How does a person become a Christian? On the most basic level, people become Christians when they accept 3 things about Jesus Christ.
- When we accept Jesus Christ as the owner of our whole life, physically and spiritually, and acknowledge the authority of Jesus in every aspect of it. In fact the most ancient Christian declaration of faith was simply "Jesus is Lord!"
- When we accept Jesus Christ as the only Savior of our soul. That we are forgiven of our sins and given eternal life, based not on our own good works or intentions, but on his loving sacrifice for us.
- When we accept a personal relationship with God, through Jesus Christ. God does not want a simple mental affirmation of truth from us. He also wants us to return to Him a portion of the love that he has lavished upon us.
Now to get to the point of accepting these things, there are generally many contributing factors. Some of those factors can be: seeing the truths of Jesus Christ modeled in the lives of Christians, being convinced of the truth about Jesus as taught in the Bible, working through the intellectual and historical issues of truth in Christianity, and personal experiences where Jesus has intervened in our life.
- God created the universe, and He created you and me. (Genesis 1:1, Psalms 100:3)
- God loves us deeply. (John 3:16, 1 John 4:9)
- God is perfect, holy and just. He punishes evil, removing it from His presence. (Romans 1:18, 6:23a)
- We were created in God's image to have a relationship with Him. (Genesis 1:27, Revelation 21:3)
- We rebelled and turned away from God. (Isaiah 53:6, Romans 3:23)
- Our disobedience (sin) has separated us from God. (Isaiah 59:2)
- The penalty for our sin is death (physical and spiritual). (Romans 6:23)
- By ourselves, we are not able to repay God or repair the relationship. (Romans 3:10-18)
- God became a human being in the person of Jesus to restore our life and fellowship with Him. He walked the earth as a Jewish man in the first century A.D. (John 1:14, Colossians 1:19-20, Luke 3:1)
- Jesus Christ, who lived a life without sin, died on the cross to take the punishment for our rebellion against God. Only through his sacrifice can we be forgiven for our sins. (Isaiah 53:5-6, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Romans 5:8)
- Jesus rose from the dead, in order that we also might also be raised to eternal life with God. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4, Romans 6:5)
- I must confess my sin and repent, turning away from my life of rebellion. (Matthew 4:17, Isaiah 55:7)
- I must believe in what God has done for me in Jesus Christ. (John 1:12)
- I must personally receive Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, and accept a loving relationship with Him. (Revelation 3:20)
- When I begin my new relationship with Jesus Christ, I also gain a new relationship with other believers. Part of this new life means that I am baptized into the Christian community and enjoy a new level of fellowship with the "family" of God, the Church. (Acts 2:38-47, Mark 3:35)
- Nothing! My salvation has been paid for. There is no cost to me. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
- Everything! I must give my life totally to Jesus Christ and desire to obey Him. (Romans 12:1-2)
- He gave His Son Jesus Christ, to be killed for my sake. (John 3:16)
For more information:
- Billy Graham: Steps to Peace with God
- Billy Graham: How to Become a Christian
- Four Spiritual Laws(Campus Crusade for Christ)
Another gospel summary from a different perspective
- Have you made the wonderful discovery of the Spirit-Filled Life?
- Ten Reasons to Believe(Radio Bible Class)
Taking different questions about the Christian faith, 10 good reasons are given for believing in the truth taught by Christ and Scripture.
- The Bible Gateway
Online Bible used for the references. Easy to use with multiple versions.
The Soc.religion.christian newsgroup webpage carries an extensive FAQ collection with reasonable, balanced and intelligent responses to the most frequent questions posed to Christians, addressing some fairly controversial topics. The Short FAQand What is Christianity?are good starting points.