Are You a Christian?

That's a serious question; it's no joke.  Just because you are an American or a Canadian or a good citizen of any country, that doesn't mean you are a Christian.  In fact, you can even believe in God and still not be a Christian.  It's true!  The Bible tells us even the Devil believes in God.  

You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.  (James 2:19  NIV)

If you feel drawn to Christianity, it's really the Holy Spirit tugging at your heart.  Truth is, nobody just decides one day, "I want to become a Christian today."  God initiates the call to salvation. That's what Jesus said, and He ought to know!

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them...  (John 6:44  NIV)

Part of that initial work of God in your heart is making you aware of the fact that you are a sinner; that something is not right in your life.  

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  (Romans 3:23  NIV)

You realize, too, that no matter how hard you try, you can never be "good enough" for God. That's why Christians talk about being "saved by grace" so much.  It means that God chooses to save you in spite of the fact that you are a sinner who isn't "good enough" to save.  But that's the beauty of Christianity:  Jesus Christ did all the work for you when you didn't deserve it.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  (Romans 5:8  NIV)

All that really means is this:  You don't have to "clean yourself up" to become a Christian!  You become a Christian first and let Jesus clean you up in His good time and in His way.  Jesus makes it possible for God to save you because - this is the good part - He took the punishment for your sins!  That's why Jesus was crucified on the Cross.  It wasn't because He did something wrong, it's because you did.  Because He loves you so much, Jesus took your punishment so wouldn't have to.  

For the wages of sin is death,but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  (Romans 6:23  NIV)

But here's the rub:  You have to believe that Jesus did this for you.  You must have faith in His work on your behalf.  Part of that believing is admitting that you're the sinner that needs to be forgiven and that you accept what Jesus did for you.  

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.  (Romans 10:9, 10  NIV)

So if you believe that Jesus Christ is God's Son and that He did His work on the Cross to save  you, then you're on your way to becoming a Christian!  

Let's review.  There are only four things you need to do to become a Christian:

  • Acknowledge that you are a sinner in need of a Savior - this is to repent or turn away from sin
  • Believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead - this is to trust that Jesus paid the full penalty for your sins
  • Confess Jesus as your Lord and your God - this is to surrender control of your life to Jesus
  • Receive Jesus as your Savior forever - this is to accept that God has done for you and in you what He promised
And that's it!  If you can sign onto those four things, then all you have to do is open your heart, talk to God, and receive God's gift of salvation.  Here's a sample prayer if you're stuck for words:

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.

If you prayed that prayer, or one like it, please tell somebody!  Don't keep it a secret.  You can start with us.  Send us an email or call the number at the bottom of your screen.  We'll be happy to rejoice with you and send you material that will help you get started in your new life of faith.