To be a Christian means to “belong to Christ” and you become a Christian by being “saved by Jesus”.
Before we are “saved” we are like slaves in chain. When we believe in Jesus he frees us from our chains and saves us from our former lives as slaves. According to the Christian faith, all people, ever since Adam and Eve’s first sin, are “slaves to sin”. “Sin” originally means “to miss the target”, breaking God’s commandments, or in other words, “doing wrong”. I think most people can see that all of us humans occasionally make mistakes, either to God, to ourselves, or to our fellow man. When Adam and Eve sinned their relationship with God was broken, they were cast out of Paradise, and still today our relationship with God is broken. Because all humans are sinners our relationship with God is broken and we are all in need of “salvation”.
It was obviously never God’s intention that this relationship between God and man would be broken, but since we as mankind cannot free ourselves from sin, God sent his Son to save us. When Jesus died on the cross, he sacrificed himself for our sake and took the punishment for our sins on himself. When Jesus rose from the grave he gave all people the opportunity to take part in the reconciliation between God and man. All who believe in Jesus will through Jesus’ death on the cross be forgiven and freed from sin and brought back to a relationship with God again.
If you want to become a Christian, it’s basically about asking for forgiveness for all the sins you have done, repent from them, believe in Jesus and confess that Jesus is Lord. Repentance means to “turn around“, realizing that you are a sinner, repent, confess and ask for forgiveness for your sins, stop sinning and instead start walking in another direction. Repentance is thus about turning away from your previous life as a sinner and instead turn to God and ask for forgiveness and salvation.
A simple prayer of salvation could be something like this: “Jesus, I believe in you and confess that you are Lord. Forgive me my sins and teach me how to follow you”.
If you have confessed that you are a sinner, asked God for forgiveness and confessed that Jesus is Lord, then you are a Christian. Then Jesus has saved you from your sins, and you have been forgiven.
When you have become saved by the Lord, Jesus wants you to be baptized. This allows you to show yourself, the world and God that you are serious about your faith, and that you now take the step into the Christian community. The word ”baptism” comes from the Greek word “baptizo” which means to “dip” or “immerse” and is a word that is used to describe the sinking of a ship. Just as Jesus died with our sins and then rose again, so we bury our old sinful life in the baptismal water and arise to a new life with Jesus.
We humans are created in God’s image, but when sin came into the picture this beautiful image was more or less destroyed. Though our sins have been forgiven, we are nevertheless still living in a world full of sin and temptation, and none of us is perfect. However, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was born into this sinful world. Jesus came to earth and became one of us, a human being, and thus we got the best possible way to see and learn from God himself how we are supposed to be. The fact that Jesus is God obviously makes him God’s perfect image and with the Holy Spirit’s help, we can be shaped and sanctified so that we become more and more like Jesus. By reading the Bible and trying to learn from what Jesus says and does while asking for help from the Holy Spirit, we slowly turn from sinner to saint. This process is at least lifelong and works best in a Christian community where we in different ways can help each other.
All who believe in Jesus belong to Christ and become children of God. God wants to gather all his children into a community with Jesus in the center and that is why you in most places today can find “churches”. A church is a congregation of people who believe in Jesus and come together and in different ways express their faith through worship, prayer, social help to those in need, biblical teaching, and so on. The Christian life is not only about being forgiven, but also about living a new life together with other Christians and practice the faith in word and deed. It’s easier and more fun to live the Christian life with other believers, then to do it alone, so if you have become a Christian, please contact a church where you live.
Some words from the Bible
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” (Rom 10:9–10)
“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,” (John 1:12)
“And Peter said to them, “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.” (Acts 2:38)
“Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out,” (Acts 3:19)
“Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isa 53:4–6)
Are you interested in becoming a Christian or do you want to get in contact with other Christians? My name is Christian Mölk and I am a pastor in Sweden. I will try to help you if you send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact form below:
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