Years ago, it was popular to lead people down a ‘road’ to faith, which made the path to becoming a Christian appear rather formulaic. The approach was not without it’s merits but I prefer the idea that certain things are essential, but the order is not necessarily quite so fixed. It allows for the fact that we are all different and the way we respond also differs.
Faith is essential to becoming a Christian. This is why it is also important to understand what it means to have faith. Faith is something we have to exercise. It’s not given to just a few. When people say “I wish I had your faith” they’re really saying “I’m not so sure I want to believe that”. It’s a polite excuse to avoid facing up to what could turn out to be ‘the truth’. If you ever feel lacking in faith, you may always ask God. In doing so, you are actually exercising ‘faith’. You see now how it works? It’s not something we have to conjure up, it’s a complete reliance on God to do what he says he can and will do.
Repentance is the realisation that we are not good, or certainly, not good enough to meet God’s standards. Rather than just feeling depressed about this we need to turn to God and ask forgiveness for the wrong things we have done and then turn our backs on those wrong things. If this sounds impossible, ie “I can’t see how I can change” then take heart. God has promised to give us his Holy Spirit to live in us. It is the Holy Spirit living in us which changes us from within so that we no longer want to do those ‘wrong things’. Experience tells us that these changes can take place immediately with dramatic effect, or they may happen over a period of time. Either way we are, what the Bible describes as, born again. All Christians are born again.
There are stacks of Bible verses to confirm the above, but I don’t want to list all of them. These two are good examples though.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” This is important because it shows that no matter who you are, God loves YOU and salvation is available to you.
Romans 10:9 “If you confess with your mouth Jesus [as] Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” This verse also brings in the reason why God is able to save us. Jesus died for our sins and was raised again.
This is not meant to be a complete list of ‘how to’ verses but if you have questions comments arising please post them or get in touch. Especially if you think I’ve missed some important bits out. 🙂