Following Jesus involves giving up directing our own lives and allowing Jesus to direct them. Along the way, Jesus opens our eyes to who he is and what that means for us.
One thing we come to see is our imperfection, what the Bible calls sin. Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (NIV)
Our eyes are opened to the effects of sin, the most significant being it separates us from God. The damage is so great, there’s nothing we can do to undo that separation. Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
We see that God created us, loves us and intends to undo the consequences of our sin. To undo them, God sent Jesus, the Son of God, who lived a perfect, sinless life and who died on a cross, taking our sin on himself. Romans 5:8: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
We also see we now have a choice. We can accept who Jesus is and what he did, or we can reject him. Rejecting Jesus means we stay in our sin. Accepting Jesus means we confess Jesus is Lord of our lives and turn from our sin, or repent, and follow him. Romans 10:9: “That 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 10:13: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Part of following Jesus includes being baptized, which Baptists understand means being immersed completely under water as a statement we have died to sin and are raised to new life in Jesus. Matthew 28:19: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
Another part of following Jesus is committing to a group of people who also follow Jesus, what we call a church, and joining with them in growing closer to Jesus, what we call discipleship. Matthew 28:20: “and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
If you have questions about what it means to follow Jesus, please contact us.