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How do I become a Christian?
Bad News and Good News (Gospel)
Mankind is fallen and has a sinful nature due to the disobedience of Adam and Eve. All mankind has inherited this sinful nature. The punishment for this disobedience is death.
Genesis 2:17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die." See verse in context
All people are born with a sinful nature and are separated from God.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, See verse in context
Romans 3:10 As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one; See verse in context
The death that resulted from mankinds disobedience was first spiritual and then physical. Mankind has inherited this spiritual death.
Ephesians 2:1-3 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. See verse in context
Since God is a Holy God, mankind's sin must be atoned (paid) for. This can NOT be done without the shedding of blood, that is, death.
Hebrews 9:18-22 This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood. When Moses had proclaimed every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. He said, "This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep." In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. See verse in context
The Ten commandments (the law) were given to show us that we cannot keep them and that we are all sinners.
Romans 3:20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. See verse in context
1 John 1:10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. See Verse in context
If we violate one law, we are guilty of violating all of them.
James 2:10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. See verse in context
We are saved (rescued from death and given eternal life) from our sins (our evil and wicked life) and spiritual death by grace (God's gift of unearned forgiveness) through faith and NOT by any works done by us. These "works" include all "religious works", like special diets, going on a pilgrimage, praying and fasting, being baptized, or eating a wafer, keeping the ten commandments including the greatest commandment.
Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not by works, so that no one can boast. See verse in context Also see Romans 4:1-8:17 and Galations 2:15-5:26.
We are NOT saved by our works but true saving faith results in good works. We do the good works because we love our new Lord (boss). Trying to be accepted by Him by our good works is an insult to Him since he paid our penalty by His death for us on our behalf. Being saved by our works also violates the Scriptures given above.
James 2:26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. See verse in context
Our default destiny is eternal, conscious torment and separation from a Holy God.
John 3:18 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. See verse in context
John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him." See verse in context
Matthew 25:41 Then he will say to those on his left, `Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. See verse in context
Matthew 25:46 "Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life." See verse in context
We must believe and trust in the true Jesus Christ as revealed in his written word, the Bible and not some fake or counterfeit Jesus.
2 Corinthians 11:4 For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough. See verse in context
The true Jesus we must trust in, is God in the flesh, the Son of God, the second person of the Trinity.
1 John 4:2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, See verse in context
Matthew 1:23 "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" --which means, "God with us." See verse in context
We must be willing to turn away from our evil ways (sins), that is, to repent.
Acts 2:27-38 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?" Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. See verse in context
We must come to God on His terms as a little child, with child like faith.
Mark 10:15 I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it. See verse in context
There is ONLY ONE WAY to come into right standing with God and that is by being saved by Christ Jesus.
Acts 4:12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. See verse in context
John 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. See verse in context
Since we are dead spiritually, we must be spiritually reborn, that is, we must be "born again"
John 3:3 In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. See verse in context
John 3:7 You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' See verse in context
1 Peter 1:23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. See verse in context
Mere mental assent to believe in God is not enough.
James 2:19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder. See verse in context
We must believe with our heart; not just with our head and we must believe in Christ's resurrection.
Romans 10:9-10 That if you confess 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 confess and are saved. See verse in context
1 Corinthians 15:14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. See verse in context
If we do not accept that we are sinners then we will be unable to accept the Good News (the Gospel). This is because the Lord did not come to save good people (the rigtheous) but sinners.
Matthew 9:13 But go and learn what this means: `I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." See verse in context
Christ Jesus, died to pay the penalty for our sins.
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. See in verse context
Jesus Christ rose again to raise us from our spiritual death to new spiritual life in Him.
Romans 5:10 For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! See in verse context
God loves us and has made provision for us to be reconcilled to Him.
John 3:16-17 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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. See in verse context
If this appears to sound complicated it is not. All these points do not necessarily need to be believed with one's mind. The Lord looks at one's heart. For example, this simple prayer by the thief on the cross in
Luke 23:42-43 'Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. " Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise." ' resulted in his salvation.