How do I become a Christian?
From the front to the back, the Bible is full of echoes. The same narrative pattern is being told over and over again, with different characters, in different settings, and in different ways. But always affirming the same simple truth:
God creates a world, which is good and perfect (orderly); that world is broken by the rebellion of God’s people; and so God steps in to redeem his world and the people who have rejected him.
Creation, Fall, and Redemption
“God saw all that he had made and it was very good,” “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, over all the creatures that move along the ground,” “God blessed them (humans) and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.” [Genesis 1:31, 1:26, and 1:28]
Following the first disobedience of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and the continuing disobedience of the subsequent generations, God speaks out against humanity, “The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.” [Genesis 6:5-6]
“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all have sinned—but the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!” “Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.” [Romans 4:12, 4:15, and 4:18-19]
The bible makes it very clear that we are all guilty of breaking God’s laws and rebelling against Him (the Bible calls this sin): “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
Not only are we guilty of breaking God’s laws by our actions but also by our thoughts, motives, and attitudes. Nothing is hidden from God’s sight. When we disobey God it shows that we would rather live without His loving rule in our lives. In reality, we are rejecting our Creator.
If this attitude towards God continues until death there are serious consequences.
God is not only loving but also holy (perfect) and just (Romans 3:22-26). He cannot overlook or leave our lawbreaking unpunished. If He did this, He would be like a judge who let criminals go free. No good and honest judge would do that. To a holy God our sin is so serious that He cannot and will not let it enter into His perfect heaven.
The truth is, none of us are good enough to get into heaven and by our own efforts there is nothing we can do to change this fact (Ephesians 2:8-10). We are powerless to save ourselves (Isaiah 59:2-3, 59:12-15).
However, God has done something unfathomable for us. Instead of giving us what we deserve God actually wants to forgive us. He does not want anyone to go to hell and has made a way for us to be forgiven (1 Tim 2:3-6).
This forgiveness was made possible when He sent Jesus Christ (the Son of God) to earth. Jesus willingly suffered and died on a cross to take the punishment we deserve on Himself (we broke the law and Jesus served the sentence). God then raised Him from the dead three days later and now offers forgiveness (a clean slate) and new life to everyone.
However, like any gift this can be accepted and received, or rejected and left unclaimed. This forgiveness cannot be earned! Going to church, praying, living a ‘good’ life and helping others are all good things but none of these have the power or authority to forgive you of your disobedience to God. To accept and receive this free gift of forgiveness you must…
- Admit (confess) that you have offended God by your attitudes and actions.
- Accept that there is nothing you can do to save yourself.
- Be willing to turn away from anything that offends God (God will teach and help you to do this).
- Trust that Jesus Christ died for your sins (past, present, and future) on the cross and rose from the dead.
- Through a prayer of faith (to God) give God control of your life.
If you are willing to accept God’s gift of forgiveness, a fresh start, you must also understand the cost. Jesus outlines the cost: “If anyone comes to me and loves his father and mother, his wife and children, his brother and sister—yes, even his own life (more than he loves me)—he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross (responsibility) and follow me cannot be my disciple (Luke 14:26-27).” Jesus explains this with a metaphor, “Suppose one of you wants to build a house. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple (Luke 14:28, 33).”
The decision you make to accept Jesus into your life as Lord and Savior is one of the most important decisions you will ever have to make and consequently is one not to be made lightly.
He made it clear that we are to submit to Him and be willing to face suffering and tough times just as He did (1 Peter 4:12-16). However, as a Christian, God enters your life by the Holy Spirit and teaches, encourages, strengthens and helps you even in times of failure. As you surrender control of your life to Him He will give you new desires (Galatians 5:16-26) and the power to change…this is a life long process.
If you have considered the cost of being a follower of Christ, and want to become a follower of Jesus and accept the gift of forgiveness He offers you then here is a sample prayer you could pray to Jesus. It does not have to be exact, but you will get the idea:
I confess that I am guilty of breaking your laws and I am truly sorry. I want to turn away from the things that offend you and ask that your forgive me of my sins. I trust in what you have done on the cross and thank you for dying on the cross to take the punishment of my sin on yourself. I want the Holy Spirit to enter my life to help me be the person you want me to be.
This is a very concise explanation of what is taught from the bible and no doubt you have more questions than answers. We would prefer to talk in person about our belief in Jesus and are happy to hear your thoughts and questions on the above. If you would like to talk to someone please get in touch with the office and get a referral to one of our Pastors.