THE INDIVIDUAL RESPONSE: THE SURRENDER OF GOD'S CHILDREN
As disciples of Jesus, we surrender our lives to his Lordship. We rejoice in our adoption as God's children and accept the call to be holy and follow the example of Jesus.
1. Our conversion begins with belief in Jesus as God's Son, and in his death and resurrection from the dead. Subsequent steps must include unmistakable repentance of sin, embracing discipleship, and confession that "Jesus is Lord." Finally, we become Christians at the miracle of rebirth with our immersion in water for the forgiveness of our sins and the promise that God will give us the gift of the Holy Spirit. (John 20:31, Luke 14:25-33, Acts 2:38-41, Romans 10:9, Titus 3:3-5)
2. God desires a personal relationship with us and our response is to obey the first and second greatest commandments: to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves. (Mark 12:28-30)
3. Our personal discipleship to Christ begins with our total commitment to the Father, who is over all and through all and in all. It involves an understanding of and a commitment to his terms of surrender to his Lordship, and a daily decision to deny self and persevere to the very end. (Luke 9:23ff; 14:33, Romans 2:7, Galatians 6:9).
4. Our holiness in daily living is a command from God. From baptism we are called to be set apart from the world and the ways of the world (sanctified) and live as saints of God (Ephesians 1:1, Ephesians 2:1-4, 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8, 1 John 2:15-17). With holiness in mind, the romantic and marriage relationships of Christians are to be pursued with only those who "belong to the Lord" as defined by Scriptures (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1, 1 Corinthians 7:39).