How to become a Christian

Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. (Heb 10:19-23 ESV)

Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (Joh 3:5-6 ESV)

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." (Mat 28:19-20 ESV)

And Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Act 2:38 ESV)

...when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women (Act 8:12 ESV)

...the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. 30 Then he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" 31 And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household." 32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family. (Act 16:29-33 ESV)

...he said, 'The God of our fathers appointed you to know his will, to see the Righteous One and to hear a voice from his mouth; 15 for you will be a witness for him to everyone of what you have seen and heard. 16 And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.' (Act 22:14-16 ESV)

Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned (Mar 16:16 ESV) all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (Joh 1:12-13 ESV)


As a leopard cannot change his spots Jeremiah 13:23 we cannot change what we are. We were born sinful. I John 1:8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. God came to save sinners.

One becomes a Christian by means of “the means of grace,” the word and the sacraments. The word, scripture, is called the primary means of grace. The sacraments of baptism and of the altar are called secondary means of grace, meaning they are means of grace because, and only because, scripture says they are.

Grace is defined as unmerited favor. We can do nothing to earn God’s favor; it is totally a gift from God.  Ephesians 2:8  For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,  not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Romans 10:17  So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. The word of God is, of course, the Bible. Faith comes to us by reading and hearing the truth of God’s Word.

Grace also does, indeed, come to us when we are baptized. God does His work in us and makes us His children. His grace comes to us in baptism.

“...God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ...” (1Pe 3:20-21)

The same occurs when we partake of the Lord’s Supper. His Body was broken for us and His Blood was shed for us for the forgiveness of sins. It is the work of God to cleanse us. When we receive his Body and Blood, we partake of the sacrifice that atones for the sins of the world.

“The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? ...Consider the people of Israel: are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar?” (1Co 10:16-18)

Some people believe that once a person becomes a Christian he can never lose salvation. Ironically, those people often emphasize “freewill” and choosing. They teach that one must choose to be a Christian, but once that choice is made “freewill” goes away. Having once made the choice to be a Christian, one cannot choose to stop being a Christian.

Our carnal nature is to walk away from God. That does not change what God has done for us. He is patient and He waits for us to return to Him and receive His grace. We build barriers, and God, in His grace, takes them down. With daily repentance God daily forgives us.

‘Just as I am, Thy love unknown, hath broken every barrier down,

Now to be Thine, yea, Thine alone, O Lamb of God, I come.’


Finally, faith is simply that. We cannot rationalize it or even explain it. God gives it and we receive it.  Mark 9:24b  “I believe; help my unbelief!”  We do not rely on our feelings or emotions. We rely on the Word of God. Martin Luther said it well:

“Feelings come and feelings go,
And feelings are deceiving;
My warrant is the Word of God--
Naught else is worth believing.

Though all my heart should feel condemned
For want of some sweet token,
There is One greater than my heart
Whose Word cannot be broken.

I'll trust in God's unchanging Word
Till soul and body sever,
For, though all things shall pass away,