How to Know Jesus
What is a Christian and How to Become One
KNOWING JESUS CHRIST
Understanding What It Means To Be a Christian
Have you ever wondered what it means to become a Christian? Or just wondered what a true Christian really is? Well, please take a few minutes to read this because it's been written with you in mind and it could change your life. You're not here on earth by accident, nor are you on this web page reading this right now by accident.
The authentic Christian life is something more than following a routine that engages in Christian activities. Christianity is not a religion, it is a real relationship with a real person, Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Instead of adhering to a list of “do’s and don’ts,” the goal of a Christian is to cultivate a close walk with God. That relationship is made possible because of the work of Jesus Christ and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. The decision to become a Christian is the most important decision you will ever make. In contrast to physical life, this new life is spiritual in nature. This new life is exciting and adventurous. It is not an easy life but it is a fulfilling and rewarding life.
Now maybe there are things in your life that don't seem to be going very well, and you've tried lots of solutions, but none seem to work. Everyone has questions about their own lives. If you haven't found answers that work for you, why not listen to what God has to say?
God's Word has the answers that are grounded in truth and love. Jesus has answers to problems just like the ones you and everyone else face every day.
If you know Jesus Christ personally, you can know that you are a Christian and you will spend eternity with Him in heaven when you die. You can also know that He is going to help you and change you here on earth, too.
GOD LOVES YOU
First of all you need to understand that God loves you. He loves you more than you could possibly imagine. He wants you to have a personal relationship with Him through Jesus Christ, His Son. What an awesome thought that is, the Creator of the Universe wants to have a relationship with you.
"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
There is just one thing that separates you and all of mankind from God. That one thing is sin. The Bible describes sin in many ways. Most simply, we sin by things we do, choices we make, attitudes we show, and thoughts we entertain. We also sin when we fail to do right things.
SIN SEPARATES US FROM GOD
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23
No matter how good we try to be, none of us do the right things all the time.
People tend to divide themselves into groups - good people and bad people. But God says that every person who has ever lived is a sinner, and that any sin separates us from God. No matter how we might classify ourselves, this includes you and me. We are all sinners.
“There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, there is no one who seeks God.” Romans 3:11
So where does this separation lead? The Bible says that the penalty for sin is death. For you to come to God, the penalty for your sin must be paid.
THE PENALTY OF SIN IS DEATH
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 6:23 (NKJV)
People who do not know Jesus Christ personally are separated from God because of sin. When they die they will be judged for their sin and live in a horrible place called Hell. Sadly this is the case for most people in the world.
“As man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment” Hebrews 9:27 (NIV)
“God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.”
Eccl 12:14 (NLT)
However, there is good news to this and there is a free gift from God. And who doesn’t like a free gift? God's gift to you is His son, Jesus, who paid the debt for you when He died on the Cross. Jesus paid the price for your sin and mine by giving His life on a cross at a place called Calvary, just outside of the city walls of Jerusalem in ancient Israel. God brought Jesus back from the dead. He provided the way for you to have a personal relationship with Him through Jesus. When we realize how deeply our sin grieves the heart of God and how desperately we need a Savior, we are ready to receive God's offer of salvation. To admit we are sinners means turning away from our sin and selfishness and turning to follow Jesus. The Bible word for this is "repentance" - to change our thinking about how grievous sin is so our thinking is in line with God's.
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 5:8 (NKJV)
When you believe in Christ and receive Him into your life as your Lord and Savior, you enter into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
“I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved,” John 10:9 (NKJV)
“Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God”
John 1:12 (NIV)
We become a Christian when we TRULY RECEIVE Christ into our lives.
We can’t earn or buy our way into heaven. No one can be good enough to get into heaven. There is no way we can work our way into heaven. Jesus tells us in the Bible that the only way to heaven and to eternal life is through Himself.
"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” John 14:6 (NIV)
Are you ready to accept the gift of eternal life that Jesus is offering you right now?
Let's review what this commitment involves:
I must first admit to God that I am a sinner. I acknowledge to God that I am separated from God by my sin and need to be forgiven.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 (NKJV)
I must believe God sent His Son, Jesus into the world to die on the cross so that I could have eternal life. I believe that Jesus is the only way for me to get to Heaven.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6 (NKJV)
CONFESS AND COMMIT
You must confess your faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and commit to live your life for Him.
“…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” Romans 10:9-10 (NKJV)
The above is called the “ABC’s” of becoming a Christian.
If it is your sincere desire to receive Jesus into your heart as your personal Lord and Savior, then talk to God from your heart:
Here's a Suggested Prayer:
"Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and I do not deserve eternal life. But, I believe You died and rose from the grave to make me a new creation and to prepare me to dwell in your presence forever. Jesus, come into my life, take control of my life, forgive my sins and save me. I am now placing my trust in You alone for my salvation and I accept your free gift of eternal life." Amen
Eternal life is a free gift from God. You cannot earn it, buy it, work for it and you do not deserve it. You can only receive eternal life when you receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Not even saying a prayer will make you a Christian. But when you honestly and sincerely call out to God admitting your sin, the Bible promises that He hears you. If you prayed that prayer sincerely, you can know that you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
“The one who has the Son has life. The one who doesn’t have the Son of God does not have life. I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.” 1 John 5:12-13 (HCSB)
I RECEIVED JESUS CHRIST INTO
MY HEART AS MY LORD AND
When you sign this certificate, it will serve as a reminder of the time and place of this special day in your life when you became a Christian. Today you begin your new life in Christ. Know that you know Christ; you are part of the eternal family of God.
SO NOW WHAT?
Once you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, the next step is to grow in Christ. To grow in Christ means to learn more about Jesus Christ and to allow the Holy Spirit to change you and help you follow Jesus’ examples and to live like He did. The following are things a new Christian needs to do to grow in Christ.
1. Find a Bible-Believing-Teaching Church
The reason for finding a Bible-Believing-Teaching church is so you can be taught the truth from the Bible, which is God’s Word, on a regular basis. Also by getting involved in a Bible-Believing-Teaching church you will have fellowship and accountability with other true Christians. How to find and know a Bible-Believing-Teaching Church will be discussed on the next page.
2. Bible Study and Prayer
To continue to grow in Jesus Christ it is essential to spend time daily in Bible Study and Prayer. Like any relationship you must spend time with the one that you want a relationship with. Think about your spouse, child, mother, father, friends, etc. If you didn’t spend time with them what kind of relationship would you have? It is the same with Jesus Christ, He wants to spend time with you and you need to spend time with Him in His Word and in prayer. Schedule a time each day that you devote to studying His Word and to be in prayer with Him. You pick the time of day that fits best with your schedule and commit to that time each and every day. Let nothing come between you and Jesus every day.
3. Be Baptized
Baptism is your first outward sign of obedience and identity to Jesus Christ. It shows you have a desire to be identified with Him and that you want to live the Christian life and be His follower. Jesus was baptized and as followers of His we need to follow that example.
Other Suggestions and Resources to Help You Grow In Jesus Christ
1. A Modern Bible Translation
Find a Bible Translation that you can understand so it will be easier to stick to a reading plan on a daily basis. Talk to a pastor or mature Christian that you trust for advice on what kind of Bible is right for you. Good suggestions are the English Standard Version, The New American Standard Version, The New King James Version, and The New International Version.
2. Daily Devotional Guide
A Christian Bookstore or your church will have numerous selections to choose from. Christian Book Distributors as well as Discovery House Publishers will have some good choices as well.
3. Christian CD’s and Radio
You can listen to Christian music and biblical teaching on the radio. KLOV and Pilgrim Radio are great sources of Christian music. Christian CD’s can be purchased at Christian Bookstores. You can also listen to sermons online at www.masonvalleysbc.com.
How to Choose a Bible-Believing-Teaching Church
It is amazing how people go about choosing a church today. Many of them ask themselves questions such as: Is there a large social network there for my family? Is the praise and worship team worthy of rock star or country western star recognition? Is the pastor a nationally recognized author and/or speaker? Are there lots of activities such as: youth athletics, adult dance lessons, “Christian” yoga etc. for our family to be involved in? Is there a youth group or children’s group? These questions and many others should not be your main motivations in finding a church.
These questions and others like them when looking for a church are all influenced by what people can get out of the church, rather than what they can give to God in the form of their worship to Him. These questions show a mentality of consumerism religion.
The main criteria when looking for a good Bible-Believing-Teaching church need to be whether the church is a place where sound doctrine is taught and a thorough study of the Scriptures is emphasized. You must use discernment and study the Scriptures yourself to determine if what is being taught is Biblical. If discernment by the church is discouraged this is a red flag.
Some of the things that should be stressed in a church are: prayer, expository bible preaching, teaching bible prophecy, regular church attendance, discipleship, supporting missionaries, fellowship, children’s programs, and music. All these things should be in place for connecting believers with believers. Also ask yourself if there seems to be unity in the church and if there is love and acceptance for visitors. Look at the leaders of the church. Are they men of respect and honor in the church as well as in the community? Or is their behavior questionable? Do the members use their spiritual gifts to minister to each other’s needs and edify the church and bring glory and honor to God? What are the attitudes of those that are leading worship? Are they truly bringing glory to God or are they in front of the congregation to bring glory to themselves (pastor included)?
Make sure the children are being taught the essentials of the Christian faith. It is never too early to teach children about Jesus Christ and God the Father, and about the Bible. Every activity, whether lessons, games, videos or crafts, needs to focus on God’s Word and applying it to their lives.
These are just a few of the things that will help you find a Bible-Believing-Teaching Church. If you need to know of a good church in your area, if you have any questions about being a Christian or the Christian faith, or if you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior because of this website please let us know at our web address.
If you have accepted Jesus Christ today know that there was much joy in heaven. You made God very happy. Congratulations and welcome to the family.
“I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.” Luke 15:7 (NKJV)