Answer: Often we ask, what evidence reveals that you are a Christian? Is it being born into a Christian family, attending church, having Christian friends, giving money to the church and charitable organizations, teaching Sunday school or Bible studies, going on mission trips to help others, or knowing what the Bible teaches? The answer may surprise you… no! You can do good works and help others daily, but that’s not what makes you a Christian. Many of these good results of being a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ, come later as your life begins to be transformed by God’s Holy Spirit, the part of our triune (3 parts) God that comes to live in us. Here’s the answer: We begin a new life as a Christian when we accept that Jesus Christ is God’s own Son who sacrificed His life on a cross to pay the penalty for mankind’s sins against God. That’s why it’s called a spiritual rebirth, or “being born again”. The apostle Paul, who wrote most of what we have in the New Testament of the Bible, was inspired by God to explain it this way:
“…Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. He died for everyone so that those who receive His new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. So, we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know Him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to Himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And He gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So, we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making His appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, ‘Come back to God!’ For God made Jesus Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” – From 2 Corinthians 5:14-21
The scriptures tell us that because God loves us so very much, long ago He sent Jesus into the world as a baby born in Bethlehem to grow and live among us, to teach us and die in our place, paying the debt we owed God due to our many sins. God arranged that the only way for us to be in a right relationship with Him was to receive His gift by accepting and believing the truth that Jesus’ death, and later resurrection, saved us from eternal punishment after our physical death on earth. In those days, God had instructed the people to sacrifice a lamb, one without spot or blemish, once a year in the temple, which paid the penalty of their sins so they could be forgiven. Jesus, because of His death on the cross, is known as the “Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world”. (John 1:29, Revelation 5:11-14)
“But, God, you are pure and cannot stand the sight of evil. Will you wink at their treachery? Should you be silent while the wicked swallow up people more righteous than they?” Habakkuk 1:13
Because our sins separated us from God, Jesus paid, in the only way possible, the penalty that finally made people right with God. And God accepted it! The only way to God was opened, and people could now be allowed into God’s presence in heaven because of Jesus’ payment – in full!
“Before He took His last breath from the cross, Jesus said, ‘It is finished!’ Then He bowed His head, died, and gave up His spirit.” John 19: 28-30
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
When you’ve accepted the free gift from God by believing that Jesus died for your sins, you can begin a relationship with God, praying and reading His guidebook, the Bible, so that you will know the choices that please Him.
The most important decision of your entire life is this – believing God’s message through the Bible that Jesus saved you! This once-and-for-all choice lasts FOREVER and can never be taken from you!
“And when you believed in Christ, he identified you and sealed you as His own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom He promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that He will give us the inheritance He promised and has purchased us to be His own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify Him.” Ephesians 1:13-14
Don’t put off making this life-altering decision! This determines your future, either in heaven with God or in hell with those who refused His offer of eternal life.
Would you like to be sure that you are a Christian? Pray or say something like the following paragraph now. They’re not magic words. God will hear your words and your thoughts, and He knows your heart!
Heavenly Father, I confess that I have done many evil things and I need the salvation, the way out of my downward spiral, that you freely offer me. Please forgive me of these past sins, all of my wrongdoing, and help me to live in a good relationship with you. I accept that Jesus Christ shed His own blood and died to save me, and I trust you that His death on the cross saved me. Thank you for accepting me, and help me to live the life now that you created me to live, the one that reflects well upon you. Amen!
If you prayed these words to God, your life will begin to be different now! You are counted as a child of God, adopted into His own family, with tremendous benefits!
- Your sins have been forgiven.
- Your name has been written in the Lamb’s (Jesus’) Book of Life.
- You have begun a relationship with Jesus.
- Heaven will be your eternal home…that means, forever!
- You have been given the irrevocable gift of eternal life. God will never take back His gift to you.
- You are now indwelt, empowered, and enabled to live by the Holy Spirit of God!
“When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” Paul in Ephesians 3:14-19