Someone has said, "knowing Christ died--that's history, believing He died for--that's salvation." A personal relationship with God begins with an event Jesus referred to as a new birth (John 3:3). Only when we are born spiritually into God's family do we become His children, His friends, his servants, and members of His spiritual kingdom.
To begin this personal relationship, take these steps:
Admit your need. We come into this world physically alive but spiritually dead--missing out on the quality of life for which God made us. The Bible says, "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23), "There is none righteous, no, not one" (3:10), and "The wages of sin is death" (6:23).
Realize what God has done for you. God loved us enough to send His own Son into this world to rescue us from the devastating effects of our sin (Jn 1:1-14; 3:16). Jesus died in our place, offering Himself as the perfect sacrifice to pay the price of sin. With one sacrifice, He paid for the least and the worst of our sin.
Personally believe and receive God's gift. No one is saved by trying to be good. We are saved by trusting in Christ. The Bible says, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of your works, lest anyone should boast" (Eph 2:8-9).
The actual words we say to God to receive this gift may vary. What is important is that we believe Him enough to be able to say, "God, I know I have sinned against You. I believe that Jesus is Your Son, that He died for my sins, and that He rose from the dead to prove it. Now I accept Your offer of eternal life. I accept Jesus as Your gift for my salvation."
If this is the honest expression of your heart, you have entered into a personal relationship with God!