Philip: Patrick, every believer's journey is different. But just to be sure, you have sought forgiveness and submitted yourself to God/Jesus, correct? Just want to make sure you're not merely stating an intellectual belief that Jesus is God, didn't just "pray a prayer," etc.
Patrick: I mean I think so, but I don't really know what that entails. I've long had doubts about what God's will is exactly, so I've prayed to know what God's plan for me is. I read the Bible for a while, but I got out of the habit and only just started back with it. Maybe I'd just have to say I'm still in the process of doing so.
Patrick - you don't need to GUESS at what makes one a Christian. But, to be sure, it is NOT merely an intellectual belief that Jesus exists. It is a desire of the mind and heart - the mind believes Jesus is who He said He is (God!), and what He did: That we are sinners, that He died and arose to pay for our sins.
Romans 10:9-13: 9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord
,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved
. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith
and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved
Luke 12:8: “And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God, but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God.
And just WHO and WHAT is this Jesus we are to confess of and to? http://www.godandscience.org/doctrine/who_is_jesus_christ.html
Jesus is the one prophecied by Isaiah 9:6 - a child to be born that would also be "Mighty God" - "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God
, Everlasting Father
, Prince of Peace ..." And so, the day Jesus was born, this came true: Luke 2:11: "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord
." And after the death, and Jesus' subsequent resurrection back to physical life, Thomas the doubter, finally realized just who Jesus is, in John 20:28: "Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!
So, to be saved, what one confesses to God/Jesus/Holy Spirit is also believed in their heart - that you are committing and submitting yourself to God, through faith in belief as to who and what Jesus is, that He is your Lord who died and arose to save you from your sins (as you acknowledge you are a sinner who needs His forgiveness), and your wish to follow Him. While Jesus has always been Lord to those who have faith in Him. But learning
to make Him, evermore fully, YOUR Lord in further obedience, is a life-long journey of learning to more fully submit and obey his wishes and directives. But at the very moment your heart and mind believe the above, and you've confessed and submitted to God in a desire to follow God/Jesus/Spirit - that IS the moment of salvation. There's no trying to be good enough first, or first having some great perfect knowledge of Scripture or God, as He has made salvation exceptional easy for every sincere heart and mind that wishes to make Him their Lord. And that is the moment He begins to change us, our way of thinking, the beginning of HIm beginning to free us of all our messy stuff. Patrick, if you've not come to that place of confession and submission in your heart to Jesus, faith in who and what He is, please do so - don't delay!
I'll pray that you have come to this point, Pat!