How to Become a Christian
I have an optional study that I often use to describe What Becoming a Christian is NOT. Many times it’s good to clarify what becoming a Christian is not; then you can understand better the details of what it is.
"Any person that believes and is baptized will be saved. But the person that does not believe will be judged guilty."
Also refer to John 8:24
II Corinthians 7:10
"Being sorry like God wants makes a person change his heart and life (repent). This leads a person to salvation and we cannot be sorry for that. But the kind of sorrow that the world has will bring death."
"If you use your mouth to say "Jesus is Lord," and if you believe in your mind that God raised Jesus from death, then you will be saved."
"Peter said to them, "Change your hearts and lives and be baptized, each one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ. Then God will forgive your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."
What are the two things we are asked to do? What are the two things that God says he will do? We need to repent and be baptized. God said he will gift to us forgiveness and the Holy Spirit. I find it interesting that many times we spend time wondering or questioning whether God has forgiven us. We also spend time wondering or questioning the presence of the Holy Spirit. Actually, those are two issues that are in God’s hands and are two things that God promised he would take care of! We are simply called to repent and be baptized.
"So Jesus came to them and said, "All authority (power) in heaven and on earth is given to me. So go and make followers of all people in the world. Baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach those people to obey everything that I have told you. You can be sure that I will be with you always. I will continue with you until the end of the world."
"So do you think we should continue sinning so that God will give us more and more grace (kindness)? No! We died to (quit living) our old sinful lives. So how can we continue living with sin? Did you forget that all of us became part of Christ Jesus when we were baptized? We shared his death in our baptism. So when we were baptized, we were buried with Christ and shared his death. We were buried with Christ so that we could be raised up and live a new life. This happened the same as Christ was raised from the death by the wonderful power of the Father."
In the Greek language, the word translated "baptism" means to be buried. We also know from history that the early Christians practiced baptism by immersion. It was through being immersed that early Christians buried their old life and were raised to a new life. In baptism you share Jesus’ death and are raised from death by the same wonderful power of the Father.
Added to the Church
"The believers praised God and all the people liked them. More and more people were being saved every day; and the Lord was adding those people to the group of believers."
The Lord is the one who calls people to him and adds them to his Church. It is not man’s place to decide who is in and who is out. Men often go to great efforts to keep attendance records and membership lists; however, this commitment is ultimately between you and God.