Congratulations on your decision to make Jesus your personal Savior and live a life for Him! We celebrate with all the angels of heaven (Luke 15:10) at your decision and are here to pray, walk with you, and support you as you learn and grow in your relationship with God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Becoming a Christian and a disciple of Christ is THE most important decision you will ever make because it determines where you will spend eternity beyond this life.
The following outline is some information we are sharing with you to help you understand some of the basics of faith and to answer some questions that are common to new believers. These few paragraphs will not answer all your questions nor cover every aspect of the Christian life.
Learning to live a life God wants us to live is a lifelong process of reading the scriptures and practicing what we learn. Everything may not be easily understood right away, but as you spend time with God in prayer, study the scriptures, attend church and bible study many things will become clearer over time.
Be encouraged that all your church family, especially its leadership, are here to show love and support your Christian growth. You are NOT alone! Let us know how we can pray for you or address any specific needs or concerns you may have. Accepting Jesus as your Savior means you are a member of God's family.
We look forward to living out the bible with you as we all learn and grow together!
Understanding the decision to accept Jesus as your Savior is very important. Being a child of God comes with many privileges, but we have some responsibilities as well.
Simply put, a Christian is a person who is “Christ-like.”
A Christian is someone who has decided to live for Jesus and to follow Him in all His ways. The decision is often accompanied by emotion, but it's not an emotional decision.
Making the life-changing choice to be a follower of Jesus is a very important decision that one must consider very carefully. Accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior means we give up our wants and desires for our lives to live a life for Him.
Becoming a Christian is NOT an easy decision, but an INFORMED decision that we willingly make because we recognize that Jesus is the only way to become in right standing (justified) with God.
Jesus, being the one and only Son of God, came into the world, to be our payment for sin. You might hear Jesus referred to as the “Second Adam.”
The reason for this is because sin came into the human family through Adam. When Adam and Eve sinned through their disobedience to God, Adam and Eve became separated from God.
Although they did not die physically, they died spiritually. This separation due to sin was an eternal “spiritual death.”
And the curse their sin carried with it was passed on to their offspring and eventually the whole world. It is because of the curse that was passed down from Adam and Eve, our ancestors, and everyone who is born inherits the sin curse of their disobedience.
Jesus, the “Second Adam,” as it were, offers us a new beginning because He corrects what Adam and Eve did by living a perfect and obedient life for God. Additionally, by dying a sacrificial death on the cross, Jesus paid the price to God for our sins – the sins of the whole world.
Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection is the reason we have an opportunity to be right with God. And only by faith alone in Jesus alone can we be saved and have the promise of eternal life with God in heaven!
"If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved." (Romans 10:9,10 NLT)
Jesus paid the price we could not pay by living a life we could not live.
Accepting Jesus by believing the scriptures about Him and choosing to serve Him causes a spiritual re-birth. This process is what it means to be born-again. As it is written in the gospel of John, “Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)
Being born again, like the decision to accept Christ may evoke emotion in some people, but it is not based on how you feel.
Being born again is something that God does in us at the moment we accept Jesus as our Savior. You may not feel any different, but in fact, every believer has been changed and becomes a “new creation” in Christ by the power of God.
This change is instantaneous!
Although, you may not feel any different, the evidence of what God has done in you will become apparent over time. The process that God, the Holy Spirit, uses to make you more like Christ over time is called "sanctification." We will learn more about that later.
“But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.” (John 1:12,13 NLT)
For now, watch this short video to help summarize all that we went over!
“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:3,4 ESV)
Just as believing in your heart and confessing Jesus openly results in an inward change and re-birth, being baptized in water outwardly reflects that your old life died, was buried, and rose again anew.
Being baptized with water does not grant you eternal life. Accepting Jesus as your Savior has already accomplished that!
Submitting to water baptism is obedience to Jesus’ commandment to show the world your commitment to a new life in Him. As it is written of Jesus words, “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19)
Every Christian should be baptized in accordance with the way Jesus has told us to do. Baptism is one of the first acts of obedience to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Outward showings of a covenant with God are not new.
In the Old Testament, God commanded Abraham to be circumcised as a sign of the covenant God made with him. Today, water baptism is like circumcision in that it is still a sign to all in attendance and the world that we have chosen to follow Jesus!
Watch this short video to help summarize the purpose and meaning of water baptism:
As we have discussed thus far, making the decision to live for Jesus is the most important decision you will ever make in this life. God, the Father, has revealed Himself in the person of Jesus the Christ and, through Jesus' sacrificial death, has made it possible to live eternally with Him!
Living a life for God is a lot to process.
Following Jesus means that we live as He lived.
Jesus lived a life of humility, sacrifice, selflessness, forgiveness, and loving others. By making the decision to follow Jesus, we have made a commitment to living with these values as well.
“But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? (Luke 14:28 NLT)
Jesus was once asked, what is the greatest commandment? ‘Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ (Matthew 22:37 NIV)
But Jesus didn’t stop there!
Then he added, “A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 22:39 NLT)
Love characterizes the life of the Christian.
Love God and love everyone around you. This is so important that Jesus even told His followers that the world will recognize His followers by how they love one another (John 13:35).
Christians operate out of love.
We hold the highest standards of morality out of love and treat everyone with respect out of love. We forgive those who hurt us out of love, and we give of ourselves, our time, and our talents out of love for God, who gave us everything to help people, whom God shows love through us.
Love is the defining attribute of the Christian!
‘A large crowd was following Jesus. He turned around and said to them, “If you want to be my disciple, you must, by comparison, hate everyone else—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.’ (Luke 14:25-27 NLT)
Take a moment to view this helpful video to understand how to live a life for God!
Thank you for taking the time to review this orientation on the basics of becoming a Christian.
This was only meant to be a starting point!
There is much more to learn, so we encourage you to continue to learn and grow in your relationship with God through Christ Jesus by taking time to spend time with God in prayer and reading a chapter of the bible every day.
Additionally, Rocky Mount Baptist Church offers group bible study every Friday evening and prayer services every Wednesday evening in addition to Sunday morning service every Sunday morning!
The Holy Bible is your “road map” on how to navigate the Christian Life. As someone once wrote, “Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, practice it to be holy!
Recommended Reading List