What does God expect us to do with the information that Jesus died in our place so we can be saved from God’s righteous wrath against our sins? He expects us to respond with repentance and faith.
To repent of our sins means to turn away from our rebellion against God. Repentance doesn’t mean we’ll bring an immediate end to our sinning. It does mean, though, that we’ll never again live at peace with our sins.
Not only that, but we also turn to God in faith. Faith is reliance. It’s a promise-founded trust in the risen Jesus to save you from your sins. “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned…he himself bore our sins in his body on the tree…the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God” (John 3:17, 18; 1 Peter 2:24; 3:18).
If God is ever to count us righteous, he’ll have to do it on the basis of someone else’s record, someone who’s qualified to stand in as our substitute. And that’s what happens when a person is saved by Jesus: All our sins are credited to Jesus who took the punishment for them, and the perfect righteousness of Jesus is then credited to us when we place our trust in what he has done for us! That’s what faith means—to rely on Jesus, to trust in him alone to stand in our place and win a righteous verdict from God!
Do you believe that you have rebelled against God and deserve his wrath? That Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died the death that you deserve for your sins? That he rose from the grave and lives to stand in your place as your Substitute and Savior? If that is your heartfelt conviction, you can tell him in words like these…
“Jesus, I know I can’t save myself, and I know you have promised to save those who repent and put their faith in you alone. I trust you to forgive my sins and give me eternal life. Thank you for dying in my place to make my salvation possible!”
If you’ve done that, then a whole life of getting to know Jesus lies ahead, beginning right now! There’s much more to learn from the Spirit of God who comes to live in all those who put their trust in King Jesus!