Have you ever wondered what is involved in becoming a Christian? Is it about going to church? Doing the right thing? In today’s blog, we’re talking about what the Bible has to say about becoming a Christian.
The Bible tells the story of a man named Nicodemus, a ruler among the Jews, who came to Jesus and acknowledged Him as a teacher sent from God (John 3:1-6). Jesus said to him:
“I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
Confused, Nicodemus asked Jesus how could an old man be born again and Jesus answered,
“I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to the Spirit.”
So what does it mean to be born of Spirit?
We are born of Spirit when we choose to follow God and He gives us new life. In the book of John in the Bible, Jesus explains the process:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through Him”.
Jesus makes it clear that it is through believing in Him (that is, trusting fully and personally in who He is and what He has done) that a person is ‘saved’ and given eternal life with God.
You may ask, “Don’t people go to heaven because they are good in this life? Why do I need to be saved?”
Becoming a Christian is not a matter of doing things in order to be in favour with God. There is an idea that going to church, being baptised or doing good things is what makes someone a Christian. While these things may be good in themselves, this is not what the Bible teaches as the way to become a Christian. In fact, it teaches just the opposite! Well, what does it say?
We are imperfect
Regarding sin, the Apostle Paul writes: “there is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:22-23).” Here, Paul tells us that no matter our background, our race, the good things we’ve done in our lives, we have all sinned before God and fall short of His standard. The Greek word for ‘sin’ used here, literally means ‘to miss the mark’ and the imagery is that of an archer missing the target. We ‘miss the mark’ when we disobey God and fail to acknowledge Him in our lives. Sin separates us from God. That’s why we need to be saved!
Paul also says that we cannot be saved by our good works:
“it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
God has a remedy
Jesus Christ is the only answer to this problem of separation from God. He died on the cross and then rose again from the grave to pay the penalty for our sin – completely bridging the gap between us and God.
The Bible says:
“God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
We have a choice
We must respond to God’s offer of grace by placing our faith in Jesus Christ, believing that what He did on the cross was for our sake and that it is sufficient for God to forgive our sin. When we do this, we are given eternal life with Him:
“To all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).
How to receive Christ
To receive Jesus Christ, there are basically four steps:
- Admit your need before God.
- Be willing to turn from your sins.
- Believe that Jesus Christ died for you on the cross and then rose from the grave.
- Through prayer, invite Jesus Christ to come in and control your life through the Holy Spirit.
What to pray
There is nothing magical about the exact words you say to God in prayer. You can ask God to forgive your sin and for Christ to come into your life through your own prayer or you can use the following prayer to guide you:
“Dear Father in heaven, I know that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe that Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sin. I ask You to forgive me and cleanse me from my sin. I want to turn away from sinful things in my life and follow You. I invite You to come into my heart and life as my Saviour and Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Where to from here
If you have believed in your heart and sincerely prayed this prayer (or one like it), you have received Jesus Christ into your life and have been born into God’s family through the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit.
It is important now to:
- Find a church where the Bible is faithfully taught. We invite you to join us at Woodvale Baptist.
- Ask a mature Christian who can mentor you and teach you more about how to live as a Christian.
May God bless you as you begin your new life.