Many people are confused about how to become a Christian. Some think they are a Christian because they were born into a Christian family. Others think they are a Christian because they have church membership. Neither are true. You become a Christian (daily follower of Jesus Christ) only when you repent of your sins and receive forgiveness from Jesus, the Son of God. Here are the dynamics of this personal decision.
The Dynamics of Decision
How does a person drowning in sin raise their hand and scream, “Rescue me!”? How can a person continue to follow the Savior who rescued them? These are profound questions, but they can be visualized like this.
The Three Triangles
Let’s take a look at the three numbered triangles. They represent how we are rescued from our sin and can live Holy Spirit-empowered lives.
The foundation of all is faith in Jesus Christ. He came to Earth proclaiming He was the Son of God to rescue each of us from our sins, and our obligation is to put our trust in Him. The promise is found in John 3:16 in the Bible. God asks each human to express their own will when it comes to allowing themselves to be rescued. Jesus Christ reaches out to people, but each must respond individually.
Sadly, not all will believe. These types of non-believers fall into two categories. One is the group that pretends to follow Christ. They may put on a big act, but in the end, they renounce Jesus as Lord. These people never really believed, and so we call them apostates.
The second group is unbelievers. They may be atheists or they may have put their faith in other gods or some humanistic lifestyle. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6), so such people have no connection to the True, Living God.
At the moment of our expression of belief in Him, God validates our rescue by giving us the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. We gain spiritual union with Christ. That is what enables us to have eternal life. Ephesians 1:13 says, “When you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.” You cannot lose your salvation. In John 5:24 it says, “I assure you: Anyone who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not come under judgment but has passed from death to life.” Our bodies will wear out and die, but “in Christ” (Colossians 1:27) we live forever.
The Lord wants us to keep a close connection with Him. We can do that through prayer, Bible study, thinking Godly thoughts, and doing acts of kindness in his name.
Even though we gain spiritual union with Christ when we believe, we are still humans. As humans, we constantly combat fleshly desires. A good many of these carnal activities, but not all, are mentioned in the Bible in Galatians 5:19-21. Yes, even when we are “in Christ” we are prone to sin and that breaks the spiritual communion we have with our Lord.
What do we do about that sin? We quickly tell God that we did sin and ask Him to forgive us. Some people think 1 John 1:9 is the most wonderful verse in the Bible for Christians. It says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Avoiding sin, then repenting of it when it happens, is the way we maintain a close relationship with our Lord. Sin fractures our relationship with Jesus Christ, but it does not break it. Our spiritual standing with the Lord does not change, but our state as humans will vary due to our innate sinful nature.
Bible Passages to Consider
Jesus Christ wants you to repent of your sins so he can forgive you and give you new life in Him. These Bible verses show the path to help for today and hope for tomorrow.
|John 3:16||For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.|
|Romans 3:23||for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God|
|1 John 1:9-10||If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.|
|2 Timothy 1:9||[Jesus] has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity|
|Ephesians 2:8-9||For by grace you have been saved through faith; and [a]that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.|
|John 5:24||I tell you for certain that everyone who hears my message and has faith in the one who sent me has eternal life and will never be condemned. They have already gone from death to life. John 5:24 Contemporary English Version (CEV)|
|John 14:6||Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.|
|Revelation 3:20||Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.|
|Repent||The Bible teaches us that all people “must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus” (Acts 20:21b). When we repent of our sins, God forgives us and wipes our slate clean. “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out” (Acts 3:19a). Repentance is more than just asking God for forgiveness, it is also changing our attitude toward sin. We must now live in a way that is pleasing to God.|
|Believe||“That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved” (Romans 10:9-10). When you put your trust in Jesus Christ, it means that you believe that He is the Son of God, who died for you on the cross and rose from the dead. It is a transfer of trust from your own good works or religion to Christ as the only way of salvation. “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”(Romans 10:13).|
|How do you receive God’s salvation? It is as simple as A, B, C, but will transform your life forever.|
|If you made the decision today to trust Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, we rejoice in your salvation and encourage you to walk with God daily! Pray to Jesus, read the Bible, and join a Bible-believing church to grow spiritually in your Christian faith. Share with others the Gospel of Jesus Christ so they too may know of God’s love and gift of eternal life.|