Who is Jesus?
How do you become a Christian?
The Bible clearly teaches that no one is born a Christian, but we must become Christians. John 1:12 says, “But to as many as received him (Jesus), to those who believed on his name he gave the right to be called children of God.” In order to become a Christian a person must receive Jesus Christ as his/her Savior. This commitment involves: (a) admitting you are a sinner who cannot earn eternal life, (b) believing Jesus Christ is God’s Son who died on the cross and rose from the grave to pay the FULL penalty for your sins, and (c) trusting Jesus alone to be your personal Savior and Lord (leader of your life).
In what way is Christianity different from other world religions?
Most religions teach that you must believe in (a) a god or gods (various religions), (b) God (e.g. Judaism, Islam – for Muslims, God’s name is Allah), and also strive to please that God in order to merit eternal life.
Christianity teaches we must believe in the Trinity (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit) and embrace Jesus Christ as the one and only Savior of the world. But it is only through our faith in Christ that we are saved. We cannot merit eternal life because God is holy and we are sinful. We are saved by trusting in Jesus Christ alone for our salvation, and this is a free gift. We are not saved by works, or works + faith, but we are saved only by faith alone in Jesus. As Ephesians 2:8, 9 says, “For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works so no one can boast.”
It sounds too simple to say that all you have to do is believe in Jesus to get to heaven? Is it really that easy?
In John 6:47, Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life.” So yes, all you have to do is believe in Jesus, but it is important to understand what “believing in Jesus” involves. There are 3 elements to true faith:
- Knowledge – In order to believe you must possess knowledge. But knowing about something does not mean you believe it.
- Mental Assent- This means you not only have knowledge about something but you also accept it as being true. But yet, this is not true faith. For example, you can know that an airplane flies, admit that the plane will get you from one destination to another, yet choose not to get in the plane.
- Trust – Trust is the 3rd element to faith and this is the aspect that saves. The person who trusts gets in the airplane. He relies on the airplane and puts faith in it to get him from one destination to another.
When it comes to Christianity, a person can possess knowledge about Jesus and accept as truth that He died on the cross and rose on the 3rd day. Yet this alone will not save. That person must also put his trust in Jesus alone to save him, relying on Jesus alone and not trusting in his good deeds, philosophy or religion.
For answers to more questions about Christianity and in particular how Christianity is distinct from other faiths, go to www.carm.org.