Category: (1) What is Christianity and what do Christians believe?


This question really has several answers, and they can be either simple or complex. The simplest answer is that a non-denominational church is any church which is not part of a larger denomination. A denomination is a church organization that exercises some sort of authority over the local churches that comprise it. Examples of denominations are Roman Catholic, Southern Baptist, Episcopal, Wesleyan, Methodist, etc. Non-denominational churches go by many different names and hold to a wide variety of beliefs.

Why altruistico chose to be Non-Denominational:

Why do some churches choose to be non-denominational? Though the answers will vary somewhat, a major consideration is the freedom to direct the ministry and teaching of the local church without interference or control from without. When we look to the Bible, the evidence points to each church as self-governing and answerable directly to God Himself. In the book of Acts, where we read of the first missionary journeys and the establishment of many churches, there is no indication of a hierarchy of authority beyond the local elders of the church. Some people point to the Jerusalem council in Acts 15 as a pattern for denominational structure, but it is nothing of the sort. The Gentiles had been given the gospel under the ministry of Paul and Barnabas, by the direct authority of the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:2; 15:7). The churches established in that first journey were left under the care of elders (Acts 14:23) from their own ranks, after having been taught by Paul and Barnabas. When the council was called at Jerusalem, it was not because of any question of organizational structure or control, but to discuss doctrinal matters about what constitutes salvation (Acts 15:5-6). The apostles who had been directly commissioned by Jesus were the only people who could properly address the question authoritatively.

When a church is non-denominational, does that mean it has no need of other churches? That may be the belief of some, but it is certainly not the example we find in Scripture. The book of Acts and the New Testament Epistles make it clear that the churches communicated with one another regularly. As Paul and his companions made their missionary journeys, it was not uncommon for the believers to send letters to the other churches (Acts 18:27), or to greet one another through his letters (Romans 16:16). Likewise, when there was a great need, the churches worked interdependently to meet that need—for example, the collection for the famine in Jerusalem (Acts 11:29; 2 Corinthians 8:4). The various churches of the New Testament, though independent, self-governing bodies, were definitely connected in fellowship and cooperative ministry, giving us an example to follow today.

The measure of any church, whether inside or out of a denomination, is not how it is organized nor what name it is called, but rather how faithfully it adheres to the teachings of the Word of God. No church is inerrant, because churches are made of people who are capable of error. Even the apostles, with all the gifts God gave them, were not without error. Paul records in Galatians 2:11 that “when Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong.” Peter, the first to give the gospel to a Gentile, gave in to pressure by the Judaizers to separate himself from Gentile believers. Paul’s ability to confront Peter was not based on his position as an apostle, but on the revealed truth of God’s Word. Paul complimented the believers in Berea (Acts 17:11) for checking his own teaching against the Bible to find out if he was telling them straight doctrine.

All believers need to be like the Bereans, checking what we are taught against the Word of God to find out if those things are so. If our church is out of line with God’s Word, we must lovingly, patiently give instruction or correction. If it will not be corrected, then we should seek out a church that is faithfully obeying God’s Word.

Protestantism is one of the major divisions of the Christian faith. Traditionally, Protestantism includes all churches outside of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Church traditions. Protestant churches affirm the principles of the Protestant Reformation set into motion by Martin Luther’s 95 Theses in 1517. Protestants were first called by that name because they “protested” against the papacy and Roman rule within the Church.

Protestantism itself contains many different denominations. They include the Lutheran Church (named after Martin Luther), the Presbyterian Church (associated with John Knox), and the Baptists (also called the Free Church movement and associated with churches that baptize only believers).

The Protestant tradition has historically been represented by the five solas: faith alone, Christ alone, grace alone, Scripture alone, and God’s glory alone. The five solas emphasize the following three doctrinal points:

First, Protestants hold to the Holy Bible as the sole authority regarding matters of faith and practice. The Orthodox Church, by contrast, recognizes sacred tradition as equally authoritative. The Roman Catholic Church includes sacred tradition and the authority of the Pope. The Reformers expressed this distinction with the term sola scriptura (“Scripture alone”). Protestants emphasize the inspired Word of God as our perfect authority (2 Timothy 3:16–17; 2 Peter 1:20–21).

Second, Protestants hold to faith alone for salvation, apart from works. The Roman Catholic Church requires the keeping of seven sacraments and often speaks of works as part of a person’s salvation. However, Ephesians 2:8–9 clearly supports the Protestant doctrine that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone: “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Third, Protestants believe in living for God’s glory alone. While Roman Catholic teaching agrees with this belief, it is often expressed in conjunction with faithful obedience to the Church and its leaders. In contrast, Protestants teach the priesthood of every believer, as stated in 1 Peter 2:9: “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” Protestants reject the Catholic priesthood system and instead pledge allegiance to God and His glory, affirming the giftedness of every follower of Jesus Christ (Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12:1–8).

Protestantism continues to reach approximately 800 million people today seeking to worship God under the authority of Scripture, believing in salvation by faith alone, and honoring the priesthood of every born-again person.

A recent survey conducted by the Barna Group, a leading research organization whose focus is on the relationship of faith and culture, found that less than one percent of the young adult population in the United States has a biblical worldview. Even more startling, the data shows that less than one half of one percent of Christians between the ages of 18 and 23 has a biblical worldview.

The Barna Group defined those as having a biblical worldview if they believed:

• that absolute moral truth exists,
• that the Bible is completely inerrant,
• that Satan is a real being, not symbolic,
• that a person cannot earn their way into the kingdom of God though good works,
• that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth, and
• that God is the supreme Creator of the heavens and the earth and reigns over the whole universe today.

Another study by Fuller Seminary determined that the most important factor in whether young people leave the church or remain steadfast in their faith was whether they have a safe haven to express their doubts and concerns regarding the Scriptures and their faith before leaving home. What is critical is that our youth have adults to provide them direction and guidance regarding the apprehensions they may have about their faith. Such a refuge is found in two places: in their parents and in their church youth ministry programs.

However, the Fuller study also found that most church youth programs tended to focus their energies on providing entertainment and pizza rather focusing on building up the young people in their faith. As a result, our teens are ill-equipped to face the challenges they will encounter in the world upon leaving home.

Additionally, two studies conducted by both the Barna Group and USA Today, found that nearly 75 percent of Christian young people leave the church after high school. One of the key reasons they do so is intellectual skepticism. This is a result of our youth not being taught the Bible in their homes or in church. Statistics show that our kids today spend an average of 30 hours per week in public schools where they are being taught ideas that are diametrically opposed to biblical truths, e.g., evolution, the acceptance of homosexuality, etc. Then they come home to another 30 hours per week in front of a TV bombarded by lewd commercials and raunchy sitcoms or “connecting” with friends on Facebook, staying online for hours, chatting with one another, or playing games. Whereas the time spent weekly in the church Bible classroom is 45 minutes. It’s no wonder that our young people leave the home without a Christian worldview. Not only are they not being well-grounded in the faith, but they’re also not being taught to intelligently examine the views of the skeptics who will inevitably challenge their faith. Most of these students are not prepared to enter the college classroom where more than half of all college professors view Christians with hostility and take every opportunity to belittle them and their faith.

There’s no question that a key factor in whether young people remain resolute in their Christian faith or walk away from it is the influence of their parents. It’s as the Proverb says, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6). One particular study found that when both parents were faithful and active in the church, 93 percent of their children remained faithful. When just one parent was faithful, 73 percent of their children remained faithful. When neither parent was particularly active, only 53 percent of their children stayed faithful. In those instances where both parents were not active at all and only attended church now and then, the percentage dropped to a mere 6 percent.

Today’s teens are debating within themselves how Christianity compares against the world’s competing beliefs. Relativistic statements such as, “You’ve got your truth and I’ve got mine,” or “Jesus was just one of many great spiritual leaders,” are becoming accepted in our society. Our teens should be able to walk away from the home fully trained in how to respond to their secular friends. They should be fully prepared to give a reason for the hope that is within them (1 Peter 3:15): Does God really exist? Why does He allow pain and suffering to go on in the world? Is the Bible really true? Is there absolute truth?

Our young people must be better equipped in knowing why they believe the claims of Christianity rather than those of some other belief system. And this is not just for themselves alone, but for those who inquire of their faith. Christianity is real; it is true. And its truths should be engrained in the minds of our youth. Our youth need to be prepared for the intellectually challenging questions and spiritual confrontations that they will meet upon leaving home. A solid program of apologetics, the study of defending the truth, is vital in preparing youth to know and defend the veracity of the Scriptures and the authenticity of their Christian faith.

The church needs to take a hard look its youth programs. Instead of entertaining them with skits, bands and videos, we need to teach them the Scriptures with logic, truth and a Christian worldview. Frank Turek, well-known Christian author and lecturer on apologetics, in addressing the problem of our youth falling away from the faith, put it this way: “We’ve failed to recognize that what we win them with . . . we win them to.”

Christian parents and our churches need to do a better job of developing the hearts and minds of our youth with the Word of God (1 Peter 3:15; 2 Corinthians 10:5).

Presuppositional apologetics is an approach to apologetics which aims to present  a rational basis for the Christian faith and defend it against objections by  exposing the logical flaws of other worldviews and hence demonstrating that  biblical theism is the only worldview which can make consistent sense of  reality.

Presuppositional apologetics does not discount the use of  evidence, but such evidences are not used in the traditional manner—that is, an  appeal to the authority of the unbeliever’s autonomous reason. Presuppositional  apologetics holds that without a theistic worldview there is no consistent basis  upon which to assume the possibility of autonomous reason. When the materialist  attempts to refute Christianity by appeal to deductive reason, he is, in fact,  borrowing from the Christian worldview, hence being inconsistent with his stated  presuppositions.

The presuppositional approach to apologetics calls for  the Christian and non-Christian to engage in an internal examination of their  respective worldview and thus determine whether or not they are internally  consistent. The essence of presuppositional apologetics is an attempt to  demonstrate that the non-Christian’s worldview forces him to a state of  subjectivity, irrationalism, and moral anarchy.

Since the unbeliever’s  worldview is objectively false, it of necessity contains demonstrable  contradictions (e.g., he makes moral judgments, but he cannot account for moral  absolutes without the theistic worldview). The believer, within the Christian  framework, can account for things like rationality, logic, uniformity of nature,  morality, science, etc., because the Christian worldview conforms to a  transcendent reality.

In summary, the presuppositional apologist engages  in an internal critique of a given worldview in order to demonstrate that it is  arbitrary, inconsistent within itself, and lacks the preconditions for  epistemology. The presuppositional apologist can thus take a given value which  is held by the unbeliever and demonstrate to him that if his own worldview were  true, that very belief would be incoherent and/or meaningless. Presuppositional  apologetics seeks to prove Christianity with reference to the impossibility of  the contrary. In other words, unless the Christian worldview is  presupposed—whether at a conscious or subconscious level—there is no possibility  for proving anything.

Classical apologetics is a method of apologetics that begins by first employing  various theistic arguments to establish the existence of God. Classical  apologists will often utilize various forms of the cosmological, teleological  (Design), ontological, and moral arguments to prove God’s existence. Once God’s  existence has been established, the classical apologist will then move on to  present evidence from fulfilled prophecy, the historical reliability of  Scripture, and the bodily resurrection of Jesus to distinguish Christianity from  all other competing forms of theism.

Classical apologetics (also known  as traditional apologetics) has as its distinctive feature a two-step approach  to establishing a Christian worldview. Classical apologists are often hesitant  to make an argument directly from miracles to the biblical God. Rather, they  prefer to appeal to miracles after having already established a theistic  context. Modern proponents of classical apologetics include R.C. Sproul, William  Lane Craig, and Norman Geisler.

Christian philosopher Norman Geisler  summarized the difference between classical and evidential apologetics in this  way: “The difference between the classical apologists and the evidentialists on  the use of historical evidences is that the classical see the need to first  establish that this is a theistic universe…The basic argument of the classical  apologist is that it makes no sense to speak about the resurrection as an act of  God unless, as a logical prerequisite, it is first established that there is a  God who can act” (Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics).

Evidential apologetics is a method of Christian apologetics that emphasizes  positive evidences in favor of the truth of Christianity. The distinctive  feature of evidential apologetics is its one-step approach to establishing  Christian theism. Evidentialists will utilize evidence and arguments from  several areas including archeology, fulfilled messianic prophecy, and especially  from miracles.

In distinction from classical apologetics, the evidential  apologist believes that the occurrence of miracles acts as an evidence for God’s  very existence. In this way, the evidential apologist does not believe that the  philosophical and scientific arguments for God’s existence must logically  precede arguments from miracles to establish biblical Christianity. However, the  evidential apologist is not opposed to the use of natural theology to help to  confirm God’s existence. These arguments are an important weapon in the arsenal  of the evidentialist as they help to undergird the case for Christianity by  giving further confirmation that God exists and has created and designed our  universe. Evidentialists simply do not believe such arguments must be presented  prior to moving on to evidence from miracles. In this way, the evidential  apologist can argue for theism and Christian theism at the same time without  having to first establish God’s existence. Such an approach can be beneficial in  personal evangelism where time can be at a minimum.

Evidential  apologists characteristically place a heavy emphasis on evidence from miracles,  especially the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. Evidentialists will appeal  to numerous lines of evidence to establish the historicity of the post-mortem  appearances of the risen Jesus, as well as the discovery of His empty tomb.  Additional emphasis is often placed on refuting naturalistic theories that  attempt to explain away the evidence for the resurrection of Christ. Once the  resurrection has been established, Jesus’ (and His apostles’) own understanding  of this event then becomes the proper interpretive framework through which we  understand its significance. Prior to His crucifixion, Jesus said that His  forthcoming resurrection would validate His claims (Matthew  12:38-40, 16:1-4).  The Apostle Paul declared that the resurrection of Christ was God’s vindication  of Christ’s deity (Romans  1:3-4). In the book of Acts, the Apostle Peter claimed that Jesus’ bodily  resurrection was God’s endorsement of Jesus’ public ministry (Acts 2:23-32). When taken  in this context, the bodily resurrection becomes the primary validation of  Jesus’ own radical claims about Himself and the vindication of Jesus’ message of  salvation.

The English word “apology” comes from a Greek word which basically means “to  give a defense.” Christian apologetics, then, is the science of giving a defense  of the Christian faith. There are many skeptics who doubt the existence of God  and/or attack belief in the God of the Bible. There are many critics who attack  the inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible. There are many false teachers who  promote false doctrines and deny the key truths of the Christian faith. The  mission of Christian apologetics is to combat these movements and instead  promote the Christian God and Christian truth.

Probably the key verse  for Christian apologetics is 1 Peter  3:15, “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to  give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you  have. But do this with gentleness and respect…” There is no excuse for a  Christian to be completely unable to defend his or her faith. Every Christian  should be able to give a reasonable presentation of his or her faith in Christ.  No, not every Christian needs to be an expert in apologetics. Every Christian,  though, should know what he believes, why he believes it, how to share it with  others, and how to defend it against lies and attacks.

A second aspect  of Christian apologetics that is often ignored is the second half of 1 Peter 3:15, “but do this  with gentleness and respect…” Defending the Christian faith with apologetics  should never involve being rude, angry, or disrespectful. While practicing  Christian apologetics, we should strive to be strong in our defense and at the  same time Christ-like in our presentation. If we win a debate but turn a person  even further away from Christ by our attitude, we have lost the true purpose of  Christian apologetics.

There are two primary methods of Christian  apologetics. The first, commonly known as classical apologetics, involves  sharing proofs and evidences that the Christian message is true. The second,  commonly known as “presuppositional” apologetics, involves confronting the  presuppositions (preconceived ideas, assumptions) behind anti-Christian  positions. Proponents of the two methods of Christian apologetics often debate  each other as to which method is most effective. It would seem to be far more  productive to be using both methods, depending on the person and  situation.

Christian apologetics is simply presenting a reasonable  defense of the Christian faith and truth to those who disagree. Christian  apologetics is a necessary aspect of the Christian life. We are all commanded to  be ready and equipped to proclaim the gospel and defend our faith (Matthew 28:18-20; 1 Peter 3:15). That is the  essence of Christian apologetics.

The history of Christianity is really the history of Western civilization. Christianity has had an all-pervasive influence on society at large—art, language, politics, law, family life, calendar dates, music, and the very way we think have all been colored by Christian influence for nearly two millennia. The story of the church, therefore, is an important one to know.

History of Christianity – The Beginning of the Church
The church began 50 days after Jesus’ resurrection (c. A.D. 35). Jesus had promised that He would build His church (Matthew 16:18), and with the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4), the church—ekklesia (the “called-out assembly”)—officially began. Three thousand people responded to Peter’s sermon that day and chose to follow Christ.

The initial converts to Christianity were Jews or proselytes to Judaism, and the church was centered in Jerusalem. Because of this, Christianity was seen at first as a Jewish sect, akin to the Pharisees, the Sadducees, or the Essenes. However, what the apostles preached was radically different from what other Jewish groups were teaching. Jesus was the Jewish Messiah (the anointed King) who had come to fulfill the Law (Matthew 5:17) and institute a new covenant based on His death (Mark 14:24). This message, with its charge that they had killed their own Messiah, infuriated many Jewish leaders, and some, like Saul of Tarsus, took action to stamp out “the Way” (Acts 9:1-2).

It is quite proper to say that Christianity has its roots in Judaism. The Old Testament laid the groundwork for the New, and it is impossible to fully understand Christianity without a working knowledge of the Old Testament (see the books of Matthew and Hebrews). The Old Testament explains the necessity of a Messiah, contains the history of the Messiah’s people, and predicts the Messiah’s coming. The New Testament, then, is all about the coming of Messiah and His work to save us from sin. In His life, Jesus fulfilled over 300 specific prophecies, proving that He was the One the Old Testament had anticipated.

History of Christianity – The Growth of the Early Church
Not long after Pentecost, the doors to the church were opened to non-Jews. The evangelist Philip preached to the Samaritans (Acts 8:5), and many of them believed in Christ. The apostle Peter preached to the Gentile household of Cornelius (Acts 10), and they, too, received the Holy Spirit. The apostle Paul (the former persecutor of the church) spread the gospel all over the Greco-Roman world, reaching as far as Rome itself (Acts 28:16) and possibly all the way to Spain.

By A.D. 70, the year Jerusalem was destroyed, most of the books of the New Testament had been completed and were circulating among the churches. For the next 240 years, Christians were persecuted by Rome—sometimes at random, sometimes by government edict.

In the 2nd and 3rd centuries, the church leadership became more and more hierarchical as numbers increased. Several heresies were exposed and refuted during this time, and the New Testament canon was agreed upon. Persecution continued to intensify.

History of Christianity – The Rise of the Roman Church
In A.D. 312, the Roman Emperor Constantine claimed to have had a conversion experience. About 70 years later, during the reign of Theodosius, Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire. Bishops were given places of honor in the government, and by A.D. 400, the terms “Roman” and “Christian” were virtually synonymous.

After Constantine, then, Christians were no longer persecuted. In time, it was the pagans who came under persecution unless they “converted” to Christianity. Such forced conversions led to many people entering the church without a true change of heart. The pagans brought with them their idols and the practices they were accustomed to, and the church changed; icons, elaborate architecture, pilgrimages, and the veneration of saints were added to the simplicity of early church worship. About this same time, some Christians retreated from Rome, choosing to live in isolation as monks, and infant baptism was introduced as a means of washing away original sin.

Through the next centuries, various church councils were held in an attempt to determine the church’s official doctrine, to censure clerical abuses, and to make peace between warring factions. As the Roman Empire grew weaker, the church became more powerful, and many disagreements broke out between the churches in the West and those in the East. The Western (Latin) church, based in Rome, claimed apostolic authority over all other churches. The bishop of Rome had even begun calling himself the “Pope” (the Father). This did not sit well with the Eastern (Greek) church, based in Constantinople. Theological, political, procedural, and linguistic divides all contributed to the Great Schism in 1054, in which the Roman Catholic (“Universal”) Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church excommunicated each other and broke all ties.

History of Christianity – The Middle Ages
During the Middle Ages in Europe, the Roman Catholic Church continued to hold power, with the popes claiming authority over all levels of life and living as kings. Corruption and greed in the church leadership was commonplace. From 1095 to 1204 the popes endorsed a series of bloody and expensive crusades in an effort to repel Muslim advances and liberate Jerusalem.

History of Christianity – The Reformation
Through the years, several individuals had tried to call attention to the theological, political, and human rights abuses of the Roman Church. All had been silenced in one way or another. But in 1517, a German monk named Martin Luther took a stand against the church, and everyone heard. With Luther came the Protestant Reformation, and the Middle Ages were brought to a close.

The Reformers, including Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli, differed in many finer points of theology, but they were consistent in their emphasis on the Bible’s supreme authority over church tradition and the fact that sinners are saved by grace through faith alone apart from works (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Although Catholicism made a comeback in Europe, and a series of wars between Protestants and Catholics ensued, the Reformation had successfully dismantled the power of the Roman Catholic Church and helped open the door to the modern age.

History of Christianity – The Age of Missions
From 1790 to 1900, the church showed an unprecedented interest in missionary work. Colonization had opened eyes to the need for missions, and industrialization had provided people with the financial ability to fund the missionaries. Missionaries went around the world preaching the gospel, and churches were established throughout the world.

History of Christianity – The Modern Church

Today, the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church have taken steps to mend their broken relationship, as have Catholics and Lutherans. The evangelical church is strongly independent and rooted firmly in Reformed theology. The church has also seen the rise of Pentecostalism, the charismatic movement, ecumenicalism, and various cults.

History of Christianity – What We Learn from Our History

If we learn nothing else from church history, we should at least recognize the importance of letting “the word of Christ dwell in [us] richly” (Colossians 3:16). Each of us is responsible to know what the Scripture says and to live by it. When the church forgets what the Bible teaches and ignores what Jesus taught, chaos reigns.

There are many churches today, but only one gospel. It is “the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 3). May we be careful to preserve that faith and pass it on without alteration, and the Lord will continue to fulfill His promise to build His church.

Congratulations! If you are a new believer, you have just experienced the beginning of your new, eternal life (John 3:16; 10:10). Your sins have been forgiven and you have been given a fresh start (Romans 4:7). You have now been given inexpressible, glorious joy (1 Peter 1:8-9).

In addition to the wonderful blessings of knowing Christ, you are probably thinking, “Now what? What is the next step?” The Bible offers some important principles for those who have begun a relationship with God.

First, as a new Christian, begin reading the Bible.

There are many translations and numerous places to start. While there is no perfect translation, we recommend you choose a Bible that is easy for you to understand and is faithful to the original text of the Bible. To sample some of today’s popular translations, you can go to websites such as BibleGateway.com or YouVersion.com. We recommend that you begin your reading with the Gospel of John or one of the other Gospels to read for yourself what Jesus taught and did during His time on earth. The Bible teaches, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

Second, as a new Christian, begin praying.

Prayer is simply talking with God. Many believe prayer must include a formal set of words that can only take place during a church service. However, the Bible teaches us to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). We are instructed to praise God day and night. If we desire to know God more deeply, we must communicate with Him regularly.

Throughout each day, you can give thanks to God, ask Him to answer your daily needs, and pray on behalf of others. It’s also important to pray together with others who follow Christ, encouraging each other, praising God, and seeking answers to everyone’s requests. For ideas on how to pray, you can begin with the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13).

Third, as a new Christian, be baptized.

Baptism symbolizes your new life in Christ and proclaims that you are now committed to Jesus. Even Jesus was baptized (Luke 3:1-22), and He calls His followers to also be baptized. Baptism was practiced by the very first followers of Jesus in Acts 2:41.

Usually, the leaders of a local church perform baptism. A local church pastor or church leader should be glad to speak with you about baptism if you express your interest.

Fourth, as a new Christian, build friendships with others Christians.

The Christian life is designed to be enjoyed with others. Jesus invested much of His ministry with 12 disciples as His closest friends. He likewise calls us to live in community with one another. The New Testament has over 50 “one another” verses that refer to loving one another, serving one another, encouraging one another, and praying for one another. Each of these commands requires relationships with other Christians.

Fellowship with other believers is one of the purposes of a local church. If there’s a Bible-teaching church in your area, it’s a great place to get involved. If you live in a community without a church, you will need to pray for God to open opportunities for you to meet other Christians in your area.

Fifth, as a new Christian, help others.

As you begin your new life as a Christian, you will find a new love inside you giving you a desire to help others. The Holy Spirit will lead you in ways to help. You might serve the poor in your community, assist a neighbor with yard work, or visit a sick friend in the hospital. The Spirit will clearly call you to show God’s love (1 John 3:17-18).

Sixth, as a new Christian, tell someone about your faith.

Becoming a Christian is not a secret; it’s a celebration! Tell all who will listen about Christ’s work in your life. In some cases, other people will come to faith in Jesus through the example you share. Just before Jesus ascended to heaven, He commanded His disciples to make disciples of all the nations (Matthew 28:18-20). Today, Christians are still called to share the hope within us with others (1 Peter 3:15-16).

Finally, these are simply helpful tips on how to grow in your new faith; they are not a list of requirements to become a Christian or to stay a Christian. You have been saved by grace through faith, apart from any works of your own (Ephesians 2:8-9). God started the work in you, and He promises to finish it (Philippians 1:6). God bless you as you continue to mature in your faith!

The first step to become a Christian is to understand what the term “Christian” means. The origin of the term “Christian” was in the city of Antioch in the first century A.D. (see Acts 11:26). It is possible that, at first, the term “Christian” was intended to be an insult. The word essentially means “little Christ.” However, over the centuries, believers in Christ have adopted the term “Christian” and use it to identify themselves as followers of Jesus Christ. A simple definition of a Christian is a person who follows Jesus Christ.

Why should I become a Christian?

Jesus Christ declared that He “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). The question then arises – why did we need to be ransomed? The idea of a ransom is a payment that must be made in exchange for the release of a person. The idea of a ransom is most frequently used in instances of kidnapping, when someone is kidnapped and held prisoner until a ransom is paid for the person’s release.

Jesus paid our ransom to free us from bondage! Bondage from what? Bondage to sin and its consequences, physical death followed by eternal separation from God. Why did Jesus need to pay this ransom? Because we are all infected with sin (Romans 3:23), and are therefore worthy of judgment from God (Romans 6:23). How did Jesus pay our ransom? By dying on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:3; 2 Corinthians 5:21). How could Jesus’ death sufficiently pay for all of our sins? Jesus was God in human form, God come to earth to become one of us so He could identify with us and die for our sins (John 1:1,14). As God, Jesus’ death was infinite in value, sufficient to pay for the sins of the entire world (1 John 2:2). Jesus’ resurrection after His death demonstrated that His death was the sufficient sacrifice, that He had truly conquered sin and death.

How can I become a Christian?

This is the best part. Because of His love for us, God has made it exceedingly simple to become a Christian. All you have to do is receive Jesus as your Savior, fully accepting His death as the sufficient sacrifice for your sins (John 3:16), fully trusting Him alone as your Savior (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). Becoming a Christian is not all about rituals, going to church, or doing certain things while refraining from other things. Becoming a Christian is all about having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. A personal relationship with Jesus Christ, through faith, is what makes a person a Christian.

Are you ready to become a Christian?

If you are ready to become a Christian by receiving Jesus Christ as your Savior, all you have to do is believe. Do you understand and believe that you have sinned and are worthy of judgment from God? Do you understand and believe that Jesus took your punishment upon Himself, dying in your place? Do you understand and believe that His death was the sufficient sacrifice to pay for your sins? If your answers to these three questions are yes, then simply place your trust in Jesus as your Savior. Receive Him, by faith, fully trusting in Him alone. That is all it takes to become a Christian!

I hope you have made the decision to accept Jesus Christ as your savior.  I know you’ll never regret doing so today… May the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob bless and keep you all the days of your life.