Scriptures

How to Become a Christian!

Introduction

What Is A Christian?

In its simplest terms, a Christian is a follower of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God. So how do we demonstrate that we are His followers?

Christians accept Christ as being one with the Father, John 10:30 understand that salvation and eternal life are gifts from God and are ours through Christ, not through a way of our own choosing, Proverbs 16:25 / Romans 6:23 accept that we have sinned, but know that His sacrifice provides for the forgiveness of those sins, Ephesians 1:7 know Him as our shepherd, and are known by Him as His sheep, John 10:14 place dedication to the principles of Christ above our own desires, Matthew 16:24 give Him more than just lip service, Matthew 7:21 love one another as He has loved us, John 13:34

Why become a Christian?

Christ died for us, even though we were sinners, Romans 5:8 Christ alone is the way to God, the Father, John 14:6 Christ is the one true mediator between God and man, 1 Timothy 2:5. God has sent Christ to be our Saviour, 1 John 4:14. There is eternal life in Christ, Romans 6:23

How do I become a Christian?

Believe the gospel, the ‘good news’ of Christ, for it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes. Romans 1:16. Turn away, repent, from sin, so they may be forgiven. Acts 3:19 / Acts 17:30. Confess that Christ is Lord, Romans 10:9. Share in his death and resurrection through baptism, Mark 16:16 / Acts 22:16 / Romans 6:3-4

What is faith?

The Bible says that ‘without faith we can’t please God’ and that the goal of our faith is salvation. God wants us to have living faith so we can grow in our relationship with Him.

So what is faith? and how do we receive it and grow in it?

Acts 8 tells the story of the Ethiopian eunuch, a high official under Queen Candace, who was confused by what he was reading from the Book of Isaiah. He believe the Scriptures and strove to follow God’s ways, but he didn’t yet understand anything concerning Jesus Christ. God sent Philip to explain more of God’s truths to him and t help him take the next step in his relationship with God.

After reading the Messianic prophecy in Isaiah 53:7+8, the Ethiopian official asked Philip a question and so Philip answers his question and in response the eunuch came to believe in Jesus and was baptised. Acts 8:34-37. The eunuch demonstrated his belief (his faith) in seeing Jesus as his Saviour and was not ready for the next step in his growing relationship with God.

What is faith?

Faith is an essential part in our relationship with God and its the beginning of the process of becoming a Christian and receiving eternal life. ‘Without faith we can’t please God’ Hebrews 11:6, essentially because if we don’t believe in Him and believe Him, we won’t really be trying to please Him!

How does the Bible describe faith?

‘Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1. Faith goes beyond what we can perceive with our physical senses, so it doesn’t work by the rules of science. Faith allows us to believe that the invisible God can do what is physically impossible. in that sense, faith is built and grows on a spiritual plane, not a physical or scientific one.

But that doesn’t mean observation, science and rational thinking aren’t part of how we come to believe in our miraculous Creator, God in the first place. in fact, There is no contradiction between godly faith and true science. after all, since God is the Creator of everything, science is the study of God’s creation.

Is our belief in God based on a rational foundation?

‘For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.’ Romans 1:20. ‘ God’s way are rational, and He wants us to test it out and prove that it works. But there is more to faith that what we process in our rational brains. There is a spiritual and emotional component that is a gift from God and grows as our relationship with God grows.

What can we do if we don’t have enough faith?

‘Jesus said to him, ‘if you can believe, all things are possible for him who believes’, Immediately the faith of the child cried out and said with tears, ‘Lord, I believe, help my unbelief!’ Mark 9:23+24. Mark gives this example of a father who recognises his own lack of faith and so he asks Jesus for help with his faith. God is pleased when we recognise our own inadequacies and seek His strength and encouragement.

How do we grow in faith?

‘So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God’. Romans 10:17. Hearing and studying the Word of God can help us see God’s faithfulness in the past and His solid promises for the future.

Is simply believing in God enough?

James 2:19 and Hebrews 11:6, tell us that God wants us to believe in Him but He also wants us to believe what He says. He wants us to diligently seek Him, which is done through prayer, Bible study and meditation.

What did Jesus tell us to believe?

Mark 1:14+15 tells us that Jesus wants us to believe the Gospel but what is the Gospel. 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 tells us that the Gospel is believing in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. the word Gospel simply means good news and the news about How Jesus died for our sins and rose again so that we too can live with Him for eternally really is good news for all of mankind.

When we truly believe this good news, Jesus commands us to share this news with others around us. Mathew 24:14 and Matthew 28:19+20.

What did Jesus tell us to do?

‘If you love Me, keep My commandments’, Jesus says in John 14:15. When we truly believe what God says, we should do what God says.

What is dead faith?

Just calling Jesus our Master isn’t enough, and just saying we have faith isn’t enough. Our growing belief in God should motivate us to strive to obey God, to do His will and obey His laws. Matthew 7:21 and James 2:20.

What is living faith?

Real, living faith motivates our actions. Faith is the Bible never stands still, it always motivates us to do something. God has work for Christians to do. James 2:17+18 and Ephesians 2:10.

When we believe in God and believe God, what will we motivated to do?

As we read earlier in Mark 1:15, Jesus commands us to repent and believe the Gospel. God’s goodness leads us to the next part of our journey to becoming a Christian. And as John the Baptist mentioned, repentance also involves fruit or changes in our lives. Matthew 3:8 and Romans 2:4

What is repentance?

The word ‘repent’ in it’s various forms occurs more than 100 times in the Bible and this shows the great importance of repentance. God requires repentance from sin from anyone who wants to become a Christian. However, repentance is greatly misunderstood command of God. It’s also a very difficult command to obey, some people say it’s actually the most difficult step in becoming a Christian.

Sometimes the best way to learn the meaning of the word is first to look at what it is not before looking at what it is. Many people think repentance is just about feeling sorry for your sins, this is not repentance. If a person is sorry for the sins they have committed, it will cause them to repent of them. Just like faith, repentance leads us to do something.

On the Day of Pentecost for example after Peter told those listening to repent, the Bible says they were ‘cut to the heart’. But if you read on in Acts 2:37+38 you will see that their repentance led them to baptism. According to the Bible repentance is more than just feeling sorry for our sins, it brings about a change of our minds towards sin. It’s simply a change of mind which leads to a change of life. Real repentance is godly sorry which leads to life. 2 Corinthians 7:10

In Matthew 21:28+29 we find an a great example of repentance, in the story the son disobeyed his father but when he ‘regretted’ his decision, he repented, he changed his mind about his decision and he went on to do what his father asked on him to do.

Who should repent?

If anyone wants to become a Christian they must repent of their sins in order to be saved. Luke 24:27 and Acts 17:30 and Acts 2:37+38. Christians who sin should also repent during their Christian walk.

Why should anyone repent?

We have already seen that godly sorrow produces repentance 2 Corinthians 7:10 and we also saw how the son finally repented and obeyed his father, Matthew 21:28+29. We should repent of our sins when we understand God’s goodness towards us Romans 2:4. God loves us and He sent His One and only Son to die for our sins and take the penalty that out deserve and so when we grasp this we should see that because of everything God has done for us, we will see our shortcomings and realise that He died for our sins. John 3:16 and 1 John 4:10 and Romans 5:6-8

We will also repent because we understand that Judgement day is coming. Acts 17:30+31. Christ is now ruling from the right hand of God in Heaven but one day He will come again to raise the dead and judge the world, Acts 1:9-11 and John 5:28+29. Everyone who is living and who has ever lived will be judged. Romans 14:12 and 2 Corinthians 5:10 and so we must repent of our sins so that we won’t be condemned on Judgement Day!

When should anyone repent?

The Jews on the Day of Pentecost repented that same day they heard the Gospel, Acts 2:37+38+41 and so since no one can’t be saved without repentance, they should repent as soon as possible. Life is short and uncertain, James 4:13-15 and death is certain and will come to each of up sooner or later, Hebrews 9:27. We are going to be judged for our sins on Judgement Day, therefore, we should repent immediately! But there is good news, God is patient with us because He doesn’t want anyone tom perish. 2 Perter 3:19

Confess Jesus as Lord!

Along with faith and repentance if a person desires to become a Christian they need to acknowledge their faith in Christ Jesus. Matthew 10:32 and Romans 10:9+10. They must confess that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God before they can become a Christian.

If a person won’t confess that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, they can’t become a Christian. We saw earlier on this study that Philip spoke with the eunuch and Philip asked him that very questions to which the eunuch said yes and confessed Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God. Acts 8:35-37.

Confessing Christ after we become a Christian?

Everyone has to confess Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God before Christian but this confession will carry on throughout their Christian lives. Christians need to tell others about the salvation that Jesus offers because if we don’t God will deny us. Matthew 10:32+33. This confessing of Jesus is to be done throughout our Christian lives in order that other may come to know and obey Jesus. Acts 5:29.

Not only are we to confess Christ with our mouths but we must also confess Him in our lives. He lived the perfect life and set us the example we’ve got to try and follow. 1 Peter 1:21. People are watching Christians all the time and if a Christian messes up, they will know about it. If a Christian is a bad example, people will think Christianity is bad but they are a good example, people will see Christianity as good thing. You will generally find if you ‘practice what you preach’, people will listen to you. 

Why baptism? What is baptism?

Baptism is a command for believers Acts 10:48. An act done in the name of Jesus. Acts 8:36-38 / Acts 10:48. Described in the scriptures as a burial. Romans 6:3,4. Defined by Bible dictionaries as ‘plunging, dipping, immersing, submerging.’ An action that always involved going to a place where there was enough water, not bringing a small amount of water to the candidate; archaeology shows early baptisteries as pools of water.

Baptism is not a sprinkling of water on your head but a burial, Romans 6:4. It’s not a way of joining the church because God is the One who adds you to the church. Acts 2:41+47

Who is to be baptized?

Those who believe the word, Mark 16:16 / Acts 18:8 who obey the word, Mark 16:15-16 / Acts 2:41 and who repent of their sins. Acts 2:38. Baptism is for those who have the capability to believe, this would exclude children and any one who hasn’t got the mental capability to believe.

Why should I be baptized?

To become a Christian, Matthew 28:19-20 and to be saved, Mark 16:16. To have your sins forgiven, washed away, Acts 2:38 / Acts 22:16. To receive the Holy Spirit, Acts 2:38. To get into Christ, to be in His body, the church, Galatians 3:27 / 1 Corinthians 12:13. To unite in Christ’s death and life, Romans 6:3,4

There are four reasons as to why we must be baptised. First, we must be baptised if we want to be saved. Mark 16:16 and 1 Peter 3:21. Second, we must be baptised to have our sins forgiven. Acts 2:38. Third, we must be baptised if we want to be ‘in Christ’ which means to be a Christian. Galatians 3:27. Finally, we must be baptised if we want to become a member of the body of Christ, His church, Ephesians 1:22+23 and 1 Corinthians 12:13

What happens when I sin after I’ve been baptised?

There are two ways to confess our sins, first, we are to confess our sins to one another James 5:16. This is not very easy for a person to say they have sinned yet the Bible commands it. Why to each other? Well, we confess to each other in order to have other pray for us. Christians should always be interested in helping other Christians, By confessing our sins to each other we help each other overcome those sins and move forward.

If we understand that baptism is the first rule of forgiveness Acts 2:38 then we should take comfort in the second rule of forgiveness which is found in 1 John 1:9. If we confess our sins to God, He will forgive us, what a great promise this is!

What then? After I become a Christian, what?

Upon your baptism, you are added to Christ’s church, the total of all people who have obeyed Him, Acts 2:37-47. Christ and His church are inseparable. He gave Himself for the church, Acts 20:28 and is the head and Saviour of His church, Ephesians 1:22-23 / Colossians 1:18. Christ is Lord of everything, including daily work responsibilities and relationships, Ephesians 5:21-6:9.

The church, the body of believers, shares the Lord’s supper (communion) as a memorial to Christ’s death on the first day of each week, Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 11:17-32, sings hymns of praise, Ephesians 5:18-20, prays, Acts 2:42 / 1 Thessalonians 5:17, receives God’s Word in teaching, Acts 2:42, and encourages each other, 1 Thessalonians 5:11. Christ’s followers show the presence of Christ in their lives by both their words and their deeds, Colossians 3:17.

 

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers."

1 John 3:16

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