Becoming a Christian

First step

Becoming a Christian (following Jesus) is both a decision and a life-long journey. You show the reality of your decision with the rest of your life. Without the decision you won't get started on the journey.

It's a decision to accept
that you have offended God, sinned against him;
that you matter to God and he wants you to know him;
that Jesus died in your place so that you don't have to be separated from God;
that you will seek to live for God now, with Jesus in charge - relying on his help.

Christians often call it, "making Jesus Saviour and Lord". He is Saviour in that he saves us from our sin and the penalty it brings. He is Lord in the sense that we allow him to be in charge of the rest of our lives. It can sound like you are losing 'your life', but Jesus promises that what he gives is much better than anything you give up. A final quote from the Bible: It's the second part of a verse in John's Gospel, chapter 10. John 10:10. "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."

I want to encourage you: Make it personal. Pray a prayer accepting what Jesus has done for you and then take the next steps.

Next steps - making a good start in your Christian life

Every aspect of your life matters to God. Growing and developing as a Christian is a lifelong process, but some things are especially important to get off to a good start.

Know that you can't do it alone and you don't have to! Jesus spoke about his followers receiving a 'helper', a 'counsellor' (John 14:16). He was speaking about the Holy Spirit, God's Spirit who is a Christian's constant companion. Different Christians have different experiences and different ways of talking about those experiences, but all agree that you can't live as a Christian without the ongoing help of the Holy Spirit. The good news is that you don't have to. If you have truly asked for forgiveness, trusted Jesus to take your sin, and asked him be in charge of your life then God gives you the gift of the Holy Spirit. Your job is to learn how to listen to the Holy Spirit's promptings and co-operate. One of the ways to do this is to pray. By all means pray for all sorts of things, but pray especially that you would get to know, love and delight in God - Father, Son (Jesus), and Holy Spirit more and more.

God's Holy Spirit inspired the Bible. The Holy Spirit will never lead you to do something that goes against what the Bible tells you. If that seems to be happening, either you have misunderstood the Bible or you may not be being led by the Spirit. Exploring, understanding and putting into practice what the Bible says is absolutely essential. Some parts are better places to start than others. Some things are hard to understand, some are hard to do! But over time you will make progress if you keep going. If the Bible is new to you then starting with one of the gospels is usually the best thing to do. As a suggestion - read Mark, and then read John's Gospel. If particular parts get your attention then why not write them down - or jot down the references so that you can come back to them.

Get to know other Christians and be part of a church. We would love to welcome you to be part of South Oxhey Baptist Church, but whatever you do it's important to find a good church that can help you to develop as a Christian: To understand the Bible and discover how God wants you to live. The church is described in many ways in the Bible, one of them is 'family' - where each person belongs; another one is 'the body of Christ' - where each person has a unique place in the body and a special contribution to make.

If you pray and co-operate with God's Holy Spirit, explore and apply the Bible, and become part of a good church you are off to a good start. One of the New Testament writers was inspired by God to write these encouraging words:

He [God] who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion ...

from Philippians 1:6. If you really put your faith in God this will be true of you.