How does a person "become"
a Christian?

It seems like a strange question, doesn't it? It isn't exactly like joining a club or opening a bank account! Still, the Bible teaches that everyone can become a Christian and follow Jesus. That is God's invitation to us all. Often, "becoming a Christian" is described as though the experience is exactly the same for every person.

That is not true. For some, this is a very dramatic experience. For others it is very quiet and reflective. Still others have a more gradual experience. But there are some common threads in what we realize in coming to Christ.

God created us for fellowship and abundant life-we recognize that there is "something more" for which we were made. John 10:10 "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."

We recognize our need-that there is a barrier to fellowship, a separation between us and God, called sin. Sin brings pain and suffering in our earthly lives and eternal death in our spiritual lives.

Romans 6:23

"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

We admit that we are not able to overcome our separation from God by our own efforts. Luke 19:10 "For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost."

God seeks our fellowship and wants all to experience eternal life. In the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God has provided a way for us to be in right relationship with him.

Romans 5:5-8

 "God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person-- though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us."

We are invited to respond to God's invitation to enter into that relationship with God by repentance and faith-we renounce sin and turn to God by faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The Bible says in John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life." Romans 10:13 "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved."

This new relationship is expressed by baptism as a sign of our commitment, and discipleship and by our involvement in the church, a fellowship of Christians, where we can be instructed and encouraged in living the Christian life.

Romans 6:4

"Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life."

Acts 2:42

"They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers."

Ephesians 5:1

"Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children."

Perhaps you have searched for God all your life. Perhaps you have never given God a thought. But God has been searching for you. What matters is the present moment. Are you willing to trust in God? Will you take the step of faith to be a disciple? If so, a simple prayer opens the door. We reach out to God and ask that Christ come into our lives and live in us. God honors that prayer of even the simplest child who believes. There are many prayers like that in the Bible. The point is not the words we use or the prayer we pray, but that we believe that God will answer. A prayer something like the following is an example:

"Lord, I need you in my life. I recognize that I am a sinner and need your help. Will you come into my heart and life and be my Lord? Help me I pray in Jesus' name. Amen."