eternity. Following that example, Paul did too.
Not that I have already obtained it [the resurrection from the dead] or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.Philippians 3:12–14
Press on! Remain faithful! That’s the battle cry of the Christian. Despite what some people teach, it is possible to fall from grace (see Galatians 5:1–4), but it’s completely your choice. Heed the warnings of Scripture!
You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness. .2 Peter 3:17
At the end of Paul’s life, since he stuck to his commitment, he was able to say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:7–8). Will you be able to say the same?