Why and how can I become a Christian?
Many people believe that becoming a Christian is the same as joining a 'religion'. Going to church, doing good, giving to the poor, reading the Bible. While these things are great and healthy things to do, they are not things that make you a Christian. You could be the most generous, honest, respectable person in the world and yet not be a Christian. To start with I think it's important to make clear what a Christian is. A Christian is a person who has realised their sin and failings, believes in the one and only true God and that Jesus died on the cross for them and has believed, turned from their sin and asked God to forgive them. Sounds a lot right? Becoming a Christian is a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ that will last for eternity.
Most people in our day and age believe in heaven yet when the idea of hell comes into the picture it is brainwashing, evil, deluded and cruel. The truth is that the Bible teaches that heaven, as well as hell, are the true reality. There cannot be a heaven without a hell. Hell is the destination for all those who have sinned, done things wrong and gone against Gods perfection. The Romans Road to salvation describes the sin problem of man and how we through the Lord Jesus can become right with God...Christians.
1. Romans 3:23 - MANS SINFUL NATURE
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."
The truth is that we have all sinned. From the smallest white lie to the biggest crime such as murder. We have all done things that are wrong and displease God. God is so perfect that he has done no wrong. Anyone who is perfect, without sin and totally innocent would rightly go to heaven but there is no human being other than Jesus who has walked this earth while being fully perfect.
2. Romans 6:23 - CONSEQUENCES OF SIN
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Because we have sinned and sin is displeasing to God it is correct that there are consequences. Just like if a criminal commits a crime it is right for a judge to sentence to prison so too is it right for there to be consequences as a result of our sin. As we mentioned earlier hell is a reality. It is a place for those who reject Jesus Christ. Because God is perfect sin must be punished.
3. Romans 5:8 - JESUS'S SACRIFICE
"But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Although we have sinned and broken Gods law this verse proclaims the great news of salvation. Sin must be punished, but because God loves us so much He sent Jesus Christ His very own son to die for us. Yes indeed, Jesus Christ certainly did die for you and me! By dying on the cross Jesus suffered in our place and paid the price for our sins and rising again proved that not only did God accept Jesus's sacrifice but that sin and the devil has been defeated.
4. Romans 10:9 - BELIEVE AND CONFESS
"That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."
And so to answer the question 'how can I become a Christian?' we can say with confidence that because Jesus died on our behalf all we have to do is believe that He really did die for us and trust Him. The verse says 'confess with your mouth... Believe in your heart'. If you realise that you are a sinner, that Jesus really did die for you and that you don't have to live a life of sin, all you have to do to be forgiven of your sin and become a friend of Jesus is pray to Him asking for forgiveness.
If this is how you feel and need some help to put your feelings into words you can pray this prayer right now:
Dear Lord Jesus, thank you that you truly are God; that you came to earth as a man and lived the sinless life that I have not been able to. Thank you that you died on the cross taking my punishment and rose again on the third day defeating the curse of sin. Lord, I confess my life is not worthy of you and that I have lived for myself. I have not obeyed you the creator and saviour God. I realise how sinful and helpless I am yet how amazing, powerful and loving you are. I am ready to trust you, Lord Jesus. Would you please forgive my sin and come into my heart so that I may live a life for you.
Thank you, Lord
5. Romans 5:1 - PEACE, LOVE AND GROWTH
"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."
If you have given your life to Jesus. If you have truly believed in your heart and confessed with your mouth then you can be certain that you are a Christian. The last stop on our journey down the Romans Road is of one of peace, happiness, joy and life. Becoming a Christian does not stop with forgiveness; forgiveness is just the start. Now having been made right with God you must grow in Christ by reading, praying, going to church, living for Jesus and getting to know Jesus better.