What is a Christian?
Many people in Australia feel that living in a Christian tradition means that they are a Christian. But the Bible says that a person must first receive Christ personally before he or she is really a Christian. All of us are creatures of God because we were made by Him – sons and daughters of God in that sense from creation, but only as we come to Christ and receive Him as our own Saviour, do we become children of God in the sense of having been born of the Spirit. The Bible says:
But to all who received Him, who believed in His name, He gave power to become children of God.
John 1:12 (RSV)
This is a once-for-all event that either has, or has not happened in your life. When a person comes to Christ and trusts in Him for salvation the Spirit of Christ actually comes into the heart and life of that person. So a real Christian is a Christ-indwelt-one. The Bible says:
He who has the Son has life; he who has not the Son of God has not life.
1 John 5:12 (RSV)
When at last the end of the world is here and all of us are called into account by Christ as He returns, there will only be two types of people. Jesus said that there would be the sheep and the goats. He meant that there would be some gathered in like sheep are by the shepherd. And there would be some pushed out. Jesus said that on that day He will say to some:
Depart from Me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
Matthew 25:41 (RSV)
Then Jesus continued to say:
And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.
The only way to be sure of eternal life is to be certain that I know Christ as my Saviour. Jesus said:
And this is eternal life, that they know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
How does a person receive Christ as Saviour?
1. Come as a sinner who needs to be forgiven
The Bible speaks about eternal life as a free gift. It is not something that can be earned by being good or going to Church or being religious. Being in a Church no more makes you a Christian than being in a garage makes you a Mercedes Benz. Once we become Christians, we will want to go to Church to obey the Bible’s command to do so, but that isn’t the way of becoming a Christian. You must receive Christ as a free gift. The Bible says:
But the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23 (RSV)
To try to earn your own forgiveness from God is in fact a slap in the face to Him. All of us are sinners before Him, but He has fully paid the price for our forgiveness in the death of His Son, Christ, upon the cross. You can’t forgive yourself. That’s why Christ died for you.
The wages of your sins were paid by Him by His death that day in the centre of history. Don’t ignore what He has done. Don’t try to justify yourself by your own Church-works and good deeds. Simply ask Him to forgive you. Come and cast yourself on His mercy and receive His salvation.
2. Come by faith, as a child, with simple trust
Secondly we must come by faith and not in pride. Christ calls us like a small child to receive a gift.
That’s humbling. Perhaps that is why many have not come before. But Jesus said:
Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.
Mark 10:14 (RSV)
Notice Jesus did not say that you had to come when you are a child, but only like a child.
You may be over seventy years of age, but right now as you read this page, you can come to Christ in simple trust like a little child.
The characteristic of child-like faith is its simple trust. You may not understand it all. You do not need to.
3. You must receive Christ into your life as Lord and Saviour
Thirdly, we must come to Christ, not only for the forgiveness He gives, but we must be prepared to let Him by His Spirit, rule our lives. In the verse Romans 6:23 above, “eternal life” is “in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Salvation is not received apart from receiving His person into our lives. And when Jesus comes in to your life, He will want to run it. He demands your submission to Him as Lord. That means your willingness to turn from all known sin. The Bible calls that repentance. When you turn from a life of rebellion and sin and choose to receive Christ and obey Him, that’s being converted. That’s becoming a Christian. That is for you the beginning of eternal life that will go on after your physical death into everlasting life with God in Heaven.
But first you must bow your knee to Christ and receive Him into your heart and life as your Lord and Saviour.
And you do that in a word of prayer.
Behold I stand at the door and knock, if any person hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him…
If you would like to become a Christian then right at this time, you can pray a prayer in simple trust and receive Christ.
Here is an example prayer that you could pray.
Oh God, I know that I have sinned. Please forgive me for all of my sin. Please cleanse the deepest part of wrong in me. Thank you for sending Christ to die on the cross for my sins. Right now I take this Christ as my Saviour. Right now I open up my heart and life and ask Him to come in. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.
If you have received Christ with this prayer or would like further information, please contact us.
Find out about Jesus in your heart language: