How to Become a Christian
by Michael J. Penfold
The Bible is a living, powerful book. If you truly desire to be saved – to become a Christian – the best thing you can do is to read the Bible for yourself. People are saved “through the word of God” (1 Peter 1:23). Personal saving faith “comes by hearing…the word of God” (Romans 10:17). If you are seeking the truth, pick up your Bible now and, as we proceed, ask the Lord to show you the way of salvation from what you read.
As you think about salvation, the first thing you need to grasp is this: God rightly sees you as a sinner who deserves to be in hell for ever. Offensive though this is to human pride, you will never be saved until you sincerely bow to this solemn fact. The Bible’s teaching about sin is plain and clear:
Romans 5:19 “By one man’s disobedience many were made sinners”
Psalm 51:5 “In sin did my mother conceive me”
Ephesians 2:3 “We…were by nature the children of wrath”
Our first parent Adam’s one sin in Eden led to all of his descendants being constituted sinners. That includes you. We all began life “in sin” and are sinners in our very natures. In other words, sin isn’t just something we do, it’s something we are. We are wicked in our hearts. Jeremiah 17:9 says “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” But there’s more. We have also committed and practised sins:
Romans 3:10-19 “There is none righteous, no, not one…there is none that doeth good, no, not one…with their tongues they have used deceit…whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: their feet are swift to shed blood: destruction and misery are in their ways: and the way of peace have they not known: there is no fear of God before their eyes. Now we know that what…the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.”
Our nature has revealed itself in the sinful things that we have done. This is a universal fact, true of all people without exception. “There is no difference [between any of us], for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
The Bible’s picture of humanity is very bleak. It describes us as:
Lost – 2 Corinthians 4:3-6
Unclean – Isaiah 64:6
Rebellious – Isaiah 53:6
Condemned already – John 3:18
Helpless – Romans 5:6
Bankrupt – Luke 7:42
Think about what these verses mean for you. Remember too that your sins will all be judged by God. Read Revelation 20:11-15 and you’ll see that on the day of judgment, sinners will be cast into the lake of fire as punishment for their sins. If you are not saved, that’s where you are heading – for ever.
It’s vital to understand that you can do nothing to save yourself. Neither your religion, nor your baptism, church attendance, good works, charitable giving nor even your prayers can deal with your sin and make you right with God. The Bible is clear that salvation is by grace, through faith and not by works (Ephesians 2:8-9). What you need is a sinless Saviour – one who can pay the penalty and bear the punishment due to your sin. This the Lord Jesus did, when He suffered and died for sinners on the cross.
If you are willing, without reserve, to agree with what God says about you – to own up to your guilt and admit to your utter helplessness – the following list of gospel verses will bring hope to you:
Isaiah 53:5 “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.”
Romans 5:6-8 “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly…But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
1 Peter 2:24 “Who His own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree…by whose stripes ye were healed.”
John 3:36 “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and He that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”
The Son of God has loved you and given Himself for you. He has satisfied the righteous claims of God against your sin by shedding His precious blood and laying down His life as a once-for-all sacrifice for sin. Don’t wait – now is the day of salvation! Trust in Christ for salvation at once and be saved. Take God at His word! Christ’s work for sinners is done, and His position as a risen Saviour at God’s right hand in heaven proves it. Have you accepted the sentence of guilt under which you lie because of your sin? Then accept the mercy and forgiveness that God offers to you in that very condition!
May God bless you with salvation as you ponder these vital matters about how to become a Christian.
Two online booklets are highly recommended for sincere seekers of salvation:
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