Becoming A Christian
In John 3, Jesus said that in order to be saved a person must be “born again.” Jesus also made it clear that He is the only way to salvation, (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). Throughout the centuries, the word “Christian” has come to mean many things that it was never intended to mean. For example, some believe that a person is a Christian, simply because they regularly attend church. A person may regularly attend church and even be heavily involved in church—perhaps even for years, and still not be a Christian. Others feel that salvation comes on the basis of doing more good things in their life than bad things. Still others feel that a person can never really know if they are saved or not. Others feel that they are SO bad that God could never save them.
There are indeed a lot of misconceptions about what it means to be a Christian and to be saved. But rather than simply believe what we have been taught by others, let’s go to the Bible, God’s Word, together and find out for ourselves! I invite you to get a Bible and look up the scriptures you find listed in parenthesis below.
The first step in salvation and being born again is to recognize that you are a sinner. All of us are. The Bible teaches that we have “all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”, (Romans 3:23, I John 1:8). It goes on to teach that it is that our sin leads to death—eternal separation from God, (Romans 6:23). That’s the bad news. Apart from Christ, we are lost and without hope. No amount of good deeds can make us clean enough to get to go to Heaven when we die. In fact, the Bible teaches that all our attempts to be good enough on our own are like “filthy rags” to God, (Isaiah 64:6). All of us must come to the place where we can honestly admit that we are a sinner and we need the Lord.
Now for the good news. Completely as an act of love and kindness and through no obligation to us, God sent His Son, Jesus, to die for us, (Romans 5:8). This is what is meant by the word “grace.” Grace is a gift that we did nothing to earn. It is freely offered to us by the Lord. None of us can take credit for the grace God showed us in providing His Son (Ephesians 2:4-9; Titus 3:5).
A person becomes born again when they admit their sinfulness and their need for salvation through Christ. God wants us to spend eternity with Him! He wants us to be saved (II Peter 3:9)! He will forgive us of our sins because of the sacrifice His Son made for us in dying on the cross, but we must accept that sacrifice on our behalf (John 5:24; Acts 3:19, 10:43)! We must ask Him to forgive us and to come into our heart (I John 1:9), to believe His sacrifice was for US and that He was raised from the dead (Romans 10:9-10).
So what about you?? Are you saved? Are you born again? Do you KNOW where you would go when you die? NO ONE is ever too far gone for the Lord! Now would be a good time to ask the Lord into your heart. Talk to God right now—from your heart—just you and Him. You can say something like this:
“Dear God, I admit that I am a sinner. I have sinned. I believe that You sent Your Son, Jesus, to take the punishment that I deserve. I believe that after He died for my sins, He rose again from the dead and because He is alive, I too can have eternal life. I now turn from my sins and ask You to forgive me. Please come into my life and be my Savior and Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
If you prayed that prayer for the first time, or if you have any questions at all about what it means to be a Christian, please do not hesitate to call the New Hope Evangelical Church office at 620-245-0303. When you call, if you do not have a copy of the Bible, be sure and let us know and we would be glad to send you one! Also, if you are not near New Hope, find a church where the Bible is preached and Jesus is worshipped. Get involved. May God bless you, friend!