How to Become a True Christian
Most people’s idea of being a Christian is to live a boring restricted life, attend an equally boring church, and subscribe to beliefs which defy logic and have no relevance in the 21st century. Although we understand why so many have this impression, and the manner of life of many professing Christians appears to give credence to it, nothing could be further from the truth.
The true Christian enjoys a vibrant life with vision and fulfilment which is not available anywhere else.
It is the purpose of The International Church to invite you to such a life.
1. You must recognise that your present life is spoiled by what the bible calls “sin”.
We commit sin when we break God’s laws. He has told us how to live in His Word, but unfortunately we choose to break His laws. Our society has largely abandoned God’s moral law, until those who live pure and moral lives are now regarded as weird and out of touch with the modern world. People forget that God did not give moral standards to be a kill-joy, but to protect the people He loves from moral, physical, emotional and psychological disaster. He set standards to enhance life, not to rob us of life. Sin is that which makes us imperfect human beings, breaks up homes, produces violence, acts of selfishness and plagues millions with guilt. And we are all guilty of it. We have all gone our own way. The bible says that “All have sinned and come short of the Glory of God” “There is none righteous, no not one”
2. You must acknowledge that God has provided pardon for sin through the death of His Son.
You cannot be a Christian without believing in the Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ. He was born to die, to pay the penalty our sin deserves, but He had to be the perfect man for His sacrifice to be valid. Only God in man could live the perfect life. Jesus was born of a virgin and fathered by the Holy Spirit. He lived a sinless life and offered Himself to the shame and horror of crucifixion as the sacrifice for the sins of us all. Because He paid the price for our sin He is now able to offer us a free pardon. The bible puts it like this: “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
3. You must believe that Jesus rose physically from the dead.
The power of Christ crucified is dependant upon the fact that He conquered death and rose physically from the tomb. He rose to justify us before a Holy God. He rose to be the executor of His own will and plead our case before the throne of perfect justice. For those who understand the Old Testament, He not only became the sacrificial lamb, but also our Great High Priest. The bible says that He showed Himself alive by many infallible proofs. Hundreds saw Him at one time. He also invited Thomas to put his finger in the nail prints in His hand and He ate a meal in the presence of His disciples to show that He was not a spirit. The Apostle Paul says that if Christ was not raised from the dead, we are still in our sins and there is no future for any of us.
4. You must be prepared to repent.
Many people think that to repent means to say “sorry”, but it means more than that. It means to say “Sorry and I promise not to do it again.” It means to change ones mind and direction. Considering the astonishing price that God paid to make forgiveness possible in justice, it is unthinkable that we should ask for forgiveness without the setting of our wills to be different. We have to give sin up, for ever. Some are willing to do this, but have no confidence that they can keep it up. They know that their resistance is weak and that they are prone to fall. This is why God not only provides in Christ forgiveness of past sin, but a miraculous change of nature which makes it easy for us not to sin in the future. The bible calls it being “born again.” Jesus says, “You must be born again.” It is a miracle which happens when we repent. The bible says, “Old things pass away, and all things become new.” He takes the most obnoxious and dislikable people and changes them into people full of “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness and self control.”
5. You must be willing to follow Him for the rest of your life.
That’s what ‘Christian’ means – a follower of Christ. It gives a reason for living when all else fades away. It brings joy in the midst of sorrow, peace in the chaos of life, hope when all seems hopeless and life in the face of death. But it also costs. Jesus says, “If any man wants to be with me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.” Naturally, we do not like to deny ourselves anything. Naturally, we hate the thought of the suffering involved in “carrying our cross” and naturally, we like to preserve our independence, but the born again Christian has fallen in love with Jesus. He or she finds that being a Christian is a love relationship with Him and the desire to please Him transcends all selfish desires. Even the cost of being a Christian is our pleasure, to please Him.