In the bible, the word ‘Christian’ appears only three times. It comes from the Greek word ‘Christianos’ which is translated to mean “follower of Christ”. But what does this mean, to be a Christian, a follower of Christ? It means you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, by accepting Him as your personal Lord and Saviour. Simply believing in God is not enough. Being a good person is not enough. Nor is going to church, being baptized or taking communion, although all of those things are done by Christians. Because of sin, we were separated from God and by His grace we are saved which itself is a gift from the Father. It is through faith, not by works that we are saved; this is expressed in the book of Ephesians 2:8-9. To reconcile to the Father can only be done through his Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who died on the cross just so we can have that opportunity; this is expressed in the book of John 3:17. God sent his Son not only to die for us, but he did so while we were still sinners! So, one prerequisite of being a Christian is to accept this ultimate gift through complete faith in Jesus Christ. You must also be ‘born again’. Being ‘born again’ is going through a spiritual transformation; it’s God imparting to you eternal life because you believe and as such have become a ‘child of God’. As sinners, we are considered to be ‘spiritually dead’ so receiving spiritual life through faith in Christ is deemed a rebirth; hence the term ‘born again’. To accept this ultimate gift, you must ask God for forgiveness of your sins through His Son Jesus Christ through prayer.
“Dear God, I know I am a sinner. Please forgive me. Thank you for your Son Jesus Christ and His death on the cross for my sins. I believe that you raised Him from the dead. I accept Jesus, right now, as my personal Lord and Saviour. Please help me to begin to live my life in the way you want me to from this day forward. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”
Perhaps you prayed something like this a long time ago, but you’ve fallen away from God. If you would like to recommit yourself to Him, pray this prayer:
“Dear God, please forgive me for not living my life the way you want me to. I recommit myself to you right now, and I ask you to help me start living my life for you from this day forward. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”
Nothing pleases God more than when his children return home. This is what it is to be a Christian.