The Quest For Redemption

We live in a demonic infested world where Satan and his allies in rebellion towards God are determined to take as many captives with them to the same hell originally created and reserved for them.

The greatest question facing mankind isn't about what to do with the scourge of HIV/AIDS; nuclear weapons proliferation; or even climate change issues. The greatest question that every person irrespective of religion, culture, nation, and ideology will have to answer is; what have I done about the person called Jesus? This question is central to every deliverance need there has been, is and will be for the foreseeable future.

Knowing Jesus

From a deliverance perspective anyone wanting to exert authority over evil spirits, powers of darkness and the works of darkness must as a fundamental prerequisite surrender their lives to Jesus Christ. It is only through Jesus Christ can you overcome the dominion of darkness and for that to happen, you must receive Him as both LORD and Saviour of your lifr, and believe so without doubt.

Some people have very strong aversion to God, The LORD Jesus and His Word and cannot begin to understand why that is so. Some equally have very disparaging things to say of the Gospel; which when considered is incongruous given the fact that the gospel is about hope, redemption and salvation. Some have never had problems sufficient to warrant them to seek God and get right with Him; and so draw to the conclusion that God is irrelevant to their lives.

The Scripture is the Word of God and many people through the ages have expressed belief, confidence, conviction and some have died willingly for the sacred truth it espouses. The Scripture if you like is God’s personal witness and journey with the world. It gives us a vantage point from which to observe the world from a small but an important fragment of God's perspective. It is the unfolding master plan of God to restore the world and creation; bringing everlasting peaceful order in the place of this chaos called earth. It is the hidden truth of God revealed for the redemption, salvation of mankind and the world through His Son; Jesus Christ. It also serves as a testament against the World that God has done everything possible to bring about the reconciliation, redemption and harmony we all crave for but refuse to accept; on the premise that we don't believe we have done anything to warrant the need to be reconciled, redeemed and saved.

To begin to understand why we desperately need to be saved from ourselves and the clutches of the Devil, we need to appreciate a Biblical understanding of sin, opposed to the stereotypical definition that nowadays invokes a sense of humour rather than the seriousness it truely deserves.

21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Romans 3:21 - 26 (King James Version)

But how can you be a recipient of God's grace if you do not accept your sin counts against you?

What Is Sin?

When sin is spoken or thought of we cannot help but to have the distinct impression that it has to do with what, is morally unacceptable. However what is morally acceptable to you may be morally repugnant to another.

Thus, sin is confined to the ethical and moral reasoning; subject to rationalistic principles akin to relativism than the considered perspective advocated through the illumination of God's Word. This of course can create a false sense of security for those who on that basis argue they have lead a relatively good life and have never once been in trouble with the law and are generally good people. Furthermore, they have managed to achieve this without the need of God in their lives, so why should they have to believe in a God who requires them to do good, when they are doing it anyway?

Do not die in sin

However, it is still apparent that most people do not believe they sin because they cannot see how their life’s choices impacts on God’s creation of which they are. This is an argument put forward usually by those who attribute their good behaviour to their moral rectitude and self-righteousness.

Sin is not just confined to the matter of ethics and morals alone, although ethics and morals are part of the equation to understanding the behaviour and character it induces principally on the sinner. Our own ethics and morality do not constitute sin as a definition; but are particulars of sin where the Holy Bible is concerned. As long as we are dealing within the realms of sinful particulars, inevitably we have failed to reach the biblical understanding of what actually is sin. After all sin as a definition was never prescribed by the world, but by God who created the world.

The Scripture supplements our understanding of sinful particulars; and included in that is the sinner. A case in point is outlined in the Scripture portion below.

16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Galatians 5:16 - 25 (King James Version)

As you can clearly see, lust, fornication, adultery, seditions, witchcraft etc are particular dispositions of sin that characterises the innate nature of sinners, but are not necessarily the cause of the sin, rather they are many by-products of sin.

Another comparative lists of sinful particulars can be found is as follows:

9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6:9 - 10 (King James Version)

and

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. 5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. 8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

Colossians 3:1 - 10 (King James Version)

As you can see from the Scripture references above there are sinful dispositions considered antisocial for the purposes of the law that governs countries, because it constitutes criminal offence; while others are not considered wrong any longer by the same token. Society as a whole over the last century or more have gradually worked towards normalising every conceivable sinful disposition that would have been shunned by past generations. The normalisation of sinful dispositions are no longer considered wrong as societies across the world spirals into even more vacuous lifestyle; moving further and further away from the consciousness of the Creator of the universe, God. For example, one such normalisation of the sinful nature is what the Scripture correctly identify as fornication. Simply defined, fornication is the act of sexual intercourse between two partners or people that are not married to each other. Another definition of fornication is voluntary sexual intercourse outside of marriage. In today's thinking one night stand, casual sex, and serial monogamous relationships to mention just a few would fit the biblical definition of fornication. As long as it is consensual between two adults, then fornication has not broken or violated any moral codes of a modern society. This of course is seen as the basic human and civil rights of an individual; and just because it is not wrong in the eyes of the world; does not make it normal and right from God’s perspective as revealed in Scripture.

Seven deadly sins

Therefore, in looking at the particulars of sin as a basis in deciding whether a person is generally good or bad, falls well short of the correct biblical understanding. It is for this reason that the Scripture does not view sin solely from their particulars, but from the transcendence of Christ. Thus, the reliance of ethics and morals alone as demonstrated above is grossly inadequate in understanding sin from the divine perspective of God.

Sin therefore is primarily concerned with the innate state of unbelief that governs the world; and is predisposed in hostility toward the LORD Jesus Christ and the virtues of the Kingdom of God. The hostility can take many different manifestations which all hinges on strong aversion to the Biblical.

5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

Romans 8:5 - 11 (King James Version)

Therefore as long as you do not believe in the person Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God; with regard for your status in life and social standing you are still at your very best in sin and will die in your sinful disposition. While this may sound harsh and uncompromising, it is worth drawing attention to what Jesus Himself said to religious commuinty leaders of His day.

35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? 36 He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? 37 And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. 38 And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him. 39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. 40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? 41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

John 9:35 - 41 (King James Version)

Jesus had just healed a man who was born with blindness. The religious leaders (Pharisees) who obviously could not deny the validity of this man’s healing; wanted to know if they were blind because they didn’t accept what Jesus had done. To which Jesus replied above in verse 41. It was that simple and straightforward that sin is unbelief in God. There was no moral or ethical debate, but a matter of simply believing in Jesus Christ or not.

If you do not believe in Jesus Christ regardless of how good a person you and others perceive you to be, your sin remains and it will testify against you on the day Christ will appear and bring judgment on the world.

It is not however the will of God for you to perish, but to come to repentance and live (See 2 Peter 3:9).

The Consequences of Sin

In John 3:18 we learn that anyone who does not believe in Jesus Christ stands condemned already, because of their refusal to acknowledge their sin. And what is their sin? Unbelief in the Son of God.

The Scripture also teaches that everyone is destined to die once for so God has appointed it and after death will face judgment to decide whether they spend eternity with God or eternity in torment with the enemies of Christ Jesus.

27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

Hebrews 9:27 - 28 (King James Version)

Sin has big consequences

Everyone that has rejected Christ Jesus and remained in their unbelief will be judged by God’s universal law, and that law will certainly consider their ethical and moral inclinations; not for the purposes of rubber stamping our good behaviour but to see if we have measured up; to the highest standards attained through the perfect and ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross. The law of God was given incidentally not to those who are believers in Christ Jesus but to unbelievers and sinners; who will be measured by God’s standards to see if they have measured up to His Law.

8 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; 9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

1 Timothy 1:8 - 10 (King James Version)

So that no one is in doubt as to the heavenly requirement, the Scripture warns that it is hard for the righteous to be saved; how much more sinners.

17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? 18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

1 Peter 4:17 - 18 (King James Version)

and

14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, 15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. 16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage.

Jude 1:14 - 16 (King James Version)

The Scripture concludes that the price of sin and being a sinner will result ultimately in death.

23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 6:23 (King James Version)

and

10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. 11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Revelation 20:10 - 15 (King James Version)

Sugar coated teachings

You would have most probably heard or perhaps even come across some professing the Christian faith say that hell is not real, or that because God loves so much, He will not send people to a place of unimaginable pain and suffering. It is true that God loves so much and it is equally true that God would prefer that no body ends up in hell however, people make their own choices when the reject God.

It simply does not follow logic that anyone can and do choose to reject the basis on which God offers salvation to the world, but still wants to the benefit of salvation once departed from this world. This is why the decision you make or are about to make about Jesus, is and would be the most important you are or will ever make in this life.

Time to make a decision

The Scripture teaches that everyone regardless of sentiments that is not a child of God is a child of the Devil. This is because the Devil is the father of all those who sin and is a sinner from the beginning. The Devil is also responsible for all manner of disobedience towards God as its chief architect and artificer.

The children of the Devil are by definition lawful captives and can only be delivered from their captivity when they surrender their lives to Jesus Christ in accepting His finished work of salvation on the Cross. There is no other way or alternatives given to mankind whereby we can be saved, redeemed and reconciled to God in order to escape the punishment reserved originally for the Devil and his allies in rebellion.

10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Acts 4:10 - 12 (King James Version)

We cannot escape the inevitable if we choose to ignore and neglect the message of salvation in the Gospel and claim ignorance as an excuse.

2 For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; 3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; 4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?

Hebrews 2:2 - 4 (King James Version)

The extent of God’s love is demonstrated in Jesus Christ for us even before we came to the knowledge of Him.

7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

Romans 5:7 - 10 (King James Version)

and

15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. 16 For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. 17 But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

Hebrews 3:15 - 19 (King James Version)

You have nothing to lose but everything to gain when you accept the provision out of sin granted through believing and accepting Jesus as your LORD and personal Saviour. Do you want Jesus to be LORD and Saviour in and of your life today?

Provision of God's Grace

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

John 3:16 - 21 (King James Version)

God in His infinite grace and mercy provided a way for us to escape the otherwise would be the inescapable torment of hell reserved for those who do not and simply will not believe in Him through JESUS CHRIST. God did so by sending His Son Jesus Christ, to appear in flesh in this world; revealing and teaching us about His heavenly Kingdom while providing a way through Himself for us to be reconciled to God and escape eternal damnation to hell.

Jesus came to remove that chasm that kept mankind separated from God, by taking away our sin and crucifying it on His Cross; so that in believing in Him; you will no longer be required to bear the burden, consequence and punishment of your unbelief in God; but will become a child of the Most High God.

12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

John 1:12 - 14 (King James Version)

As a child of the Most High God, you also become a benefactor of His forgiveness, grace, love and blessings for this life and that which is to come. What is now required of you is to believe in what Jesus Christ has done. More importantly to believe in Jesus Christ for who He is; and we know this because the Scripture declares Him to be The LORD.

What has Jesus done for you?

Well He offered Himself as living sacrifice to God in going to the Cross to be crucified. The Cross of Jesus has now become not just the symbol and medium of the hope of eternal life; but the gateway to salvation, and eternal life from God mediated through Jesus Christ to you and the world. This means that salvation from the impending condemnation that awaits the the unjust, sinners, demons, the Devil and his angels can be realised only through Jesus Christ.

Jesus went through unimaginable anguish, pain, sorrow and suffering so that we did not have to suffer for our unbelief, when we surrender our all to Him.

10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

Hebrews 2:10 (King James Version)

and

18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

1 Corinthians 1:18 - 21 (King James Version)

What is now required of you? God requires you to believe in this work already fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? 29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

John 6:28 - 29 (King James Version)

Believing in Jesus

In four simple monumental steps, you can become a child of God and profess Jesus Christ as your LORD, Saviour and Redeemer. Can you feel Jesus knocking on the door of your heart, do you hear Him knocking on the door of your heart? You might be feeling something or anticipating something that you cannot quite articulate, nevermind, know that this day should you accept Jesus into your life, you would have crossed over from death and into eternal life.

Seeking Salavtion

Answering the call of salvation is so personal that only you can do it, no one can do it on your behalf. You may even think you need to have a priest, pastor or some other Christian there with you to assist, although it would be nice, fundamentally it is not required. All you need to do to accept and recieve Jesus into your life as your LORD and personal Saviour are spelt out below in four simple steps.

Step 1 - Acknowledge Him with your heart and mouth

9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

Romans 10:9 - 11 (King James Version)

Step 2 - Confess before God that you are a sinner in need of His grace

5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

1 John 1:5 - 10 (King James Version)

Step 3 - Invite Jesus to come into your life and take His rightful place therein

13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Romans 10:13 (King James Version)

Step 4 - Thank God for the freedom you now have in Christ

36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

John 8:36 (King James Version)

If you have followed the four simple steps now wrap it up with the prayer below:

Prayer of Salvation

LORD Jesus Christ, I now come to You wholeheartedly and acknowledge You as the LORD, Saviour and Redeemer of mankind and the World.

I confess to You LORD that I am a sinner, I was born into sin and continued to sin. I need Your forgiveness and grace in my life, to start living in You and for You by the help and strength only You can give.

My LORD Jesus Christ, I now this day before You and heaven renounce and repudiate Satan, his works, his kingdom and every affiliation I have and had with Satan through ignorance; knowingly and unknowingly. I refuse to be partaker of Satan’s fruitless deeds of darkness any longer.

My LORD Jesus Christ, forgive me for all my sin of unbelief in You, who You are and the Work of Salvation, which You have accomplished on the Cross, for my sake and that of world.

I believe in the efficacy of Your blood that was shed on the Cross for the forgiveness and remission of my sin.

Today, I surrender my life: spirit, soul and body to You LORD Jesus Christ. I invite You to come into my life and take Your rightful place as LORD of everything in me, and to me.

I surrender my will to You and ask for the will of God instead to override my will to sin against You.

LORD Jesus I ask You to also fill me with the promised Holy Spirit of God, and enable me to hear Your voice and follow you; but the voice of strangers, agents of darkness, demons, powers of darkness and Satan grant me boldness, courage and inner strength to resist and never follow them.

I thank You LORD Jesus Christ for making me a child of the Most High God. I thank You that I can now call God my Father; making me His child. I ask for that You will now endue me with power from You to live life in the fullness of your divine purposes for me. Enable me to be effective a disciple and in making disciples for You.

Your Word declares that whomsoever You will set free is free indeed. I confess now that Your blood was shed for the remission and forgiveness of my sin; therefore I am free.

Order me now in the knowledge of Your Word and do not allow any sin to contaminate and have dominion over me.

I praise and thank You LORD Jesus for the freedom I have in You.

Blessed be Your holy name forever!

Amen and amen!!!

My heavenly Father; as Your child now born again of Your Spirit through Jesus Christ; I ask that my confession, testimony and salvation this day be an eternal memorial in heaven. Seal my confession, testimony and salvation with the blood of Jesus Christ. Amen!

Practical Advice and Guidance

If you have made commitment to give your life to The LORD Jesus Christ, we would love to hear from you and help you realise the next few important steps of your Christian faith and journey in Christ.

We advice you now to pray to God to guide your into a church of true Christian fellowship where you can grow in Him and be developed as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

If you do not yet have a copy of the Holy Bible, we recommend you purchase one and immerse yourself in the Word of God.

We continue to make ourselves available as on online resource for you to use and develop in the faith of OUR LORD and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Please feel free to contact us and we will do our best to help you with any enquiry?

God bless you for making this commitment to serve and follow Jesus Christ today.