Understanding how someone is saved is the first step in making disciples.
Everyone is born into spiritual death (Ephesians 2). Everyone is dead (νεκρός – dead, lifeless, what lacks life) “in trespasses and sins.” Everyone walks according to the course (αἰών – age, space of time, course) of this world. Everyone walks according to the prince (ἄρχων – chief ruler) of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience. Everyone is by nature “children of wrath, just as the others.”
“But God” – love those words! – “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).”
Making disciples begins with preaching the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel begins with repentance toward a holy God. Repentance (μετάνοια) means “a change of mind.” It means far more than just ‘regret.’ It means a change of mind that leads to a choice, a decision.
When someone ‘repents’ they do have regret about their life choices and behavior, but true repentance also means a change of mind that leads to a desire to change in life choices and behavior. As Paul said to the Ephesian elders, his preaching was “repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” That’s the Gospel.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.