Becoming a Christian is simple for us, but it was very difficult and costly for God. Jesus came to this earth, suffered and died so that we could have the right to become Christians, and now he is ministering full time in heaven trying to persuade us to believe in and accept the gift He has provided for us. If you want to be a Christian, it is because God has been putting that desire in your heart.
God loves you passionately, and He wants you to be His child even more than you want to be! Even if many people have rejected you, God does not reject you. Jesus said, “I will certainly not reject anyone who comes to me” (John 6:37). We should understand, however, that we do not become Christians by being born into a Christian family, by being baptized as a baby, by joining a church, by being a good and moral citizen or by giving gifts or performing good works of Christian service or charity.
God wants everyone to be His child and to live with Him forever, but evil, which the Bible calls sin, separates us from Him. “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:1,2).
Sin is the breaking of God’s law, and because sin causes damage, grief, pain, destruction and death God is determined to bring sin to an end. Keep in mind that sin is not just behavior that God does not happen to like. Sin is a way of thinking and living that is out of harmony with God’s character. It includes things like lying, stealing and killing that have made this world such a miserable place to live in.
There is no point in claiming that I am a good person. The Bible says that all people are hopeless sinners, enemies of God. Until I understand this most basic reality, I cannot be a Christian. To become a Christian I must believe what God says about me, believe what He says He has done to save me from sin, and be willing to cooperate with Him in His efforts to rid the universe of sin.
The first step is to agree with God that I personally am a sinner, that I’m not a good person who makes mistakes, has bad luck or is a victim of circumstances. The Bible is very clear that every single person is a sinner, which means that I regularly think, say and do things that cause damage to myself and others .
I must also believe and agree with God that my sin disqualifies me for eternal life: “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). If I am having trouble realizing these things I can pray and ask God to give me insight and His attitude about my sin.
The second step is to confess to God whatever sins He has brought to my attention and to express to Him my desire to leave my life of sin and live a life dedicated to God.
The third step is to express to God my belief that Jesus took upon Himself the guilt of my sins and died for me, and to thank Him for this and ask him to be the Lord (Director) of my life .
The fourth step is to ask Jesus to live in me through the Holy Spirit and to transform me through His presence in me . I should express to Him my willingness, through His power, to make the changes in my lifestyle and behavior that He shows me.
The fifth step is to express my new belief publicly by being baptized . This is something I should do even if I was baptized as an infant.
The sixth step is to find and join a congregation of believers and enter into a regular lifestyle of fellowship with other believers, Bible study and prayer . If you would like help in finding someone to baptize you or to find a believing Christian community you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are not yet ready for even the first step, but you are interested, would like to believe, and are open to God’s influence in your life, you can ask God to reveal Himself to you and give Him permission to work in your life. He has promised, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20). Ask Him to come into your heart, and if you do not resist Him He will transform you step by step into a Child of God.
<![if !supportFootnotes]>  <![endif]> “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one. There is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. They have all gone out of the way; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one” (Romans 3:10,11).
<![if !supportFootnotes]>  <![endif]> “If we say that we have no sin we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8,9).
<![if !supportFootnotes]>  <![endif]> “He was wounded for our transgressions… and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:5). “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). “He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again” (2 Corinthians 5:15).
<![if !supportFootnotes]>  <![endif]> “If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you” (Romans 8:11).
<![if !supportFootnotes]>  <![endif]> “Repent and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).
<![if !supportFootnotes]>  <![endif]> “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in prayers… and the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:41-47).