First Baptist Church, Union MO
Friday, May 26, 2017
Where Christ is Exalted!

How to Become a Christian

How to Become a Christian
 
                The Bible contains both Bad News and Good News. The bad news is something about YOU. The good news is something about GOD. The Bible is God’s love letter written to you to reveal God’s plan of salvation from the penalty of your sin. He loves you and wants you to be reconciled with Him. Your greatest need is a personal relationship with God, but the Bible reveals man’s greatest obstacle to this relationship is SIN which separates us from a Holy God. The following biblical truths show God’s plan of salvation and the only way to become a child of God byGod’s GRACE through faith.
 
G God (Proverbs 9:10;Psalm 99;Isaiah 6:3;1 Peter 1:15-16;Revelation 4:8)
          When you think of God, what word or words come to mind? God’s Word affirms that God is holy. Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” Without ‘knowledge of the holy’ we cannot understand who God is or what God requires. God is Creator and owner of all things. He is infinitely wise and powerful, eternal, unchanging, morally perfect, truthful, righteous, just and much more. In God’s holy sight, sin is an abomination.  Sin is any act of rebellion against and violation of God’s Holy character.  No sin will be allowed in heaven. Because God is holy, righteous, and just He cannot overlook our sin but He must punish our sin.
 
RReality of Sin (Psalm 130:3;Ecclesiastes 7:20;Jeremiah 17:9-10;John 8:34;Romans 1:18;3:9-20,23;6:23)
          While God’s Word affirms God’s awesome holiness, God’s Word also reveals that we as human beings are sinners by nature and by choice, unholy, spiritually dead, enslaved to sin, rebellious, enemies of God, under God’s wrath, totally depraved, and destined to spend an eternity in Hell separated from God. That is bad news for you and I. Romans 3:23a tells us, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” The glory of God is His Holiness. God’s Holy character is the standard, not other people! You and I do not measure up to God’s standard. The psalmist in Psalm 130:3 asks, “If You, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand?” Knowing God’s holy standard and His justice, is there any hope to escape God’s wrath against our sin? Yes, there is a hope!
 
AAbundant Mercy (Psalm 51:1;130:2-3; Luke 18:9-14;Romans 5:8;Ephesians 2:4;1 Peter 1:3-4;Titus 3:4-5)
          God is abundant in mercy. He does not treat us as our sins deserve, but neither can He just overlook our sin and our guilt.  1 John 4:10 says, “This is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 proclaims, “God made Jesus who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Jesus we might become the righteousness of God.” The wonder of both of these verses is that God did something for us that we could not do for ourselves. This is the Good News. God sent Jesus, who is God the Son, to earth so that He could as the perfect God/man shed His blood to be our substitute sacrifice for our sin. On the cross, Jesus became sin for us and took God’s wrath for our sin on Himself. On the third day after His death He was resurrected. His resurrection is proof that Jesus’ sacrifice perfectly satisfied God’s justice and was completely acceptable to God.  God, in His abundant mercy, provided a substitute for our sin, Jesus Christ His Son. Jesus, who had no sin, became sin for us, so that in Jesus we might by a judicial act of God be declared righteous in His sight. Quite simply, this was the greatest transaction ever, Jesus took upon Himself our sin and gives us His perfect righteousness.  That is why Colossians 1:21-22 tells us we are reconciled ‘by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in God’s sight, without blemish, and free from accusation.”
 
C Call to Repent and Trust in Christ Alone for Salvation (Mark 1:15;John 1:12;3:16-18;Acts 2:38;4:12;17:30)
          The responsibility of man according to God’s Word is to repent, in otherwords, to agree with God that my sin is wrong and turn from my sin and turn in faith (total trust and dependence) in Jesus alone as my personal Lord and Savior. You must see yourself the way God sees you as spiritually bankrupt and totally unable to satisfy God’s just demands for your sin. Then in total desperation you must transfer your trust from any self righteousness that you thought you had to Jesus Christ and Him alone to pay the price for your sin and save you.   Repentance and faith are illustrated beautifully in the lives of the Thessalonian Christians in 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10. The Thessalonians heard and believed the gospel and “turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead-Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.” Are you willing to turn from your sin and your own self righteousness and trust in Jesus alone as your personal Lord and Savior? Otherwise, you will die in your sin and be separated from God forever.
 
EEternal Life (John 3:16-18;5:39-40;6:40;11:25-26;17:3)
          John 17:3 proclaims, “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” Eternal life is a relationship with God through Jesus Christ His Son. Through the grace gift of God, we who were born spiritually dead are made spiritually alive, new creations in Christ Jesus. God gifts genuine believers with the Holy Spirit and we become God’s holy temples in which He works in us to act and to will according to His good pleasure. God grows us in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ so that we may be conformed to His image. We become part of God’s eternal family in Christ Jesus. We have a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade- kept in heaven for us, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Are you certain that YOU have a relationship with God and that YOU are going to heaven? You can know!