Becoming a Christian

Posted: August 27, 2010 by pastorerichann in Christian Starters
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The truth about how to become a Christian is both profound and simple.

The central theme of Christianity is the “cross event” of Jesus Christ. Because of the cross and resurrection of Christ, people for centuries have discovered new life, hope, peace, and even eternal life. The cross event also clearly evidences the truth that God loves you (John 3:16, Romans 5:8).  In the words of a song that was popular a few years ago, we were meant to live for so much moremore than this world has to offer. Let’s use the letters in the word “CROSS” to understand its important meaning:

The C in CROSS is for Christ.

Christ, the Son of God, died on the cross. The Bible says, “But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8)!
Four truths to remember about Christ: The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is God, He was without sin, that He died on the cross, and that He rose again from the dead as a proof of His identity.

Why did Jesus die on the cross?  That question is answered by the next letter:

The R in CROSS is for Reason.

The reason Christ died is for sin.
The Bible says, “For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous [that was Jesus] for the unrighteous [that was us], that He might bring you to God” (1 Peter 3:18).

The Bible, our conscience, and the Law of God (Ten Commandments) reveal that we have fallen short of God’s standard of perfection. From the beginning until today, all people are guilty before God because of their sin.

What is the outcome? That question is answered by the next letter:

The O in CROSS is for Outcome.

The outcome of sin is death.
The Bible says, “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).

Wages are what we earn. The earnings of sin spoil everything we do. The outcome or wages of our sin results in death. Physical death separates us from life here and spiritual death separates us from God in the hereafter. This is bad news, but the next letter contains good news.

What is the good news? That question is answered by the next letter:

The S in CROSS is for Substitute.

Jesus was our substitute on the cross.
The Bible says, “He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Jesus took our sin upon Himself and suffered what we deserved. Jesus’ sacrifice displays God’s loving mercy and righteous justice as no other action could. He offers forgiveness of our sin as a free gift.

This gift, however, must be received. That brings us to the last letter:

The last S in CROSS is Salvation.

Because Jesus is our substitute, He is the only one who can offer salvation. Salvation includes forgiveness of sin and the gift of eternal life.

But how is this possible?
To have forgiveness and eternal life you must repent, believe, and receive. It’s like three branches joined together, making one living plant.

To repent, the Bible says, “Repent and turn back, that your sins may be wiped out” (Acts 3:19). Repentance is turning away from sin to God. It’s changing your view of sin, yourself, and God.

To believe and receive, the Bible says, “To all who did receive Him, He gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12). Believing and receiving means trusting Christ alone for salvation.

Would you consider right now trusting Christ alone for eternal life?

If so, then pray this prayer or a similar prayer from your heart to express that trust. These are not intended to be just “words” – but instead should be a genuine expression of your trust in Christ.

Dear Jesus Christ, I know I am a sinner. I believe You died on the cross for my sin and then arose. In repentance, I ask you to forgive me of my sin. I now confess You as my Lord and Savior and trust You alone for my salvation. Thank You for the free gift of eternal life. Amen.

You have just made the most important decision of your life.

We would love to hear about your decision. Go here to share about your decision with us:

From here it’s important to deepen your relationship with Christ. Here are some initial practices to help you:

  1. Read your Bible everyday to know Christ better.
  2. Talk to God in prayer every day.
  3. Tell others about Christ.
  4. Worship, fellowship, and serve with other Christians in a church where Christ is preached (if you live in the Central Southern Iowa area, we’d love to see you here at Cornerstone).
  5. As Christ’s representative in a needy world, demonstrate your new life by your love and concern for others.

How to get started reading your Bible