How to Become a Christian

by Matt Slick

You do not become a Christian by anything you do like keeping the Ten Commandments. You do not become a Christian by being a member of a church. You do not become a Christian by being sincere.

What must you do?  You must believe in Jesus alone (who is God in flesh--John 1:1, 14); you must trust Him alone (Acts 4:12; John 14:6); you must receive Jesus (John 1:12) and his sacrifice for your sins.  Salvation (being saved from God's righteous judgment) is not by your works but by God's grace (Eph. 2:8).

Though there are no rules or steps to becoming a Christian, the following is a biblical summarization of what you need to know:

  1. Recognize your sinfulness before God (sin is breaking God's law.  Sin is things like lying, stealing, etc.):
    1. "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned--" (Rom. 5:12)
  2. Recognize that your sin has caused a separation between you and God:
    1. "But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear." (Isaiah 59:2).
  3. You must believe that Jesus is the only way to God:
    1. "I am the way, the truth, and the Life, and no one comes to the Father but by Me." (John 14:6).
  4. Ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins because Jesus has the authority to forgive you of your sins:
    1. "Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.'" (Matt. 28:18, NIV) . . . and
    2. Jesus told you to ask Him for your requests: "You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it." (John 14:14, NIV) . . . and
    3. Jesus is the one who forgives sins: "But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins . . . 'He said to the paralytic, "I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.'" (Mark 2:10-11, NIV).
    4. This last "step" is called receiving Jesus. John 1:12 says, "Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God."
  5. Turn away from your sin:
    1. "In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent," (Acts 17:30)
      "Produce fruit in keeping with repentance;" (Matt. 3:8)

If you want to become a Christian, you must receive Jesus as your Savior (John 1:12).  We recommend that you pray to Him and ask Him to forgive you of your sins and teach you how to follow Him in truth.  Jesus said, "Ask me anything in my name and I will do it." (John 14:14).

Also, consider what Jesus taught in Luke 18:9-14,

"And He also told this parable to certain ones who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee, and the other a tax-gatherer. 11 “The Pharisee stood and was praying thus to himself, ‘God, I thank Thee that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax-gatherer. 12 ‘I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ 13 “But the tax-gatherer, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ 14 “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, but he who humbles himself shall be exalted.”

Notice that the Tax Gather made no appeal to anything he had done.  There was no baptism--no works.  He simple confessed his sin and trusted in God.

Also, consider what Paul said in Rom. 4:1-5,

"What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about; but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.”  4 Now to the one who works, his wage is not reckoned as a favor, but as what is due. 5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness."

Paul teaches that we are made right before God by faith--not by faith and works but by faith alone.  That faith must be in Christ and His work on the cross where he bore our sins in his body (1 Pet. 2:24).

Jesus can save you.  Trust in Him alone.

If this page has helped you in anyway, please e-mail me and let me know.  God Bless.


About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.