Becoming a Christian
Becoming a Christian is about having a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. It's much more than just having knowledge about God, or saying you believe in God, or saying you think you'll go to heaven when you die. It's about a relationship that gives you daily peace from knowing for certain what your eternal destination is. It's about having the confidence to approach God through prayer to ask for His help for you and others, believing with certainty that He hears your requests. It's about living a life of joy and peace that comes from deep within your spirit, even when worldly circumstances would dictate otherwise.
We're Not Perfect
The Bible tells us that each and every human being is born as a sinner (for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23). To sin simply means missing the mark on what God had planned for us, engaging in thoughts and activities that are contrary to God's will. By our own abilities, we are unable to act as God wants us to. We fall way short of being holy, godly people. God is holy, perfect, and sinless. Man is not.
The first part of Romans 6:23 (For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.) bluntly tells us that if we remain in this sinful state, we will be separated from God - eternally. But the good news is that God wants to reconcile people to Him, and He provided a way for reconciliation through Jesus Christ His Son.
God Loves Us
One of the wonderful attributes of God is that He is love, and He loves us so much that He was willing to send His own Son to die as a sacrifice for our sins. Romans 5:8 says, But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. And John 3:16 says, For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. We deserve to be punished for our sins, but instead Jesus accepted the punishment in our place.
Submit & Confess
But how do we receive that free gift of eternal life that Romans 6:23 mentions? First, admit you're a sinner. This means submitting your will to God's will. God is the sovereign ruler of the world He created. We naturally like to think we're in control of our lives, but we're not. The Bible tells us, If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Confess your sins to God. Repent of them by turning away from them.
Believe & Accept
Next, believe that Jesus Christ paid the punishment for our sins. Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins. But the pivotal point of Christianity is that He rose from the grave. He conquered death, rose victoriously, and lives today in Heaven. Christians worship a living Savior! If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9). Through Christ's death and our belief, we are reconciled with God. We are justified [made right with God] as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:24). Accept His gift of eternal life.
New Life in Christ
At the moment you submit your will to God, confess that you're a sinner, admit your need for His saving grace, and believe that Christ's death paid the penalty for your sins, God will place His Holy Spirit inside you. This is an eternal act. God draws us to Him, and once we believe and He gives us His Spirit, we can have the assurance of eternal life with Him. As 1 Corinthians 5:17 tells us, we are a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
This act isn't based on feelings. You may not feel different, but there is a change deep within you and thus begins your journey of trust, faith, and spiritual growth. Your trust is based on the authority of God's Word.
If you have questions or would like to talk with a pastor about becoming a Christian, please contact us. Or talk with a pastor after one of our weekly worship services. They are always available at the front of the church. It may be that you've read through this information, felt God's calling, and have prayed a prayer of confession now. If so, we are overjoyed! Please contact us because we would love to talk with you about your experience and explain more about the next step, believers baptism, and how to grow spiritually.
All Scripture quoted with permission from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version, 2 Co 5:17 (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001).