“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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
What is baptism?
The Bible gives four ways to respond to God’s rescue: faith, confession, repentance, and baptism. Baptism is a Greek word that means “immerse.” When you are baptized, you are immersed in water (Matthew 3:16; John 3:23; Acts 8:38-9; Romans 6:1-49). Baptism is one of the responses to the good news of God’s rescue through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Acts 2:38-9.
Why should I be baptized?
Jesus said that being baptized is part of becoming his disciple. (Matthew 28:19-20). The Bible also teaches that the waters of baptism represent a grave. When you are baptized you are buried in a grave of water and raised from that grave. It is like you are burying your sin and old life and rising to a new and eternal life. In baptism, you are identifying with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus and seeking to have the full impact of these events on your life. Romans 6:1-4.
When am I ready to be baptized?
Do you understand and trust what Christ did on the cross for you and your sin? Do you want to turn to God with your life and live for Him? Do you see that God loves you and wants to spend eternity with you? Then don’t wait, bring your faith in Jesus Christ and be baptized. You are ready. In the Bible there was no significant gap between putting faith in Jesus and being baptized. Acts 16:30-33; Acts 8:26-40.
If I am ready, who would baptize me?
Any baptized believer can baptize you. If you have someone who was influential in your spiritual life, you may want him or her to baptize you. If you want someone on the church staff to baptize you, we would be happy to baptize you.
If I am ready, when can I be baptized?
If you have placed your faith in Jesus and are ready to be baptized we will do our best to schedule any day or time that works for you and your friends or family. Just give us a call.
Do I need to be baptized to be a member of this church?
We want you to feel at home here whether you are baptized or not. But all of our members have been baptized by immersion. We ask you to make immersion your experience before you become a member. At your baptism, we can also help you with your membership decision.
What if I was baptized at another church?
That’s great! It doesn’t matter where you were baptized. You were baptized into Christ, not into a church. You don’t need to be immersed again to belong here.
Do you baptize babies?
We believe children are safe and should not be baptized until they take personal responsibility for their sins by putting their faith in Jesus Christ. We do offer Baby Recognition for infants during Mother’s Day Weekend. For more information, call us at 303-776-2927 or 970-660-4078.
How do I know if my child is ready to be baptized?
If you are interested in having your child baptized, check the baptism for children section for resourceful information that will help you identify the readiness of your child for baptism.
What if I was baptized as a baby or by sprinkling?
We know that believers come to us with infant baptism or sprinkling. We do not want to discount anyone’s spiritual heritage. But we do see in scriptures that people were baptized by immersion when they placed their personal faith in Christ. We ask you to make this same step described in the Bible.
What does the Bible actually teach about baptism?
We encourage your personal study through these verses. We believe that your decision should be based on what the Bible teaches over what any church teaches. The Bible should be the authority on all issues of faith. Matthew 3:13-16; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:38-41; Acts 8:12-13; Acts 8:34-39; Acts 9:17-19; Acts 10:47-48; Acts 16:13-15; Acts 16:29-33; Acts 22:16; Romans 6:1-5; Galatians 3:26-27; Ephesians 4:4-6; Colossians 2:9-12.
If you are interested in having your child baptized, the following will help you identify the readiness of your child for baptism.
1.Process this commitment with them.
A. Head: Do they know the central role and meaning of the cross of Christ? Do they grasp the love and the judgment of God? Do they see their need for Jesus to be their Savior and Lord? Do they connect Jesus’ resurrection to their hope for eternal life and a place called heaven? The amount of knowledge is not great or extensive as we are all still learning. Your child should be able to share these concepts with you.
B. Heart: To call on Jesus as Savior and to live with him as Lord is a decision of the heart. Repentance is a sense of personal sin, right and wrong, and accountability before God. Faith is a trust in the person of Jesus to take care of our sin and put us in relationship with God. These are heart issues. Committing to Christ is not merely saying the right words. Can you sense that repentance and faith are wrapped up in their decision?
C. Implications: Does your child see the implications of this decision? Jesus is not only Savior but also Lord. He is to be followed and served. Has your child begun to verbally express any impact this commitment might make with friends, family, decisions, behavior, or priorities?
2. What if my child is asking (which is good) but is not quite ready?
A. Be proud of their spiritual interest and excited about their hunger for spiritual things.
B. Be a parent that helps them grow in their understanding of God’s Word. What can your family add to your prayer time and study of God’s Word?
C. Give your child some steps that will also help them in their future commitment. What about reading all the passages that talk about baptism, or reading through one of the gospels on their own? Perhaps call another family member and have a spiritual conversation. Ask the Children’s Ministry if they have additional study materials, or meet with a church staff member that your child may know.
3. What do we do when we are ready?
A. If you have not done so, please go through a Baptism Class with the Children’s Ministry. Call 303-776-2927 or 970-660-4078, for the next available class.
B. Schedule the baptism, call 303-776-2927 or 970-660-4078.
4. What about the parents?
Perhaps the discussion and discovery your child is making brings questions about your own commitment? We welcome families committing to Christ together. If you do not remember making a personal commitment to Christ or being baptized in the manner discussed in class, then please let us help you take these important spiritual steps as well.
Baby Recognition for infants is offered during Mother’s Day Weekend. For more information, call us at 303-776-2927 or 970-660-4078.
Is the Bible truly God’s Word?
The question we must ask ourselves is how can we know that the Bible is the Word of God and not just a good book? What is unique about the Bible that sets it apart from all other religious books ever written? Is there any evidence that the Bible is truly God’s Word? These are the type of questions that must be looked at if we are to seriously examine the biblical claim that the Bible is the very Word of God, divinely inspired, and totally sufficient for all matters of faith and practice.
There can be no doubt about the fact that the Bible does claim to be the very Word of God. This is clearly seen in verses like 2 Timothy 3:15-17, which say, “. . .from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
In order to answer these questions we must look at both the internal and external evidences that the Bible is truly God’s Word. The internal evidences are those things internal to the Bible itself that testify of its divine origin. One of the internal evidences that indicate the Bible is truly God’s Word is seen in the detailed prophecies contained within its pages. The Bible contains hundreds of detailed prophecies relating to the future of individual nations including Israel, to the future of certain cities, to the future of mankind, and to the coming of one who would be the Messiah, the Savior of not only Israel, but all who would believe in Him. Unlike the prophecies found in other religious books or those done by Nostradamus, the biblical prophecies are extremely detailed and have never failed to come true. There are over three hundred prophecies concerning Jesus Christ in the Old Testament alone. Not only was it foretold where He would be born and what family He would come from, but also how He would die and that He would rise again on the third day. There simply is no logical way to explain the fulfilled prophecies in the Bible other than by divine origin. There is no other religious book with the extent or type of predictive prophecy that the Bible has.
Another internal evidence of the divine origin of the Bible is seen in its unique authority and power. While this evidence is more subjective, it is no less a very powerful testimony of the divine origin of the Bible. The Bible has a unique authority that is unlike any other book ever written. This authority and power are best seen in the way countless lives have been transformed by reading the Bible. Drug addicts have been cured by it, homosexuals have been set free by it, derelicts and deadbeats have been transformed by it, hardened criminals reformed by it, sinners are rebuked by it, and hate has been turned to love by reading it. The Bible does possess a dynamic and transforming power that is only possible because it is truly God’s Word.
Besides the internal evidence that the Bible is truly God’s Word there are also external evidences that indicate the Bible is truly the Word of God. One of those evidences is the historicity of the Bible. Because the Bible details historical events its truthfulness and accuracy is subject to verification like any other historical documentation. Through both archaeological evidences and other written documents, the historical accounts of the Bible have been proven time and time again to be accurate and true. In fact all the archaeological and manuscript evidence supporting the Bible makes it the best documented book from the ancient world. The fact that the Bible accurately and truthfully records historically verifiable events is a great indication of its truthfulness when dealing with religious subjects and doctrines and helps substantiate its claim that it is the very Word of God.
Another external evidence that the Bible is truly God’s Word is the integrity of the human authors. As mentioned earlier, God used men from many walks of life to record His Words to us. In studying the lives of these men, there is no good reason to believe that they were not honest and sincere men. Examining their lives and the fact that they were willing to die (often excruciating deaths) for what they believed in, it quickly becomes clear that these ordinary yet honest men truly believed that God had spoken to them. The men who wrote the New Testament and many hundreds of other believers (1 Corinthians 15:6) knew the truth of their message because they had seen and spent time with Jesus Christ after He had risen from the dead. The transformation of seeing the Risen Christ had a tremendous impact on these men. They went from hiding in fear, to being willing to die for the message God had revealed to them. Their lives and deaths testify to the fact that the Bible truly is God’s Word.
With so many Bible versions today which one is the best translation?
The fact that there are so many Bible versions is both a blessing and a problem. It is a blessing in that the Word of God is available to anyone who needs it in an easy-to-understand, accurate translation. It is a problem in that the different versions can create controversy and problems in Bible studies, teaching situations, etc. The differences between the translations can also be a subject of great division within the church body.
It is probably wise to have access to at least 2 or 3 of the major translations KJV (King James Version), NIV (New International Version), NAS (New American Standard), NKJV (New King James Version), ESV (English Standard Version), NLT (New Living Translation), for comparison’s sake. If a verse or passage in one translation is a little confusing, it can be helpful to compare it side-by-side with another version. It is difficult to say which translation is the “best.” “Best” would be determined by a combination of the translation method personally considered best and your interpretation of the textual data underlying your translation. For example, the KJV and NAS attempted to take the underlying Hebrew and Greek words and translate them into the closest corresponding English words as possible (word for word), while the NIV and NLT attempted to take the original thought that was being presented in Greek and Hebrew and then express that thought in English (thought for thought). Many of the other translations attempt to “meet in the middle” between those two methods. Paraphrases such as The Message or The Living Bible can be used to gain a different perspective on the meaning of a verse, but they should not be used as a primary Bible translation.
There are many more Bible versions out there. It is wise to have a personal method for determining whether a particular Bible translation is accurate. A good technique is to have a set of Scripture verses you know well, and look those verses up in a translation you are unsure of. A good idea is to look at some of the most common verses which speak of the deity of Christ (John 1:1, 14; 8:58; 10:30; Titus 2:13) to make sure a Bible version is true to the Word of God. We can be confident that God’s Word is truth, and that it will accomplish His purposes (Isaiah 55:11; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12).
Where is a good place to start reading the Bible?
For starters, it’s important realize that the Bible is not an ordinary book that reads smoothly from cover to cover. It’s actually a library, or collection, of books written by different authors in several languages over a couple thousand years. Martin Luther said that the Bible is the ‘cradle of Christ’ because all biblical history and prophecy ultimately point to Jesus. Therefore, any first reading of the Bible should begin with the Gospels. The book of Mark is quick and fast-paced and is a good place to start. Then you might want to go on to the Gospel of John, which focuses on the things Jesus claimed about Himself. Mark tells about what Jesus did, while John tells about what Jesus said. In John are some of the simplest and clearest passages, such as John 3:16, but also some of the deepest and most profound passages. Reading the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) will familiarize you with Christ’s life and ministry.
After that, read through some of the Epistles (Romans, Ephesians, Philippians). They teach us how to live our lives in a way that is honoring to God. When you start reading the Old Testament, read the book of Genesis. It tells us about how God created the world, and about how mankind fell into sin, and the impact it had on the world. Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy can be hard to read because they get into all the laws God required the Jews to live by. While you should not avoid those books, they are perhaps better left for later study. In any case, try not to get bogged down in them. Read Joshua through Chronicles to get a good history of Israel. Reading Psalms through Song of Solomon will give you a good feel for Hebrew poetry and wisdom. The prophetic books, Isaiah through Malachi, can be hard to understand as well. Remember, the key to understanding the Bible is asking God for wisdom (James 1:5). God is the author of the Bible, and He wants you to understand His Word.
Who divided the Bible into chapters and verses? Why and when was it done?
When the books of the Bible were originally written, they did not contain chapter or verse references. The Bible was divided into chapters and verses to help us find Scriptures more quickly and easily. It is much easier to find “John chapter 3, verse 16″ than it is to find “for God so loved the world…” In a few places, chapter breaks are poorly placed and as a result divide content that should flow together. Overall, though, the chapter and verse divisions are very helpful.
The chapter divisions commonly used today were developed by Stephen Langton, an Archbishop of Canterbury. Langton put the modern chapter divisions into place in around A.D. 1227. The Wycliffe English Bible of 1382 was the first Bible to use this chapter pattern. Since the Wycliffe Bible, nearly all Bible translations have followed Langton’s chapter divisions.
The Hebrew Old Testament was divided into verses by a Jewish rabbi by the name of Nathan in A.D. 1448. Robert Estienne, who was also known as Stephanus, was the first to divide the New Testament into standard numbered verses, in 1555. Stephanus essentially used Nathan’s verse divisions for the Old Testament. Since that time, beginning with the Geneva Bible, the chapter and verse divisions employed by Stephanus have been accepted into nearly all the Bible versions.
Why is understanding the Bible important?
Understanding the Bible is important because the Bible is God’s Word. When we open the Bible, we read God’s message to us. What could be more important than understanding what the Creator of the universe has to say?
We seek understanding of the Bible for the same reason a man seeks to understand a love letter from his sweetheart. God loves us and desires to restore our relationship with Him (Matthew 23:37). God communicates His love to us in the Bible (John 3:16; 1 John 3:1; 4:10).
We seek understanding of the Bible for the same reason a soldier seeks to understand a dispatch from his commander. Obeying God’s commands brings honor to Him and guides us in the way of life (Psalm 119). Those commands are found in the Bible (John 14:15).
We seek understanding of the Bible for the same reason a mechanic seeks to understand a repair manual. Things go wrong in this world, and the Bible not only diagnoses the problem (sin) but also points out the solution (faith in Christ). “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
We seek understanding of the Bible for the same reason a driver seeks to understand traffic signals. The Bible gives us guidance through life, showing us the road of safety and wisdom (Psalm 119:11, 105).
We seek understanding of the Bible for the same reason someone in the path of a storm seeks to understand the weather report. The Bible predicts what the end times will be like, sounding a clear warning of impending judgment (Matthew 24-25) and how to avoid it (Romans 8:1).
We seek understanding of the Bible for the same reason an avid reader seeks to understand his favorite author’s books. The Bible reveals to us the person and glory of God, as expressed in His Son, Jesus Christ (John 1:1-18). The more we read and understand the Bible, the more intimately we know the Author.
Does God exist? I find it interesting that so much attention is given to this debate.
The latest surveys tell us that over 90% of people in the world today believe in the existence of God or some higher power. Yet, somehow the responsibility is placed on those who believe God does exist to somehow prove that He really does exist. To me, I think it should be the other way around.
However, the existence of God cannot be proven or disproved. The Bible even says that we must accept by faith the fact that God exists, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). If God so desired, He could simply appear and prove to the whole world that He exists. But if He did that, there would be no need for faith. “Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed’” (John 20:29).
That does not mean, however, that there is not evidence of God’s existence. The Bible declares, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world” (Psalm 19:1-4). Looking at the stars, understanding the vastness of the universe, observing the wonders of nature, seeing the beauty of a sunset – all of these things point to a Creator God. If these were not enough, there is also evidence of God in our own hearts. Ecclesiastes 3:11 tells us, “.He has also set eternity in the hearts of men.” There is something deep down in our beings that recognizes that there is something beyond this life and someone beyond this world. We can deny this knowledge intellectually, but God’s presence in us and through us is still there. Despite all of this, the Bible warns us that some will still deny God’s existence, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” (Psalm 14:1). Since over 98% of people throughout history, in all cultures, in all civilizations, on all continents believe in the existence of some kind of God – there must be something (or someone) causing this belief.
In addition to the Biblical arguments for God’s existence, there are logical arguments. First, there is the ontological argument. The most popular form of the ontological argument basically uses the concept of God to prove God’s existence. It begins with the definition of God as “that than which no greater can be conceived.” It is then argued that to exist is greater than to not exist, and therefore the greatest conceivable being must exist. If God did not exist then God would not be the greatest conceivable being – but that would contradict God’s very definition. A second is the teleological argument. The teleological argument is that since the universe displays such an amazing design, there must have been a Divine designer. For example, if earth were even a few hundred miles closer or further away from the sun, it would not be capable of supporting much of the life it currently does. If the elements in our atmosphere were even a few percentage points different, every living thing on earth would die. The odds of a single protein molecule forming by chance is 1 in 10243 (that is a 10 followed by 243 0′s). A single cell is comprised of millions of protein molecules.
A third logical argument for God’s existence is called the cosmological argument. Every effect must have a cause. This universe and everything in it is an effect. There must be something that caused everything to come into existence. Ultimately, there must be something “un-caused” in order to cause everything else to come into existence. That “un-caused” something is God. A fourth argument is known as the moral argument. Every culture throughout history has had some form of law. Everyone has a sense of right and wrong. Murder, lying, stealing, and immorality are almost universally rejected. Where did this sense of right and wrong come from if not from a holy God?
None of these arguments in and of themselves can persuade anyone who refuses to acknowledge God’s existence. In the end, God’s existence must be accepted by faith (Hebrews 11:6). Belief in God is not a blind leap into the dark, it is reasonable step into a well-lit room where 90% of people are already standing.
Where is God now?
Even though we know that God’s presence is in some sense uniquely in Heaven, the teachings of Scripture also make it clear that God is omnipresent (present everywhere at the same time). From the beginning of Scripture, we see the presence of God hovering over the earth, even when it was still formless and empty (Genesis 1:2). God filled the world with His creation and His presence and glory continue to inhabit the whole earth (Numbers 14:21). There are many examples throughout Scripture of God’s presence moving amidst the earth, interacting with His creation (Genesis 3:8, Deuteronomy 23:14, Exodus 3:2, 1 Kings 19:11-18,Luke 1:35, Acts 16:7). Hebrews 4:13 says, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must given an account.” Jeremiah 23:24exclaims, “‘Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?’ declares the Lord. ‘Do not I fill heaven and earth?’ declares the Lord.” Psalm 139 is an amazing study in God’s omnipresence. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, God is with you, beside you, above you, and inside you. God’s presence and watchful care never leaves you. Perhaps a better question than “Where is God?” is “Where are you, in relationship to God?”
Where is God when it hurts?
It seems we desire to know the answer to this question most when faced with painful trials and attacks of doubt. Even Jesus, during His crucifixion, asked, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). To the onlookers of that time, as well as to those who first read the story, it seems that God did forsake Jesus, so we obviously conclude that He will forsake us as well in our darkest moments. Yet, upon continued observation of the events that unfolded after the crucifixion, the truth was revealed that nothing can separate us from the love of God, not even death (Romans 8:37-39). After Jesus was crucified, He was glorified (1 Peter 1:21, Mark 16:6,19; Romans 4:24-25). From this example alone we can be assured that even when we do not feel God’s presence in the midst of our pain, we can still believe His promise that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). “God sometimes permits what he hates to accomplish what he loves” (Joni Erickson Tada).
Our lives are like the illustration of a quilt. If you look at the back side of a quilt, all you see is a mess of knots and loose ends hanging out all over. It is very unattractive and there seems to be no rhyme or reason to the work. Yet when you turn the quilt over, you see how the maker has craftily woven together each strand to form a beautiful creation, much like the life of a believer (Isaiah 64:8). We live with a limited understanding for the things of God, yet a day is coming when we will know and understand all things (Job 37:5, Isaiah 40:28 Ecclesiastes 11:5, 1 Corinthians 13:12, 1 John 3:2). Where is God when it hurts? The message to take with you in hard times is that when you can’t see His hand, trust His heart, and know for certain that He has not forsaken you. When you seem to have no strength of your own, that’s when you can most fully rest in His presence and know that His strength is made perfect in your weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
Why does God love us?
This short question is among the most profound questions ever asked. And no human would ever be able to answer it sufficiently. One thing is certain, however. God does not love us because we are lovable or because we deserve His love. If anything, the opposite is true. The state of mankind since the fall is one of rebellion and disobedience. Jeremiah 17:9 describes man’s inner condition: “The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked. Who can know it?” Romans 3:10-12 clearly presents the state of the natural, unregenerate person: “There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.” How then is it possible for a holy, righteous, and perfect God to love such creatures? To understand this we must understand something of the nature and character of God.
First John 4:8 and 16 tell us that “God is love.” Never was a more important declaration made than this; never was more meaning crowded into a few words than in this short sentence-God is love. This is a profound statement. God doesn’t just love; He is love. His nature and essence are love. Love permeates His very being and infuses all His other attributes, even His wrath and anger. Because God’s very nature is love, He must demonstrate love, just as He must demonstrate all His attributes because doing so glorifies Him.
Since it is God’s essential nature to love, He demonstrates His love by lavishing it on undeserving people who are in rebellion against Him. God’s love is not a sappy, sentimental, romantic feeling. Rather, it is agape love, the love of self-sacrifice. He demonstrates this sacrificial love by sending His Son to the cross to pay the penalty for our sin (1 John 4:10), by drawing us to Himself (John 6:44), by forgiving us of our rebellion against Him, and by sending His Holy Spirit to dwell within us, thereby enabling us to love as He loves. He did this in spite of the fact that we did not deserve it. “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
God’s love is personal. He knows each of us individually and loves us personally. His is a mighty love that has no beginning and no end. It is this experiencing of God’s love that distinguishes Christianity from all other religions. Why does God love us? It is because of who He is: “God is love.”
“How do I get right with God?”
In order to get “right” with God, we must first understand what is “wrong.” The answer is sin. We have rebelled against God’s commands; we have “like sheep gone astray” (Isaiah 53:6).
The bad news is that the penalty for sin is death. “The soul that sins will die” (Ezekiel 18:4). The good news is that a loving God has pursued us in order to bring us salvation. Jesus declared His purpose was “to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10), and He pronounced His purpose accomplished when He died on the cross with the words, “It is finished!” (John 19:30).
Having a right relationship with God begins with acknowledging your sin. Next comes a humble confession of the sin to God (Isaiah 57:15) and a determination to forsake the sin.
This repentance must be accompanied by faith. Specifically, faith that Jesus’ sacrificial death and miraculous resurrection qualify Him to be your Savior. “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 10:9). Many other passages speak of the necessity of faith, such as John 20:27; Acts 16:31; Galatians 2:16; 3:11, 26; and Ephesians 2:8.
Being right with God is a matter of your response to what God has done on your behalf.
A beautiful illustration of repentance and forgiveness is the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32). The younger son wasted his father’s gift in shameful sin (verse 13). When he acknowledged his wrongdoing, he decided to return home (verse 18). He assumed he would no longer be considered a son (verse 19), but he was wrong. The father loved the returned rebel as much as ever (verse 20). All was forgiven, and a celebration ensued (verse 24).
If you want to get right with God, here is a sample prayer. Remember, saying this prayer or any other prayer will not save you. It is only trusting in Christ that can save you from sin. This prayer is simply a way to express to God your faith in Him and thank Him for providing for your salvation. “God, I know that I have sinned against you and am deserving of punishment. But Jesus Christ took the punishment that I deserve so that through faith in Him I could be forgiven. I place my trust in You for salvation. Thank You for Your wonderful grace and forgiveness – the gift of eternal life!