Question: What makes a person a Christian? What does it mean to be a true Christian?
Answer: The word Christian literally means “little Christ” signifying that a person is like Christ. Christians are people who reflect the character of Christ in their actions and thinking. What makes a person a Christian is love. God’s love stirs a person to want to become more like Him.
But how can a person become a Christian? The Bible gives the simple steps to following Christ:
1-Accept God’s love.
“In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:9, 10).
2-Confess and repent of your sins.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
3-Receive salvation by faith.
Believe that: Christ died for you “That he … should taste death for every man” (Hebrews 2:9), Christ forgives you “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins” (1 John 1:9), and Christ saves you from eternal death “He that believeth on me hath everlasting life” (John 6:47).
4-Experience the miracle of changed life.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
5-Obey God’s commandments by His grace and power.
Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). The Ten Commandments are listed in Exodus 20. Christians don’t keep the commandments to be saved but because they are saved.
6-Maintain victory over sin through daily study of scriptures, prayer, and witnessing.
“Search the scriptures” (John 5:39), “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17), “if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9).
7-Join God’s true church and get baptized.
The Bible gives the description of the true church: “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12). God’s true Church will keep all of His commandments – including the seventh-day Sabbath of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:8-11). “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16).
When you take these steps, you know you are saved because God does not lie. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12).
To receive God’s free offer of salvation, you can start by praying this prayer: “My heavenly Father, I accept Jesus the lamb that died for my sins. Come into my heart and save me. In Jesus’ Name I ask. Amen.”
In His service,