to Become a Christian
(adapted from Evangelist Billy Graham)
The New Testament's central theme is God's love revealed through Christ's coming into the world, dying on the cross, and rising from the dead. Through Christ's death, God offers us forgiveness for sins, and through His resurrection the promise of eternal life. Christ died and rose again for all the world, but to become a Christian is an individual choice to accept His offer.
Read the following Bible verses showing God's part and yours:
God's Love Revealed
John 3:16, For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
God loves you and wants to bless you, making your life complete. He offers abundant life here and now, and eternal life which is His very own life.
Man is Sinful
Rom 3:23, For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
The saying, "Well, we are just human--nobody is perfect," is right. When we acknowledge this truth, we can see our separation from God, for He is holy.
Sin Has a Penalty
Rom 6:23, For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
To continue in sin will result in spiritual death, which is separation from God forever. The alternative is to personally receive God's free gift, which is pardon for sin and provision of life everlasting.
Christ Paid the Penalty
Rom 5:8, But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
You do not have to lead a "good" life before God will love you. God loves you even in your sin. He sent Christ to die in your place, paying the penalty for your sin so that you could be reconciled to Him.
Salvation is a Gift
Eph 2:8-9, For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God -- not by works, so that no one can boast.
Grace is undeserved favor. God by grace offers what you could never do for yourself. It's His gift--not to be worked for, but to be received by turning from your sins and believing that Jesus Christ died to pay for and deliver you from your sins.
Repentance is Necessary
Acts 3:19, Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.
Although salvation is freely given, you must really want what it provides, which is for Christ not only to set you free from sin's penalty, but to set you free from a sinful life. That is what repentance means, "to change your mind" about sin. Truly "saving faith" wants to turn from sin, not to cling to it.
We Must Receive Christ
John 1:12-13, Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God -- children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.
When you receive Christ, you become God's child by spiritual new birth.
Christ Has Made His Decision
Rev 3:20, Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
Do you get the picture? Christ stands outside the door of your life, not barging in, but gently knocking for entrance. The decision is now yours. You can open the door of your heart and invite Him in to be your Lord and Savior. He offers you His companionship and the spiritual food you need for the rest of your life on earth. How do you throw open the door and invite Him to come in? Here is a simple prayer you can pray:
"Dear Lord Jesus, I come to You as a repenting sinner. I believe You died in my place to pay for my sins and that You rose from the dead. I now open my heart to You, receiving You as my Lord and Savior. Forgive my sins and make me Your child, I pray. Help me now to live a life that pleases You. Amen."
Promises from God
What happens when you pray a prayer like the one written above?
Rom 10:13, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
When you receive Christ by calling on His name, you receive the salvation He offers.
Col 1:14, ...in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Your sins are forgiven. The benefits of Christ's redemptive work on the Cross are now yours.
Rom 8:16-17, The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
By taking spiritual refuge in Christ's sufferings on the Cross, you become part of God's family, sharing its privileges and responsibilities with all others who are truly "born again." They become your brothers and sisters in Christ, no matter what their race or nationality.
1 John 5:12-13, He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
By having Jesus Christ in your life, you now have eternal life. You become a Christian the moment you receive Christ. Don't trust feelings, for they change; but trust God's Word and believe His promises. If doubts arise, review these verses so that you can say with assurance, "I know I have received Christ. God's Word says that I have eternal life."