How does a person become a Christian? There are some popular misconceptions, such as the ideas that a Christian is a person who has joined a church, adopted a religion, or believed in God. The problem is, churches and individuals can be false, and even the demons believe in God (James 2:19). And none of these things addresses the sin problem.
"You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe - and tremble."
(James 2 v 19)
God wants to give us an abundant life, overflowing with joy and peace through a relationship with Him.
"The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life; and that they may have it more abundantly."
(John 10 v 10)
This gift is so good that there is no way we could ever be good enough to deserve it. The Bible says;
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
(Romans 3 v 23).
When anyone does something that God has not prescribed or is not of Him, that person has sinned. Sin causes a separation between us and God;
"But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear."
And the result is death;
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
(Romans 6 v 23)
"In flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ."
(2 Thessalonians 1 v 8)
The Author of Our Salvation
Jesus Christ purchased our salvation when He went to the cross of Calvary. His death was the sacrifice that turns away the wrath of God;
"In this the love of God, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins."
(1 John 4 v 10).
The good news (the gospel), is that Jesus died for sinners on the cross, was buried, and rose from the dead;
"Moreover, brethen, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you recieved and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you - unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethen at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles."
(1 Corinthians 15 v 1-7).
The only way to be saved from wrath is to obey the gospel (2 Thessalonians 1 v 8). How do we obey the death, the burial, and the resurrection?
If a person dies, is buried, and is raised again, that would be called being
So, Jesus authored the plan of salvation through His literal death, literal burial, and literal resurrection. However, Jesus Christ now says to each of us,
Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John 3 v 7)
We don’t have to literally die, literally be buried, and literally rise again. He did that for us. We accept His death by dying to self, renouncing a self-serving life, and giving our life to Jesus Christ, saying;
"I’m now giving my life to You. You’re my Savior, and You’re also my Lord."
Many want Jesus to be their Savior, but they don’t want Him to be their Lord. But we can’t get Him, unless we have both Lord and Savior, because that is what He is.
Once we make the decision that, from this day forward, Jesus will be the Lord of our lives, that is the first step, repentance.
Next, the Bible teaches that we are baptized into His name, and that’s when our sins are remitted.
Then Peter said to them "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."(Acts 2 v 38)
In other words, Jesus Christ's sacrifice was the payment for our sins. The Bible says;
"Or do you not know that as many of us were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."
When we go down in baptism by immersion, in the name of Jesus Christ, His death is applied to pay our sin bill. We all sinned. Therefore, we all deserved to die. But He didn’t want us to die, so He came, and didn’t sin, and died in our place. When we are baptized in Jesus’ name, we are united into His burial. So, we experience a spiritual death in repentance. Then we experience a spiritual burial in baptism.
The Gift of the Holy Ghost
Finally, God has promised that, as we obey the death and burial of Jesus Christ by repentance and baptism in Jesus’ name, we can partake of the resurrection of Jesus through the infilling of the Holy Ghost, evidenced by speaking with other tongues. We are able to worship in spirit and truth, set free to not only pray with the mind or understanding, but also with the spirit. This is what gives us the power to live a new life that is pleasing to God, set free from guilt and slavery to sin. No longer blind, weak and hopeless;
"Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good."
(Romans 12 v 9)
If you are not sure that you are a Christian, and want to be delivered from God’s righteous judgment, then put your trust in the One who died for the sins of the world;
"...Behold! The lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world."
Turn from your sins, and obey the gospel through baptism in Jesus’ name and the infilling of the Holy Spirit.
"You must be born again."