Being a Christian does not mean the following:
- Being born into a particular Christian denomination
- attending a church regularly for many years
- Being a member of a family where everybody is either a Pastor or a Minister of God
- [Shockingly] joining a crowd at a call for those who want to give their life to Christ.
Nowadays, many people claim to be Christians but they lack an understanding of the principles of Christianity. There are many persons who either raise their hands to get born-again or respond to an altar call severally, yet they are not Christians. So how can someone become a Christian?
Being born again is different from being a Christian
According to Rom. 10:9-10
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
To be born again means:
- First: To believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from death. This will subsume the belief that Jesus died.
- Second: Declare ‘with your mouth’ that Jesus is Lord
Two major things are involved. The first is a ‘believe’ in your heart, the second is a ‘declaration of your faith’ with your mouth. This is how we are saved, according to vs 10 of the scripture above.
When you carry out these steps, something happens to you:
- Your sins are immediately forgiven on the account of the payment Jesus had already made with his blood. This means that Jesus had already made a down payment for the sins of the whole world by shedding his precious blood (Eph. 1:7), the blood covers was effected over the whole of eternity (Heb. 5:9). It atoned for the sins that were committed before his death, during his death and after his death. This is why someone like Abraham could be called righteous even though he never knew Jesus, just on the basis of his (Abraham) in God. Faith in God was also counted as righteousness for some saints whom the bible recorded that were raised up at the death of Jesus – immediately when the vail was torn. It is this same reason that qualifies us to be born again even though we are born long after Jesus died. People to be born in the next 100 years are also qualified, His blood spoke over the whole of eternity. So when you confess Jesus as your Lord, all your sins are forgiven, past, present and future. Do you have a doubt or an objection? Tell me in the comment box at the end of the page.
- As a result of your sins being forgiven, the same Spirit that dwells in Jesus Christ is inputed into you. Your Spirit is now made holy and righteousness. The former Spirit that was in you that was susceptible to sin, death, sickness, poverty, lack is taken away (Rom. 5:12, 1Cor. 15:56). Sin is the root cause of every evil work since the power of sin was destroyed by the death and resurrection of Jesus everything that comes as a consequence of sins is also destroyed, including death. You may ask, why do people die? Get into the comment box, lets chat. Take note. The Spirit of God came into you because when you say this declare Jesus as your Lord you identify with his death, burial and resurrection (that is one of the significances of water baptism). This literally means that (Rom. 6:4):
- when he died, you died with him
- when he was buried, you were buried with him
- when he resurrected, you resurrected
- all the result, gifts and benefits of the resurrection are also yours…halleluyah
- Your past is taken away. When you declare Jesus as your Lord, your past is completely wiped out. You are a new creature that never existed (” Cor. 5:21). Why? You have been born again. Born in another kingdom, born of the incorruptible seed of the Word of God, with a different nature. God comes to indwell you and your life is completely new. This newness of life is not evident in your body, even if you receive healing at the point of getting born again. The healing is not proof that you became born-again, anybody can receive healing. Again, being born again does not mean your mind has been formatted or you are now ‘brainwashed’. NO! The change occurred only in your spirit. You received a new Spirit. This is where the difference comes between being ‘born again’ and being ‘a Christian’.
What it means to be a Christian
Being a Christian first implies that you are born again meaning you have given your heart to Christ by going through the steps above. The journey does not stop there, it is only the beginning of a journey. Why? Because you are a tripartite being (1 Thess. 5:23), you have a Spirit, a Soul (your mind + feelings) and a body. You are not only a spirit, in fact, without a body, you cannot function on earth – so the change that was instituted in your Spirit must also translate into your soul and your body.
The first people that were called Christians, were so-called basically because of their lifestyle. They lived like Christ – they talked like him, spoke like him and acted like him (Acts 11:19-26). The Athenians were the ones who observed this similitude between their lives and that of Christ and therefore called them ‘Christ-like’ or ‘Christians’. Being a Christlike in simple terms is to transport the nature that is already existing in your spirit into your mind and soul till your body begins to function in the same direction. Apostle Paul talks about not being conformed to this world but being transformed by the renewal of the mind (Rom. 12:2), this is what he was talking about. In the same light, the Bible talks about ‘working out our salvation with fear and trembling’ and it looks like this verse contradicts Eph. 2:8 which says we are saved by Grace through Faith and even the Faith with which we are saved is not of our works but a free from gift from God. The two verses don’t contradict each other, working out our salvation simply refers to working out the inner realities of our spirit in our minds and in our body. How can these be achieved?
How to become Christ-like
Being Christ-like is a process that begins in your mind. Your character and attitude are measured by your words and your actions. Your words and your actions are products of your thoughts. This means the central controlling factor to you living a Christ-like life is your thoughts. What do you think about yourself? Do you know who you are? The following steps will help in you becoming Christ-like.
- Acknowledge every good thing that is in you. (Phil. 1:6) Many persons after they become born again are not aware of their new nature. They don’t know who they are have been made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, neither do they know that they have been made to sit with Christ Jesus in heavenly place above principalities and power. This is their reality not after they fast for 21 days or after they have prayed for 7 hours but it becomes their reality immediately they confess Jesus as their Lord and saviour. Even before they receive the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. It is the reality of a Christian that he is not subject to the economies and the circumstance of this world, what affects others do not affect him. A Christian is passionately loved by God regardless of what he/she does, who he/she is and what he/she can do. This and many more is what a Christian has to be conscious of in order for his mind to be in absolute sync with his Spirit.
- Accept every truth of the Word of God has absolute and second to none. Spend time daily meditating on what God describes you as. You can only know who you are in the Spirit by studying and listening to the Word of God. (You need some tips in knowing who you are in Christ Jesus, let’s talk in the comment box) The more you see a picture of you in the Word of God and you think about it, the more your mind begins to take the shape of what you see. Your mind is very powerful, your Spirit cannot function without your mind, God speaks to you from your Spirit into your mind. If your mind cannot properly decode what God has said in your spirit, you may make the wrong decisions. The bible says as a man thinks so is he. If you think of yourself as righteous you would see yourself behaving that way. As we behold the word of God like when we look into the mirror, we are being transformed into the image of God. Why? When we look into the mirror, we don’t see the picture of an imperfect us, we see a perfect picture of ourselves in God. Because of the importance of the mind, we must be careful of the information that goes into it. The major avenues through which information go into the mind are your eyes, your ears and your mouth. Your eyes in the sense of what you watch which later forms part of your memory, your ears in the light of what you hear, and your mouth because what you say you hear, angels hear, people around you hear and demons hear. (you need more information) you know where to meet me). The mind has to be guided with diligence. You can read this book for some tips on controlling the mind.
- Whatever truth you discover and believe, make sure you confess them on a regular basis. Don’t be passive about it. Declare who you are, say it until it becomes a part of you. For example, if you feel sick in your body and you have understood the truth that your body has been energized by the Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead, therefore you cannot fall sick, what do you do? You declare ‘I cannot be sick, I have the life of God in me, Sickness is not my portion’. You say it till your body responds. If your mind will hold this truth strongly, your body will respond to it in a short while. The same principle applied in being born again is the same that runs through every Christian concept. You believe strongly in your heart, you confess because you believe and you receive the reward in faith. You can jump the order. Many people try to confess what they have not believed, it doesn’t work that way. You believe first, then you confess because you believe and you will get the result.
- Being Christ-like in your body. Being Christlike in your body entails you having a consciousness that your body it the temple of the holy ghost. It must be treated with care and reverence. Sickness is not allowed in your body. This can be achieved through constant meditation on the Word of God and the confession of the truths therein. It is also apparent that your dressing is an avid reflection of who you are in the physical world (not in the Spirit world anyway), not only do people address you the way you are dressed – God also wants you to dress in a way that expresses your Kingship or ‘Queenship’ in him. You are His heir-apparent, so your dressing most portray some form of dignity.
Being a Christian
is not just about taking the first step of receiving salvation, you must work out your salvation till your mind and body are in perfect synchrony with your Spirit. This is what the scripture refers to as the full stature of Christ. Responding to an altar call without an understanding of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus for the salvation of mankind or a full conviction of it does not guarantee you being born again. Rom. 10:9-10, 1. Believe 2. Confess what you believe then you are saved. If you want to give your heart to Christ now, kindly say this prayer aloud (This prayer is meant for only those who are not born again yet):
Dear Lord Jesus,
I thank you for dying for my sins.
I believed you died, you were buried and you resurrected to give me life.
I accept that I am a sinner and therefore I need your help
I believe your blood was shed for the forgiveness of my sins,
I give my heart to you and I accept you now as my Lord and my Saviour.
Thank you for loving me first Jesus,
I love you too.
I am now you child.
If you said that prayer I congratulate you. You are now a born-again child of God. You can now continue your journey as a Christian by following the steps we have outlined in this post. Beyond that, you will need some other information, kindly reach us on [email protected] or send an SMS to 07011170602. We would love to hear from you and be glad to help you in beginning your journey as a Christian.
Simple steps to follow.
- Pray every day in the name of Jesus
- Read your bible every day. Check our bible page or make a request in the comment box if you need a hardcopy bible
- Attend a ‘church’. Comment in the box if you need help on how to choose a church
- Meditate on the word of God and listen to messages here.
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Michael Adegoke is a tech-savvy Christian who loves to create content that transforms lives. He has a degree in English & Literature and has engaged in different aspects of the digital space including Graphics Design, Digital Marketing Search Engine Optimization & Content Creation. Michael loves to help people solve their most puzzling problems; he cares so much about you, for real.