There are a lot of different ideas that people hold about what makes a person a Christian. Sadly many of those ideas are wrong. Therefore we will start by looking at what doesn’t make a person a Christian.
Sadly some people think that a Christian is someone who is able to say….
“Hey. I went to Sunday school!”
(A good religious upbringing is helpful, but that does not make you a Christian).
“Well, my mother has always gone to this church.”
(The faith of others, friends and family, does not make you a Christian).
“But I am a really nice person!”
(Doing good things in life are commendable, but they do not make you a Christian).
“Hey! I don’t do that.”
(Avoiding bad things is always a good thing to do, but a Christian is not just a person who does not do certain things).
“But I was Baptised.”
(Being baptised and becoming a church member should follow on from becoming a Christian, but they do not make you a Christian in themselves).
“I kind of believe in something out there!”
(Having a vague belief in God, ‘something out there’, does not make you a Christian).
So if all of those ideas are wrong…
just what does it take to become a Christian?
What IS a Christian?
As we read the bible it becomes clear that a Christian is someone who recognises that….
Humanity has a basic problem….
All humanity has a problem which the bible calls SIN. (Rom3v23). Sin means to fall short of God’s standards, how He expects us to live. It is us wanting to run our lives our way rather than His.
Sin is not just things like robbing banks, committing murder etc. It involves the way that we think about others, emotions like jealousy and anger, how we act and what we say to other people. It is not doing good when we could have. (Luke 10v25-37 the good Samaritan)
It is also a sin not to love God and believe in Jesus. The bible tells us that we are to love God with the whole of our being. (Matthew 22v37) And that we are to trust in Jesus if we do not want to come under God’s judgement. (John 3v18)
Sin then is like a disease in our lives and we all show signs of its symptoms in the way in which we live. We all have this disease and therefore don’t easily see it in one another. But when we compare our lives to Jesus we see our sin for what it really is and we want to get rid of it because……… SIN has an affect on how we can relate to God…
Sin builds a barrier between us and God. If this is not dealt with it will in the end separate us forever. In the bible this is called Hell. This separates us from all the good things of God like joy, peace and love. Sin affects all aspects of our lives and spoils them.
(Just like a blot of ink on a page spoils the whole page.)
So, although our lives are not totally bad, they are spoilt.
So if thats the problem… what is the Cure?
God sent Jesus into the world to deal with this problem.
By his life and teaching Jesus gave us an example to follow. By dying for us he took on himself the sin that separates us from God. He who was so close to God, was in fact God, yet cried out on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mk 15v34). By dying on the cross he gained our forgiveness from God when he prayed, “Father forgive them…” (Lk 23v34). And so now becaiuse of what Jesus achieved on the cross we can ask God for forgiveness. Because of the cross the barrier that separates God from humanity was broken down.
But it would have been no use if Jesus had just died!
So Jesus was resurrected. And his resurrection serves as Gods proof that sin and eternal death have been defeated, something which by faith we can know and experience today. It also means that because Jesus rose victorious that with his help we can live the way that he wants us to, a new lifestyle following his example and teaching. We will not be perfect, we will fail at times, but now there is a cure!!
So How Do I Get The Cure?
You have to say YES to the forgiveness that God offers you which in turn will mean that you will want to Obey God’s word. We are all individually responsible for what we choose to do with our lives. We can choose to accept Jesus, God’s cure, or reject him, believe him or go our own way. We have a free will and God wants us to love him and accept him willingly, he will not force us to do so.
And so a Christian is….
A person who realises that they have a problem with sin and wants to change. A person who chooses to follow and trust Jesus in a personal way. And so to chose to be a Christian is to say YES to Jesus.
(in other words to ask him for the cure!!)
So what do you need to do next?
You need to…
ASK the living Lord to come and be your friend and companion.
TRUST in what Jesus did on the cross. He took your sin and its punishment to bring you back to God.
ACCEPT his free offer of love and forgiveness. God can and will forgive anything in your past and will continue to forgive you day by day if you ask him.
REALISE that becoming a Christian is a new beginning to your life. Jesus said that it is like being born all over again. (John 3v3) So you need to grow and get strong.
UNDERSTAND that this new life is eternal. It is a way of living now, but goes on after death in God’s presence. You can be sure of that! (John 3v16)
FOLLOW Jesus on a daily basis. Live as he wants, doing what he wants. He is now your teacher, master, leader and youy are his follower / disciple. This is the commitment that we make to Jesus.
If you would like to become a Christian and experience this New Life for yourself you are welcome to pray to God using this simple prayer:
”Father God, please hear my prayer. I believe that you sent Jesus who died on the Cross and was raised back to life. I am sorry for the way I have lived for me and not for you. Please forgive me for the past and make me a friend of Jesus. Come into my life through the person of the Holy Spirit, and help me to live a New Life more acceptable to you. Help me whenever I fail. Never let me go. Help me to get to know you better day by day. Amen.”
If you have sincerely prayed that prayer you need to tell someone what you have done. speaking to another Christian will also help because they will be able to help you understand any differences which might happen in your life.
If you have prayed the prayer above please contact us as we would like to talk with you and give you some more information to help you on your spiritual journey with Jesus. If you would like to know more about the Christian faith,
then we would love you to Contact us.
Or if you would prefer, you could visit us at one of our worship services on a Sunday, or attend a Stepping Stones discovering faith courses.