How to Become a Christian
If you were to die today, would you spend eternity in heaven?
The bible tells us that because of our sin we are eternally separated from God. The bible teaches that God is holy – He is utterly separated from the profane. Sin cannot enter into His presence. Further, the bible teaches that God has judged all sin – past, present and future: “For the wages of sin is death...” (Rom 6:23). Without the remission of personal sin, a person cannot enter into God’s presence. But in the same verse God says, “...but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 6:23). Because God is holy, all sin is condemned. However, because God is also a God of Love, through His infinite wisdom, He has provided a way for sinners to be cleansed from their sin so that they can enter into His presence and dwell with Him forever.
The way God has provided for our forgiveness is through Jesus Christ. We learn about Jesus, and what He did for us through the gospel. The word “Gospel” actually means “good news.” It is good news because it communicates to the world the way of salvation and eternal life for all those who will believe. The bible says “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:16-17).
The Gospel teaches that God has sent His only begotten Son, Jesus, into the world to pay the price for the sins that we have committed. Jesus willingly went to the cross on our behalf to die, and suffer the judgment of God in our place. He died on the cross for our sins. Then after three days in the grave God raised Jesus from the dead, and exalted Him, by placing Him at the right hand of God the Father in heaven. By doing this He defeated death and conquered sin on our behalf. As a result of His sacrifice for our sins we are eternally forgiven by God the Father.
The bible also says that, “For our sake he (God the Father) made him (Jesus) to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor 5:21). Jesus lived a sinless and perfect life before God. When we place our faith and trust in Him, He gives to us His perfect righteousness (in place of our sin) as a free gift. Because of what He has done and by virtue of His righteousness, we are able to enter God’s presence. As a result we are able to enter into a proper relationship with the living God.
Becoming a “born again” Christian then, is trusting (having faith in) Jesus’ work on the cross as the complete payment for our sins. The bible says that, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Rom 10:9). When you put your faith in Jesus, He gives to you His righteousness which allows you to enter the presence of the Father, and at the same time, He takes your sin and nails it to the cross. When God sees you He no longer sees your sin, but only the righteousness of His Son Jesus Christ that was given to you. This puts us in right standing (we are counted as righteous) in the eyes of God.
Further, the resurrection is proof of God’s work in Christ; and it is an affirmation that He is true, and has provided the means for our salvation. After Jesus ascended to the Father He sent the Holy Spirit to fill us and teach us so that we may learn more about God and so we can live a life pleasing to Him. As a result the Holy Spirit continues Jesus’ ministry in and through us, teaching us, leading us, and transforming us into the image of Jesus Christ so that we are not only declared righteous but so that we can also begin to live out of the righteousness that He has given to us.
If you would like to have your sins forgiven and would like to have assurance that you will go to heaven when you die, pray this prayer and then live for God through the power of His Spirit that He will give to you:
Dear Jesus, I want to follow you. I turn from my sin and place my trust in you alone and ask for your forgiveness. Right now, I receive your gift of eternal life and confess you as Lord. Thank you for loving me and dying for me. Thank you for giving me new life, in Jesus’ name, amen.
If Christianity is new to you the following terms may help:
- God is the holy (without sin or evil) and infinite Creator of all things.
- Jesus came as fully divine (God) and fully man (human).
- “Born again” comes from John chapter 3, where Jesus makes it clear that in order to enter the Kingdom of God a person must be reborn spiritually.
- Saving faith is trusting in Jesus’ work on the cross as God's provision for our salvation.