The First Step of Faith: Beginning the Journey with Christ

In our contemplation of the initial step towards a life with Christ, we find that embarking on this spiritual journey requires a foundational act of faith. This sermon delves into the essence of that first step—repentance and belief in the Gospel—underscoring that it is not formalized through a ritualistic prayer but through a heartfelt turning towards God.

Beyond the Sinner’s Prayer: While the notion of a sinner’s prayer is common in many Christian traditions, Scripture emphasizes a more profound initiation into faith: repentance, surrender, and trust in Jesus Christ. This turning to God often manifests in prayer, a sincere outpouring of one’s acknowledgment of sinfulness and need for salvation, yet it transcends any prescribed set of words. The Bible showcases this through various examples, such as the tax collector’s simple plea for mercy, the thief on the cross’s request to be remembered, and Zacchaeus’s commitment to restitution—each reflecting genuine repentance and faith.

The Call to Repentance and Faith: The journey begins with recognizing our autonomy and sinfulness, renouncing our attempts to control our lives, and wholeheartedly entrusting ourselves to Christ’s redemptive work on the cross. This initial step is not about the eloquence of our words but the sincerity of our hearts, crying out to God for salvation based on what Christ has accomplished.

Accessibility of Grace: Importantly, the opportunity to respond to God’s call does not depend on a specific setting, such as an altar call, but can occur anywhere, at any moment one is moved by the Holy Spirit to seek God’s grace. The church’s leaders are always available to guide and support those on the brink of this life-changing decision, yet the essence of coming to faith lies in an individual’s personal encounter with God’s mercy and grace.

The Journey Continues: Embracing Jesus as Lord and Savior marks not the culmination but the commencement of one’s spiritual voyage. Unfortunately, some stagnate after this initial step, yet Scripture and the life of Jesus beckon us to continual growth, discipleship, and obedience. Salvation is the doorway to a dynamic and evolving relationship with God, where we are called to follow Him, grow in His likeness, and participate in His kingdom’s work.

Conclusion: The first step of faith—turning from sin and embracing Christ’s sacrifice—is both the beginning of our journey with God and a continuous path of transformation. As we heed the call to “Come and follow me,” let us remember that each step taken in faith draws us closer to the heart of God, shapes us into the image of Christ, and unfolds the rich tapestry of life lived in His service and for His glory.