Becoming a Christian

by Peter Jeffery

If you are in earnest about becoming a Christian, there are a few things you need to understand.

Becoming a Christian is not like joining a club, neither is it the same as taking up a new interest or hobby. Your desire to be a Christian has to be an overwhelming necessity, and such a desire will not be created by a casual interest but only by God working in your heart and mind.

You cannot make yourself a Christian. You can decide to call yourself a Christian, but that is not the same as being one. This is true because of what a Christian is. By definition a Christian is a Christ-person, one who loves the Lord Jesus Christ and seeks to live his life according to the Savior's teaching. But to do this is contrary to all that we are by nature, so our nature has to be changed if we are to be Christians, and only God can do that.

Both these points lead us to see that only God can make us Christians. This is why Paul in Ephesians 2:10 in describing himself and other believers said, "We are God's workmanship." Each Christian is the product of an extraordinary work of Almighty God. Does this mean then that there is nothing we can do, and we must just wait for God to work in us? It is true that there is nothing that we can do to save ourselves, but still the Bible teaches that if God is beginning to work in us, one of the first things we will notice is the growing desire to have our sins forgiven and to have peace with God. So the Bible tells us to seek the Lord.

From what we have seen so far, certain things become clear.

· We need to be Christians because our sin separates us from God and will eventually take us to hell. Sin, guilt and judgment are truths that we may not like, but they are the only reasonable explanation for the state of the world today and for the state of our hearts. These are the reasons why we need to become Christians.

· If we are to be Christians it must be in God's way, and God has only one way which is through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ is not one of many ways to God; He is the only way. That is not bigotry or intolerance; it is simply the truth.

· When Jesus died on the cross, He did so to fulfill God's plan of salvation for sinners. God made Jesus responsible for our sin, and Jesus gladly accepted that awful responsibility. So when He died on the cross, He did so as a sacrifice, bearing our sin and guilt and taking the punishment for that sin. He died in our place. In this way God satisfies His own holiness in that our sin is dealt with legally and justly, and at the same time He is able to forgive the guilty sinner and fully pardon all our sin.

· To seek the Lord means that we acknowledge our own sin and guilt, and plead with God to save us from its consequence. This He can and will do because of what the Lord Jesus did on the cross.

· God makes us Christians by not only forgiving our sin but by also dealing with the root of the problem which is not merely our sinful behavior but our sinful nature which dictates our actions. He changes our nature by creating in us new desires, new longings, new ambitions and new attitudes. This is done by the power of His Holy Spirit becoming the motivating force in our lives. When someone becomes a Christian, he is a new person. Christ now rules and reigns in his heart.

If you believe these things and you really want to become a Christian, then it leaves you with only one thing to do. Trust in Christ alone to save you and hate your own sin. Plead with God to have mercy on you. Do this until you know God's peace in your heart. When you seek the Lord in this way you can be sure that He will not turn you away.

Permission to reproduce and post this circular was granted August 31, 2006, by Peter Jeffery. It is implored of the reader to check the content of this circular against Scripture using the tools of biblical interpretation. Please be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker having no cause or need to be ashamed, handling the word of truth accurately.

Last updated January 22, 2010.