How Do I Become a Christian?

hitler

BELIEVE! BELIEVE!! BELIEVE!!!

Belief is all that is required of one to be saved! Nothing more!

In John 5:24 Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.”

In John 6:28-29 Jesus was asked what work God requires of us. He said, “The work of God is this, to believe in the one He has sent.” 

in John 6:40 Jesus said, “For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

WHY IS THERE A PICTURE OF HITLER ON THIS PAGE??? There is a picture of Hitler posted here in the hopes of “shocking” the reader in the seriousness of the difference between mere “belief” and “saving” belief.

  • Do you believe that Adolf Hitler was a real person that history records as being responsible for the annihilation of millions upon millions of Jews? If “yes”, then…
  • Does your belief in Adolf Hitler then make YOU a Nazi? Absolutely NOT!
  • So what is it that makes one a Nazi? It is not merely believing that Hitler was a real person that makes one a Nazi! It is believing in Hitler in such a way that one surrenders and allows one’s life and activities to be transformed into becoming like him, and that one’s belief produces actions like his.

If you believe that Jesus Christ is in fact a historical figure who long ago died on a cross for the sins of the world and who arose from the dead and ascended into heaven, you do well! Even the demons of the Devil believe this…and tremble!! (James 2:19)

  • So what is it that makes one a Christian? It is not merely believing that Jesus Christ was a real person that makes one a Christian! It is believing in Jesus Christ in such a way that you surrender and allow your life and activities to be transformed into becoming like His, and that your belief produces actions like His.

HOW NOT TO BECOME A CHRISTIAN: Becoming a Christian is NOT something that YOU do.

One does NOT “decide” to become a Christian by reciting a prescribed prayer or set of words; neither does one become a Christian by some ritual of profession or confession, or by some ritual of religious sacrament such as baptism or communion.

Many people begin what they THINK is a “Christian life” by reciting a prayer. Prayer is unquestionably at the beginning of almost every Christian life…but many suffer the delusion of eternal security because of the recitation of a prayer.

Almost 50 years ago I volunteered to serve in the United States Air Force. The enlistment process involved my reciting an oath. The oath was a verbal recitation of allegiance and surrender. It was recited at the beginning of my military service. But, what if I didn’t show up at the bus station the day I was called to; what if I failed to show up for Basic Training? What if I refused to heed my instructors? What if I refused to serve and obey my superiors? I had to literally “surrender my body” into service. How WELL performed is NOT what determined whether or not I was an “airman” in the USAF!

Many people claim the Name of Christ- call themselves Christians- because one day, they recited a certain prayer. But they’ve never shown up for training (discipleship)! They’ve never shown up for service (serving in a congregation)! They refuse to heed their Master (hearers but not doers of the Word)! They refuse to obey God under a false belief that, because obedience does not save then obedience is unnecessary! But, again, how well one performs as a Christian is NOT what determines whether or not one is saved!

BECOMING A CHRISTIAN IS SOMETHING THAT THE SPIRIT OF GOD HAS DONE THAT BEGINS WITH BELIEF THAT COMPELS A RESPONSE!

Becoming a Christian is what happens as the result of a VERY real change to the mind, soul, and spirit of a person under the Holy Spirit conviction of that person’s sinful state of being. I would liken the experience to the moment that  one has just come to realize the first pregnancy. Because of the discovery of the residence of new life, a young woman’s life is changed FOREVER. Never before was she a “mother”; but she is now a mother for all eternity! And the discovery of that new life inside her compels her to an outward response and she “becomes” a mother in thought and in action.

WHAT RESPONSE? Can the response be the rejection of the life? As the rejection of the gift of new life relates to pregnancy, the response of rejecting that new life is called “abortion”. As the rejection of new life relates to Christ, the rejection of that new life is called condemnation. John 3:18 states it clearly: “…he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” Jesus Himself spoke these frightful words!!

The implications of this are twofold:

A person does NOT arbitrarily “decide” to remain in their sin and then become a Christian at a time that seems best to them. (i.e. as some have said, “I will live as I want to and wait and become a Christian when I am ready.”)

John 3:19 “And this is the condemnation, that the light (Jesus) has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”

A person who is experiencing the weight of Holy Spirit conviction of sin can respond by choosing to reject Jesus Christ and remain in sin.

John 3:19 “And this is the condemnation, that the light (Jesus) has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”

Following is the WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY, and HOW of becoming a Christian:

WHO?        There are two parties to the “WHO” of being a Christian: a SINNER and JESUS CHRIST.

  1. SINNER– every human being: Romans 3:23 “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…”
  2. JESUS CHRIST– He is God and the Person of the Gospel:

Jesus is God: John 1:1-4, 14 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made…. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

Jesus is the Person of the Gospel: 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 “…I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you–unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once…”

WHAT?     A Christian is one whose BELIEF is resulting in a life that has CHANGE IN DIRECTION because of the spiritual effect of conviction of sin and the promise of Jesus Christ.

John 3:16-18 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God…”

WHEN?     A person is a Christian in the MOMENT of BELIEVING Jesus Christ.

Acts 16:31 “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved…”

WHERE? Where are you now? Where are you headed? Where do you want to end up?

Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

WHY?         A person becomes a Christian when he sees himself as he is and sees God as He is, and says as did Isaiah ‘Woe is me, for I am unclean!’.

Psalms 33:18-19 “Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy, to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.”

 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”  Going the way of God requires a change of mind and a change in the direction of one’s life. The Bible calls this “REPENTENCE”.

“Repentance is not some little silly, ‘I’m sorry.’ Repentance is not simply a fear of God. Repentance is not a monk fasting and afflicting his body in a monastery. Repentance is not remorse because of sin’s consequences. Repentance is not penance performed before the pope as you kiss his toe… Repentance is not being sorry for what I’ve done wrong. It is not confessing one’s sins to a priest. It is not just conviction of sin. It is not the signing of a pledge of abstinence. Repentance is that thing when you come before God and see yourself as you are, and see Him as he is, and say as did Isaiah ‘Woe is me, for I am unclean!’” —Pastor Jack Hyles

HOW?        Believe! Know! Love! Follow! Obey!

As already explained in the beginning of this page, believing “in” Jesus does not make one a Christian. Even the demons believe in Jesus!! Believing Jesus is belief that produces a response that is the beginning of and lifelong endeavor of the abandonment of one’s will to God’s will. The good news is that salvation is not based upon one’s success at it!! Salvation is the free gift of God (Romans 6:23) that compels one to persist in the endeavor!

  • BELIEVE Jesus Christ! Salvation and eternal life are the gifts of God for BELIEVING.
    • John 6:47 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.
    • Romans 3:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • KNOW Jesus Christ! Having a RELATIONSHIP with a person is the way to KNOWING that person. A person that truly BELIEVES Jesus becomes devoted to Him. RELATIONSHIP grows from consistent prayer and a disciplined study of the Bible.
    • John 17:3 This is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
    • 1 John 2:3-4 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”
    • 1 John 5:20 We know . . . that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true.
  • LOVE Jesus Christ! Out of a person’s RELATIONSHIP with Jesus will grow actions of LOVE. A person who LOVES Jesus begins acting like Jesus.
    • John 14:15 If you love Me, keep My commandments.
    • John 14:23-24 If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.
  • FOLLOW Jesus! A person’s LOVE for Jesus will compel that person to FOLLOW Him everywhere He leads, and compels that person to GO wherever Jesus SENDS him.
    • A Christian is someone who is a follower of Christ. The first use of the word “Christian” in the Bible is found in Acts 11:26, “they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch…”. In other words, a Christian is someone who believes Jesus Christ, believes what Jesus Christ teaches, AND believes what the Disciples of Jesus Christ learned from and taught about Jesus.
  • OBEY Jesus Christ! To OBEY Jesus requires a person to “die” to his own natural inclinations. To OBEY Jesus is costly. To obey Jesus is to HEED the Spirit of Jesus who directs a person by the Word of God.
    • Matthew 7:21 Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
    • John 2:2-5 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.

Doing these things DO NOT “earn” salvation! Doing these things are BECAUSE salvation is already received, and are the EVIDENCE of saving faith and belief!

The Christian life begins with trusting Jesus Christ for salvation, the gift of God that is promised at the moment of belief. The Christian journey continues from that moment of belief and is a pathway that must be followed by the new believer in order to experience transformation into new life. It is God’s grace- NOT obedience- that saves the believer. However, it is by the believer’s obedience that the believer is transformed.

Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

There is no such thing as a prescribed “believer’s prayer” (aka “Sinner’s Prayer”) that, if one prays certain words, then one is “saved”. However, everyone who has been saved has had a conversation with God that expresses belief, expresses the sense of one’s sinful state of being before a holy and perfect God, expresses trust in Jesus Christ to save him,  expresses a heartfelt desire to be changed, and expresses an inability to change without God’s help.

The promise of God to such a person is: Acts 2:21 And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.

About BrucenYvette

My name is Bruce. I live an abundant life filled by God's unmerited favor with my best friend and wife, Yvette, in northeast Florida. We believe that America was intentionally founded upon Biblical principles; that God is neither Republican nor Democrat; that real fishing is done from a kayak; and that true love is 90% what one does for the one loved and 10% about how one feels about it. We live in a multi-thousand-dollar house (trailer); are considered the family "rednecks" by four grown children in whom we have immeasurable pride who have blessed us with soon-to-be 12 grandbabies!
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