Discover how to become a
What is a Christian?
Put simply, a Christian is a sinner who has
been saved from eternal punishment through faith in Jesus Christ's
sacrificial death on the cross. With Jesus as their personal Lord and
Saviour they have entered into a new and living relationship with God and
live to honour him in every aspect of life.
How do I become a Christian?
Firstly, in order to become a Christian a
person has to accept two things that God says about mankind:
1) We are all lost and need to be saved
God in his love and wisdom made human beings
distinct from any other living creature to live in a special relationship
with him. That’s why you and I were made - to know God! Sadly, every
individual has either deliberately or unconsciously turned their backs on
God and are separated from Him because of their sin.
What is sin? Well, it is a term used in
archery. If someone’s arrow missed the target they were said to have ‘sinned’.
Sin is failing to hit the target! The target we fail to hit is God’s
standard of holy perfection. We have all failed to live up to God’s
perfect standards in our thoughts, words and deeds. Indeed, by comparison
to God’s holy perfection, even the nicest person you know has missed the
target by millions of miles.
Am I a sinner? Yes, everyone is a
sinner, but don’t just take my word for it; listen to what God says. In
the Bible we read that ‘all have sinned and fall short of the glory
of God’ (Romans 3:23). Sin has two consequences. Firstly, it
alienates us from God, and secondly, it prevents us from entering heaven.
Indeed, there is a penalty that must be paid for sin and that penalty is
death! ‘For the wages of sin is death’ (Romans 6:23). Death is
both the consequence of, and the penalty for, our sin. That means that we
all deserve hell not heaven! So, we need to be saved from hell!
2) We cannot save ourselves
Many people believe that if they do enough
good in their life it will outweigh all the bad they have done. This may
sound logical, but it only provides us with a false sense of security, for
God says: ‘There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end
it leads to death’ (Proverbs 14:12). Sin isn’t measured by our
standards but by what God regards as being wrong. For example, you may not
have committed any crimes such as murder or robbery, but you will have
held hatred in your heart against someone at some time, or you may have
taken a pencil from work. God regards these acts as murder and robbery,
even if you don’t! Besides, can you tell me how many good works you have
to do to pay for losing your temper, or swearing, or being selfish? And
even then, what is good enough for God? There is no amount of good
we can do to pay for even the smallest failure in our lives. The Bible
says that ‘all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all
shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.’ (Isaiah
Do you see how futile and uncertain our
attempts are to clear our record and get into heaven?
What God has done to save us
It is precisely because we can’t save
ourselves that God in his mercy and love has come to our rescue by sending
his Son Jesus.
Many people think that Jesus came into the
world to live a good life and give us some good teaching, which of course
he did. But that was not the main reason why he came. The main reason he
came was to die on the cross and save people from the punishment for their
- That’s why the angels declared at his
birth: ‘You are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save
his people from their sins’ (Matthew 1:21).
- That’s why John the Baptist said when he
saw Jesus: ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the
world!’ (John 1:29).
- That’s what Jesus said about himself:
‘For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost’
Jesus’ death was no accident - it was
planned by God! ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and
only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal
life’ (John 3:16). Jesus died for the wrong things you and I have
done, because as we saw earlier, God says: ‘The wages of sin is death’
(Romans 6:23). There had to be a death in order to pay for our sin. That
is what God requires.
Jesus died for our sin because he knew that
we could not pay for it ourselves. ‘God demonstrates his own love for
us in this; while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us’ (Romans
5:8). (The fact that Jesus rose again from the dead is proof that the
payment for sin was complete.)
But, all that Christ did on the cross will be
of no good to you unless you receive Jesus as your personal Lord
and Saviour. Only then will your sin have been paid for. The Bible say:
‘Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not
believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name
of God’s one and only Son’ (John 3:18). That word ‘believe’
doesn’t just mean to believe theoretically in your head about Jesus, but
to believe in your heart and to commit your life into his hands.
Let me illustrate this: There was once a
tight-rope walker called Blondine who walked across the Niagara Falls from
the American side to the Canadian side. Thousands of people cheered him on
his way. When he reached the Canadian side he asked the crowd if they
believed that he could do the stunt again with a man on his back to which
they all cried out, ‘We believe you! We believe you!’. He then asked,
‘Who will be that man?’ There was a deathly silence. No-one wanted to
volunteer despite the fact that they said they believed that he could do
it. No-one, that is, except one old man who said, ‘I’ll go!’ With
the man perched upon his back , Blondine made his way safely across to the
American side of the Falls.
That story perfectly illustrates the kind of
belief in Jesus that saves us from the punishment we deserve. There has to
be a commitment - a response from the heart, and a step of faith.
Will you be
University - Apologetics
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