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How to Become a Christian

What does it mean to be a Christian?  How do I become one?
 
Personally trust Jesus to be your Savior.  Jesus is eternal God the Son, the 2nd Person of the Trinity (Hebrews 1:3).  Yet in history, God the Father sent the Son to win salvation for sinners by his life and his death (1 John 4:14).  By his life, Jesus offers you his righteousness.  By his death, Jesus offers you God's forgiveness.  2 Corinthians 5:21 says: "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."  God gave Jesus as an atoning sacrifice for the sins of everyone who trusts in his death on the cross in their place (Romans 3:25).  By his sacrifice, he paid for all the past, present, and future sins of all who will personally trust and rest in Him as Savior from their sins (Hebrews 2:17).  Jesus also lived the only perfectly righteous life ever lived while he was on earth (Colossians 1:22).  He offers to credit this righteousness freely as a gift to all who trust and rest in Him alone as their personal righteousness before God (Rom 4:3-8).
 
Jesus physically rose again from the dead on the 3rd day after he died (Acts 17:3).  After appearing to His disciples and many other followers, He ascended into heaven to sit enthroned at the right hand of God the Father (Romans 8:34).  Jesus shall come again in glory, to judge all the living and all the dead (Acts 17:31).

The Christian lives in restored relationship with God (2 Corinthians 5:18).  Christians praise God, learn to obey God, and become more like Christ (Romans 8:29). 

This salvation is by God's grace alone because of what Christ has done, not by any human achievement that tries to impress God (Ephesians 2:8-9).  Romans 4:5 and 7 say: "To the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness... Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin."

Restored to relationship with God, Christians are also restored in relationship to one another.  Made in the image of our Triune God, people were meant to live in relationships with each other.  Further, God has chosen the Church as a group of people who are to love, encourage, and build one another up by His Spirit and in His Word (Hebrews 10:24-25).  If you just put your faith in the salvation Jesus has won for us, find a local church that will encourage you faithfully with God's Word.