Becoming a Christian
Being a Christian is a decision a person makes to become a follower of Jesus Christ.
No one is a Christian just because they were born to Christian parents or because they were born in a certain nation or because they believe that God exists or because they attend church. This is a decision a person makes individually. Why does one need to make that decision?
The Bible teaches that God loves us.
God created human beings in the image of God so that we could know him, love him, serve him and live with him forever (Genesis 1:26-27). God's purpose for us is for us to know him personally.
However, every human being makes a decision to reject that relationship. We each choose to go our own way rather than allowing God to be God in our lives (Isaiah 53:6). This is what the Bible calls "sin". The Bible teaches that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).
You can see this easily in your own life: Do you always, on every occasion, do what you believe to be right? Do you ever, at any time, do things that you, personally, believe to be wrong? Or do you fail to do something that you would say you believe to be right? All of us do that. It is evidence of the way that sin affects us.
God did not abandon us in our rejection of him.
On the contrary, the story of the Bible is the story of God continuing to pursue a relationship with human beings. He gave his Law to ancient Israel, he sent prophets to declare his love and to call people back to him.
Ultimately, he sent Jesus, the Son of God, to live among us and reveal God's love (John 3:16). The Bible says that Jesus' life showed us how to live as human beings. Jesus' death on the cross provided forgiveness for our sins. Jesus' resurrection on Easter morning made it possible for us to have new life spiritually. This is the gift of God (Romans 6:23). When we were spiritually dead, God made it possible for us to be alive (Ephesians 2:1-10).
Like any gift, this one must be received.
We must accept what God offers us in Jesus: forgiveness, new life here and now, and the hope of living with him forever. How does a person receive that gift?
The Bible offers no formula to follow. But it does say that when a person, confessing their need for God, trusts their life to Jesus as their Lord (Master) and decides to follow him, that God forgives their sins and gives them new life and the promise of eternal life (Romans 10:9-10). This is what it means to become a Christian.
If you know your own need for God and his forgiveness and would like to trust Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, you might simply tell God about that in prayer.
God knows our very thoughts, so the words of the prayer are not so important. But you might pray something like this:
I know that I have sinned and chosen my ways over your ways. I have not allowed you to be God in my life. I believe that you sent Jesus to die for my sins, and that you raised him from the dead. Right now I want to trust my life to Jesus Christ. I want to follow him, to let him lead me, to allow him to teach me and to know his power to begin living a new way. Thank you for your forgiveness and leadership. And thank you for the promise of eternal life.