How to Become a Christian

Being a Christian is simultaneously the easiest and hardest thing a person can do. Simply put, it is an action of two words: trust Jesus. Some people say this is just a one-time mental agreement to a spiritual affiliation, but Jesus asks for a complete surrender of our heart, soul, mind, and body from beginning to the end of our lives. If it were up to us this would be impossible but God has made it possible.

It starts with a basic overview of history: 1) God created mankind to be in a relationship with him. 2) We blatantly rebelled. 3) Despite our best efforts we cannot restore the situation. 4) Because of his love for us, God took on flesh in the form of Jesus to win our hearts back. 5) Jesus broke the chain of rebellion by practicing and preaching a perfect life of love. 6) He not only lived a great life, he died a great death by standing in our place to take the punishment we deserve in a bloody public execution. 7) Three days later he came back from the grave to demonstrate his power over death. Jesus made it possible for everyone to be restored with God forever.

A Christian is someone who puts all their trust in the most amazing, powerful, intelligent, mysterious, compassionate, and meaningful person who ever lived. Just like following a master artist or musician or leader, one must begin a careful study of the person’s life so they can better know who they are trying to emulate.

Once we discover what Jesus said, what he did, and the significance of his life, we must make a decisive action to change our life’s course. This is what it means to repent, to turn from our own path and choose to walk on the path of Jesus. The actual event of repentance is a mysterious moment that happens both instantly and continuously throughout our lives. Repentance is only possible by God’s initiation, yet somehow, he holds us accountable for making this decision.

Once we begin to trust Jesus, God comes to reside in our lives through the Holy Spirit who gives further instruction on this new course. He is a guarantee that God will be with us until our final day on earth to help us follow through on our decision to trust. Some say that becoming a Christian is a one-way decision, but the Bible tells of situations where a person can deliberately push the Holy Spirit away and discontinue the relationship. In view of this possibility, the Bible urges every Christian to press on towards the goal of knowing God better and remaining faithful to him to the very end. Finishing is as important as starting.

In order to know God better, distribute his love, and remain faithful to the finish, Jesus established that his followers should share their lives with each other in an extended family called the church.

Further reading:

4 thoughts on “How to Become a Christian

  1. Jane says:

    I am considering visiting your church.

    I have a question though – does your church hold that a Christian can lose their salvation? I just want some clarification on the next to the last paragraph above.

    Also, “Submit” above is misspelled. 🙂

    thank you!

  2. Dave says:

    Jane, thanks so much for “sumbitting” a comment on the site, it does my heart good to know that at least one person has read this page. When I wrote it, I wondered if that paragraph would be a point of contention. It’s probably more of a wording from the way I personally understand the situation at this point in my life rather than our official stance. I thought it was important to mention the concept because it is easy to think that becoming a Christian is just for the “fire insurance” (or the get out of Hell free card) and doesn’t involve perseverance to the end in active relationship with Christ.

    Our church and the movement from which it was started, Great Commission Ministries, has traditionally worded it this way:

    All who are born again of the Spirit can, through the sure promises of God, be fully assured of eternal life from the very moment they put their faith in Christ. This assurance is not based upon any kind of human merit, but upon the finished work of Christ, who completely paid for their sins and upon the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, who is the deposit guaranteeing their inheritance.

    While the Bible supports this in many passages, it seems to me (just like the free-will paradox) that we are also given the responsibility to continue on with the relationship once we enter into it with Christ. We didn’t earn it to begin with and we don’t have to earn it once we get it, but saving faith is a continued action of trusting. Study Philippians 2:12-13, Matthew 3:7-11, John 15, Hebrews 10:32-39, and 1 Timothy 1:18-20 and feel free to post your thoughts on these passages. Bonhoeffer and Willard (mentioned in the article) give it much more attention too. I’d like to know what other readers think about this. It takes a lot of creative interpretation to try to explain that salvation is impossible to lose.

    I think we can be sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that God will not slowly grow cold, forget about us or lose interest and decide that He doesn’t want to remain faithful to his side of the salvation covenant.

    I also hope you’ll visit [nlcf] and find us to be a group of people who wrestle through the Scripture with God to try to understand important issues like this. There’s a lot more to it than I’ve just written but it’s a start. I’d love to hear what your perspective is on this.

  3. Ce says:

    So what is your black and white answer? Can you lose your salvation or not? Do you feel that if we stray away that you lose it? Or, do you feel that no matter what we will always have our eternal salvation with Christ in heaven, once we have given our life to him?

  4. Dave says:

    I’ve probably overstepped my authority as the web guy. I’ll talk with our pastors about it. Again, in addition to the web, this would be great to discuss in person with them if/when you visit.

    I don’t want to give the impression that we are mushy on our theology because, as you can see, we’re striving to do our homework. [nlcf] tends not to make something black or white which the Bible may not have clearly deemed thus. We do know that scripture is black and white about this for sure: if you trust in Jesus you have salvation and if you don’t you don’t.

    I’ll have to ask the pastors if there’s anything they want to add. Again, thanks for the interaction. What are your thoughts on the topic?

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