How do I become a Christian? The Bible records a conversation which Jesus had with Nicodemus, a respected Jewish leader and teacher. We read that Jesus spoke the following: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” (John 3:3,7). It would not have surprised us if Christ had made this statement to the woman at the well, who had gone through five marriages, or to the one who was caught in adultery. But Jesus was speaking to a leading teacher of religion.
Thousands of people think they are Christians because they have been brought up in Christian home or attend church or live a moral, upright life. But the Bible says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God...Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” (Rom.3:23, 5:12). Everyone is spiritually dead and alienated from the life of God. Because of Adam’s disobedience we are all sinners before God. Therefore, Jesus said that each individual must have a new birth before he can have eternal life. We must be born again.
The new birth comes when God implants His own life in the human soul. Religion cannot take the place of this regeneration. There is only one condition for the new birth - faith. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him [Jesus] should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16). To believe in Jesus Christ means that we put our faith - our complete confidence - in Him. This is a repentant faith, for we must admit our sinfulness and want God to change us. This faith is also an intelligent faith. We must understand that Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin and that He rose from the dead to make our new birth possible.
Today can be your time of decision. A possible prayer to God could be as follows:
“Dear God, I accept the gift of the new birth. I admit my sin and receive Jesus Christ as my Savior, knowing that He died for me and rose again. I know I am a sinner and unable to save myself. But I do believe You love me, and that you sent Your Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for my sins. I ask You to forgive my every sin and give me the gift of eternal life. Amen”
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