How do you become a Christian?
A New Life that Starts NowMillions of Christians all over the world have found that God is real, they have experienced his love in a very real way and God has dramatically changed their lives and God loves you as well, he cares about you more than you can imagine. The famous Bible passage John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
God’s gift to you cost God more than you could ever imagine. But he gave his Son because he loves all of us. Because of what he has done we can go to a place called Heaven. If you think Heaven is a boring place then forget everything you have heard. Heaven is a place of unspeakable joy and peace that never ends. People who have seen visions of Heaven look forward to the time when they can go back there. God has an incredible imagination and we could not even comprehend the good things that he has planned for us. But you don’t have to wait until you die. The day you become a Christian, God starts changing your life for the better right then and there. I’m not saying that you will not have any more problems but that God will help you to face them. God has a great plan for your life but before we can experience the goodness of God, we need to know how to be connected with him. That is what Christians call the ‘Good News’.
However, before you can know why the good news is so good you need to know about the bad news.
The Bad News – Sin separates us from GodGod’s original plan was for a perfect world. He created Adam and Eve as perfect people and they lived in the Garden of Eden. The world used to be a wonderful place with no pain or suffering of any kind. Adam and Eve were only given one rule to obey. However when Adam and Eve were tempted they deliberately chose to disobey that one rule. Since God created the universe, he owns the entire world and everything in it and he had the right to tell Adam and Eve what they could and could not do.
By disobeying God they became sinners. Sin is either doing something that God has told us not to do or not doing what he has asked us to do. If Adam and Eve had not sinned they would have lived forever in a perfect world but after they sinned they not only died spiritually but their physical bodies also started dying. In the Bible death is not just when your body dies it is the state of being separated from God and his perfect love. Also when Adam died spiritually his spirit lost its close connection with God. The bad news is that because everyone (except Jesus) has failed to do everything that God has commanded us. That means every one of us (except Jesus) has sinned.
If we had no one to save us then our sin would cut us off from God forever. The price to pay for sin is death (being separated from God and his love).
So we have a debt to pay, but there is nothing that we can do to pay for our sin. If we were without anyone to help us we would have no hope at all. It doesn’t matter what you do, you could give all of your money to the poor and do lots of nice things for people, give up your own life to save someone else but even all of that could not earn God’s forgiveness.
The Good News – Jesus died for all of our sinsBut we do have a hope! There is a way we can get back to God. The Good News is that because God loves each and every one of us, there was no way he was going to leave us without any hope. That is why he sent his Son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. (See Mel Gibson’s movie ‘The Passion of The Christ’ for a dramatic portrayal of what God was willing to go through because of his love for you).
Only by ‘accepting’ Jesus into our life can we be re-connected with God. We are saved by what Jesus has done for us. The Bible says that salvation is a free ‘gift’. Nothing we can do can ever earn our forgiveness.
Becoming Born AgainPeople are made up of three parts we have a spirit, a soul and a body. Our soul is made up of our mind, will and emotions. Our spirit is the part of us that connects with God.
The expression ‘born again’ (See John 3:1-17) has become a cliché and for that reason, some Christians don’t like to use the term. But Jesus himself used the term to show a religious man named Nicodemus that a change takes place when someone becomes a Christian that is so dramatic that it is like being born a second time. He also wanted to show Nicodemus that it was not a physical thing, that an amazing change takes place in your spirit. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says 'What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun!' (NLT)
When we are born again Jesus comes and lives in our spirit.
So being religious and going to church doesn’t make someone a Christian. We all need to ask Jesus to live inside us and to make us into a new creation.
Our ResponseTo receive forgiveness all we need to do is repent, believe and receive. To repent means to choose to turn away from our sins and live to please God. The believing part is where we believe that Jesus paid the whole price for us by dying in our place. The receive part is where we ask God to forgive us and to come into our life and be our Lord and Saviour. You can pray a prayer like the following one.
God I thank you that Jesus died for my sins. I ask you to forgive me for living my life without being connected to you. I believe that Jesus died and rose again. I ask you to come and live inside me and be connected to me. Change me so that I can live more and more like you want me to. I ask this in the name of Jesus, Amen.If you haven’t already prayed that prayer and decide to become a Christian at a later time but you don’t have time to pray that prayer (e.g. you are in some kind of emergency) then you can pray something like ‘Jesus save me’. If you are unable to speak for some reason then you can think it because God knows your thoughts.
There is only one ‘magic’ word in that prayer and that is the name of ‘Jesus’, if you can’t remember anything else just remember the name ‘Jesus’. If you want God to save you then he will know what you mean. However I urge you not to put off praying that prayer for too long because there is no guarantee that you will have time to pray and also living a Christian life has it’s rewards in this life as well as the next. You only get one shot at life and the best way to make it count is to live as much of it as you can for Jesus.
We can be confident that we are forgivenIf you have asked Jesus to forgive you then you can be sure that you are forgiven. Here are some of the promises that God gives you.
For 'Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.' Romans 10:13 (NLT)
'But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.' John 1:12 (NLT)
'But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.' 1 John 1:9 (NLT)
Have you just prayed and asked Jesus into your life?
When you first become a Christian, you can find it hard to get by on your own, we need other Christians to encourage us and help us to learn. So if you have just prayed or even if you are not sure what you want to do then I would like to encourage you to visit the following website.
This is a great website where you can have questions answered, be prayed for and be taught more about what it means to be a Christian.