Becoming a Follower of Jesus Christ
Becoming a Christian
The Christian faith is about having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the One who loves us even before we have a thought of loving Him. Furthermore, Christ wants our lives to become as beautiful as they were in the mind of God when He first thought of us. If you want to become a friend of Jesus, and if you wish to find your purpose for living, let us suggest a relationship with Christ.
The Christian faith is not a trophy to be earned by doing good things. The only requirements are to accept that he accepts us, and to follow Christ in faith. The faithful life we try to live once we believe is not done in an effort to build merit with God by keeping the rules. A faithful life is our way of saying thank you to Christ for his unconditional love and grace.
Just as the faith is not a prize or a reward, one cannot become a Christian through adherence to a formula. However, many find it easier to begin a journey if they first have a roadmap for starting the trip. Therefore, please allow us to suggest the following as the first steps for beginning your faith journey with Jesus.
In the New Testament of the Bible, there is a book called the Gospel of Mark. In Mark 10:46-52, there is a story about how Jesus healed a blind man named Bartimeus. In this story is found the steps of faith.
Step One - We recognize that we have a need in our life that we cannot fulfill on our on. "A blind man named Bartimeus sat by the roadside begging for help."
Step Two - We have awakened within us a conviction that Jesus Christ can meet our need for fulfillment. "When Bartimeus heard that it was Jesus who was passing by, he began calling out to Him."
Step Three - We must ask Jesus for help. "[Bartimeus] began to shout, 'Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.'"
Step Four - We must believe that Jesus is ready, willing and able to help us. "Jesus said, 'What do you want me to do for you?'"
Step Five - We must put aside whatever would hinder us from coming to Jesus (pride, fear of rejection, etc). "Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus."
Step Six - We must have confidence that coming to Jesus in faith will create a relationship that can transform our lives. "Jesus said [to Bartimeus], "Go, for your faith has made you whole."
Step Seven - We must follow Jesus as our friend and as our guide for true life once we have chosen to accept Him. "Immediately [Bartimeus] received sight and followed Jesus ...."
Prayer of Commitment - "Dear Jesus, I know I have a need in my soul that cannot be filled by my effort, and I am now convinced that Your friendship is what is missing from my life. Please come into my life and live within me. Forgive me for trying to push you away. You have promised you will be my friend, companion and guide forever if I will ask, and I believe your promise. Help me to put aside the things that would keep me from having a full relationship with you. Make me into the person you have always wanted me to be, and help me to follow you from now on. Guide me to the life you want me to have, and help me to be more like you. Thank you, dear Jesus, for loving me and for believing in me even when I did not believe in you. Now help me to trust you with my life and with my future forever. Amen."
If you have chosen to follow the path laid out by the first steps of faith by praying with conviction the above prayer or one similar to it, welcome to the family of faith! God has always loved you. Now you have chosen to love Him and to accept your place at his family table that has always been set and waiting for you. The circle is complete.
Let us now suggest you join us for baptism. Believers Baptism is a ceremony of public confession of faith. Baptism does not save us. It simply affirms and confesses our faith in God. Baptism is much like a wedding ceremony. If you do not love your soon-to-be spouse before you take your wedding vows, all the vows or ceremonies in the world will not make you a faithful and committed husband or wife. However, if you do love your mate before your marriage, then a wedding ceremony is the way of declaring to the world your love for your chosen mate. Likewise, it beckons the church to help you stay true to your commitment and to grow to become the best husband or wife you can be. The wedding ceremony declares your love and commitment in public where it cannot be denied, and it symbolically asks the church to hold you accountable for being faithful to the one you are marrying.
Baptism is quite similar to a wedding ceremony. Baptism declares to everyone our faith in and love for Christ, and it symbolically asks the church to help us be faithful to our commitment. We ask the church to help us be accountable in our Christian life, and we ask them to help us grow in our faith so we can continue to become more like Jesus every day. One cannot be a secret Christian. The Christian faith is a personal confession of faith in Jesus that is to be lived in public and in relationship to others. Baptism declares our commitment and it starts us on that public journey.
We urge you to be baptized as a public confession of your faith in Jesus Christ and as a sign of our willingness to obey Christ's commandment to be baptized. Baptism declares the beginning of a lifetime journey with God, and it gives witness to our willful connection to the family of Christ's church.