“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” - Matthew 11:28-30
Here are some practical ways to understand what it means to become a Christian:
It all starts with God: God lovingly made the entire world and we once lived in perfect harmony with Him. But we rebelled against Him and each of us has the inclination to commit harmful deeds against both God and our fellow mankind (See Genesis 1 - 3 in the Bible). This is known as sin and it separates us from God. Our greatest need as humans is to be restored to the perfect harmonious relationship that we once had with our maker - God. That’s why we need a Christ, a Messiah, a saviour from our brokenness and misery. And Christians derive their name from being followers of Jesus the Christ.
Learn About Christianity: Begin learning about what it means to be a follower of Christ. You can read the Bible, which is the Word of God, and explore resources that explain the core concepts of the faith. Join a Christianity Explored Course either as a group or we’d be happy to run one for you individually. Come visit us informally at our café, one of our Bible Studies or attend our Sunday Services (you don’t need to be a Christian in order to attend). Some other helpful resources are The Bible Project, our online sermons, and Solas - Short Answers
Believe in Jesus Christ: Central to Christianity is the belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the Saviour of humanity. Accepting Jesus as your Lord and Saviour is a fundamental step. This involves acknowledging your need for forgiveness and salvation and recognizing that Jesus’ death and resurrection offer that forgiveness and eternal life.
Repentance: Repentance is the sincere turning away from sinful (sin is wrong things we do that offends God and separates us from him, often hurting us and other people) behavior and a commitment to live a new life according to Christian principles. It involves acknowledging your mistakes and seeking God’s forgiveness. No one is going to be able to live a sinless life but the Good News that Jesus cleanses us from our sins is the driving force for Christians to live righteous (God honouring) lives.
Prayer: Begin praying to God. This is a way to communicate with Him, share your thoughts, ask for guidance, and express your desire to become a Christian.
Acceptance of Grace: Christianity teaches that salvation is a gift of God’s grace, not something that can be earned through doing good deeds. Accept this gift by faith, trusting in God’s love and mercy.
Confession of Faith: Publicly confess your faith in Jesus Christ, that he lived, died and rose again from the dead, thus proving that he has power over death and the ability to save us. This can happen privately or in a church setting, where you might share your decision with a pastor or congregation.
Baptism: Baptism is a significant symbolic act in Christianity. It represents a person’s spiritual rebirth and identification with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. While the timing and mode of baptism can vary among Christian denominations, it’s an important step for believers.
Growth and Discipleship: After becoming a Christian, continue to learn and grow in your faith. Read the Bible regularly, pray, connect with other believers, and seek spiritual mentorship to deepen your understanding of Christianity. Joining a Bible study group is a great way to learn more about the Bible and grow in community with other Christians.
Church Community: It is essential to join a local Christian church. Being part of a church provides support, fellowship, and opportunities to worship, learn, and serve together with other believers.
Live According to Christian Principles: As a Christian, strive to live a life that aligns with the teachings of Jesus Christ. This involves showing love, compassion, forgiveness, and kindness to others and actively seeking to live out your faith in your daily life. Continually remember that our good deeds can’t save us, but we do good deeds because of the great gift that we have received in Jesus Christ.