About > Receiving Salvation
How To Become A Christian
Written by Torema Thompson
On this page, I hope to explain (as simply as possible) what a Christian is, why you want to become one and how to become one.
1. What is a Christian?
Before you read any further, I want you to disconnect the word 'Christian' from what it has come to mean in today’s society. A Christian is not just somebody who chooses to identify with Christianity as their choice religion. No, it is far more than that.
…And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch. (Acts 11:26b, KJV)
The disciples were first called “Christians” in Antioch as a way of identifying them as followers of Christ or 'Christ minions' if you like. Any individual can be a disciple (follower, believer, pupil or devotee) to anyone or anything, but those called “Christians” are specifically those who believe, follow and practice the teachings of Jesus Christ.
So, what exactly does Jesus teach?
That God is His Father. (John 5:17-18)
That He and the Father are one. (John 10:30)
That He is THE (one and only) way to the Father in Heaven. (John 14:6)
That whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:13-17)
That whoever does not believe in Him (the Son of God) is condemned. (John 3:18)
That we must be born again to enter the kingdom of Heaven. (John 3:3-7)
That His disciples are those who hold to His word. (John 8:31)
That He gave His life as a sacrifice for the sheep. (John 10:7-11)
That He would resurrect the third day. (John 2:19-22)
That He would ascend back to heaven to prepare a place for His people, but that He will also return to earth for them. (John 14:1-3)
That He will send the Holy Ghost to live in those who obey Him; to comfort and teach them. (John 15:26)
That He will give His followers power to be witnesses of Him. (Acts 1:8)
That Christians should love one another as He loved us. (John 13:34)
That heaven is real. (Matthew 6:19-21)
That hell is real. (Matthew 10:28)
That He is judge. (John 5:22)
That the dead will resurrect. (Matthew 22:29-32)
That the righteous will rise to eternal life, but the unrighteous to eternal death and damnation. (Matthew 25:46)
These are some of the fundamentals of Christ’s teachings. To be a Christian is to not only believe these things to be true, but to receive and experience these things as a reality in one’s life.
2. Why Become a Christian?
Nobody is born a Christian.
In fact, we are all born in sin; we are all born sinners. That is why Jesus came in the first place.
You’ve probably heard the story of Adam and Eve, right? The first man and woman, living in paradise, walking in perfect relationship with God. God had given them access to everything, but He had also given them one boundary – not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Along comes the serpent, he tricks Eve and she gets her husband to disobey God along with her. They try to hide their disobedience; Adam blames Eve, and Eve blames the serpent when God asks them what they’ve done. And so, sin enters into the world and into the nature of every human being born after that time. (See Genesis 3)
So in essence, Jesus came to reverse the curse. Sin means separation from God because God is holy; and separation from God means eternal death and darkness because God is the source of all good, all light, and all life. However, through Jesus Christ, God made a way for mankind to be made righteous in His sight and to enter back into a loving relationship with Him.
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
So why would you want to become a Christian?
Because through Christ Jesus is the only way you can get that God-shaped void filled by the love of the Father. We were created to have an intimate and loving relationship with God and we were created with a purpose. It is only through Jesus Christ that these things can be fulfilled. There is no other way.
And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. (John 17:3)
Religion is man trying to reach God, hoping that their works may be good enough. But let me tell you the truth — your works will NEVER be good enough… that’s why Jesus did what you could never do.
You and I deserved to die (eternally) because we have all broken God’s law. Sure, you may not have been Adam or Eve in that garden, but we have all either lied, stolen, looked at a man or woman with lust, hated without cause, used the Lord’s name in vain and the list goes on. Even if you have only broken one of the Lord’s commandments, you still fall short of perfection which is God’s righteous standard.
For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws. (James 2:10, NLT)
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. (Romans 3:23, NLT)
Some people might say, “but if I was born in sin, how is it my fault?” or, “how can God send me to hell when I was born a sinner?” But that’s just it, that’s not the reason people go to hell... I bet that shocked you, didn’t it?
People go to hell for REJECTING JESUS. God knows we are born sinners, that’s why He gave us a CHOICE through Jesus. But if you don’t accept Christ (God’s saving sacrifice and gift of righteousness) then you are using your free will to choose sin. Without Jesus, we have no choice, but because Jesus has come, we are all without excuse because we DO have a choice.
For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” (John 3:17-21, NKJV)
3. How to Become a Christian
So, maybe you’re at the point now where you recognise that you are a sinner. Perhaps you considered yourself a good person, but when we go down to the thoughts of your heart (which is what God judges) you recognise that you’re not as “good” as you originally thought.
Perhaps you’re like me and you realise that without Christ you’re just a hot mess. You’ve tried this world and it has nothing to offer. All its promises and pleasures are temporary; you have this God-sized void and you’re tired of feeling empty, tired of living for yourself. You want the truth. You want to be changed. You want to be saved.
Salvation is a free gift that you cannot earn (Ephesians 2:8-9). You do not have to clean yourself up first, isn’t that awesome? You just come as you are. Think of a person who is drowning in need of rescuing… they just cry out and the rescuer saves them. However, once they’re saved, the rescuer doesn’t just leave them in the condition they found them in. No, they clean them up and give them new clothes. This is what Christ does for us.
Becoming a Christian is crying out to God and allowing Jesus to save you. It is acknowledging that you are lost and dead in your sins and darkness and that you need Jesus to rescue you and move you into His kingdom of light. Once He does this, it doesn’t stop there. This is only the beginning of a new walk of restoration, purpose, intimacy, and destiny.
Romans 10:9-10 says this:
...that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
There is no special formula to receiving salvation, just as there is no special way to cry out for help if you are drowning. Before Christ, we are all drowning in sin on our way to Hell. But if we truly cry out from our hearts we will be saved.
True salvation requires repentance, which speaks of a 180-degree turnaround. You cannot be saved whilst remaining in the world. Just as you cannot be rescued from drowning whilst remaining in the water. If you are making a confession today that Jesus is your “Lord” then this means you are making Him the owner of your life and your life is no longer your own. You are leaving behind the life of sin you once knew in order to walk a new life of light, love and holiness that He has for you. From this day, you are choosing to walk with Him, to allow Him to lead your life as He comes to make His home in you by His Spirit.
If you have made this confession today, congratulations! There is literally a party in heaven today because you have come home!! 😊
In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.” (Luke 15:7, NLT)
I encourage you TODAY to:
Download my book "Fundamentals: Laying a foundation for new believers" as a FREE gift from me to you.
Tell another believer about this life-changing decision that you have made.
Begin to read the Bible (you can download one of the 1000s of FREE Bible apps on your phone if you don't have a physical one). The book of John is a great place to start, and I recommend the New Living Translation (NLT) for new believers.
Join a mature church community that can support you in your new walk with Christ (we’d love to have you join the Believers on Track community too — Visit our "Getting Started" page to begin the journey).
Congratulations and welcome to the family of God. The Lord has such good plans for you. ❤
In His love always,
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)