NT2 – How to become a “Christian”?
© Jeff Stacey | Last updated: 29 June 2020
How is God’s amazing free gift discovered?
It usually begins by feeling a need for God – wanting to be OK with Him. This often comes for a person in some kind of life crisis. Or by realising the seriousness of these issues in other ways, especially through reading or hearing what is in the Bible. Jesus Christ gave His invitation and promise Revelation 3:20, John 7:37b.
If this was you, how could you ‘open the door’ to Jesus Christ?
The first thing would be to believe that He actually was and is God’s Son and that all the Bible says about Him is true. Next, realise that you are imperfect (a “sinner”), having not fully believed in God or lived in His ways.
Now admit this to God by praying to Him (it may be a struggle to get past your pride or shame or fears or objections or excuses or . . .). It is really a “surrender” of yourself to Him, to His authority and priority over your life. Which simply make sense, because He is GOD Romans 12:1.
Ask God to forgive you, on the basis that Jesus Christ’s death on that cross was the substitute for your own fatal condemnation.
How is God’s free gift received?
Having admitted your sinfulness and asked God to forgive you, simply ask Him to come into your life and enable you to live in His ways. You can trust Him that He will John 6:37.
God comes into your life as the Holy Spirit John 7:38,39. This might sound a bit spooky or scary, but there is nothing to fear. Often it involves deep joy, peace and an awakening awareness of God. It can be just like “streams of living water flowing within”!
The Holy Spirit has actually come to live within you Romans 8:11 NLT. He (the Holy Spirit) changes you by giving you a new “heart” – new motivations – so that you really want to please God. It is a total “conversion”! 2Corinthians 5:17 NLT. Jesus Christ said it was even like being “born again” John 3:7-8, 1Peter 1:3.
Is the experience of receiving God’s free gift the same for everyone?
How it actually happens is different for each person John 3:8. For some it is a memorable experience at a particular time. But others cannot even recall any specific occasion, yet know that they are definitely committed Christians now. Each has their own unique story, their “testimony”, of how it was for them. This usually involves a complicated series of prior influences and events, often stretching back many years.
What does becoming a “Christian” really mean?
Here is the wonderful good news. Any Christian is totally forgiven and already OK with God because they have accepted His free gift. This gift is forever! There is nothing further to be “earned”.
Amazingly, despite ongoing imperfections, God regards any Christian as perfect because of their substitute – Jesus Christ.
But, how do we go on living as a Christian?
The love principle of free choice still applies. So to live constantly under the guidance and enabling of the Holy Spirit involves continually choosing to obey Him. How do we keep this up? That’s the next vital question.