What being a Christian means

Our Need

The Christian message is a unique message. Nobody is born a Christian. In fact, Jesus made it clear that we need a second birth to become a Christian. He explained that everyone born on earth is born a natural person and, as such, we all do what is in our nature to do.

But, what we are by nature cannot please God. Always we have a tendency to live for ourselves and not for God; to want our way and not his. We may make resolutions but they come to nothing. What we need is a changed nature: a new principle within us.

But God loves us too much to just leave us there. And because of his great love, he has made a way for us to come back to him.

God's Provision

The way back to God is connected with the man Jesus Christ. But he was more than just a man. He is God's unique Son. And he came into our world to win us back to God.

How did Jesus make a way back to God? He did it by living a life that was perfect and pleasing to God. And then by allowing himself to be murdered by being nailed to a cross. By this act, he became the one sacrifice for sin. He took all the judgment we deserve - judgment due not only because of our nature, but also because of the actual greedy and hurtful things that our sinful nature lead us to do. He died instead of us.

But Jesus also rose from the dead three days later. By this act, God showed that all Jesus had said and done was true. And by it God demonstrated that there is a possibility for all men and women to be raised from the dead.

In this gospel, God calls on us to trust in Jesus; to trust that he has taken our sin away. And so, the gospel is a way back to God, a way that is all about faith: faith in what God has provided for us. The big question for you and me is this: Will I believe that Jesus has dealt with my sin on the cross?

When we believe, the Holy Spirit comes to live within us. This brings about a change in us which Jesus called the second birth.

This is what Jesus said about this second birth:

“Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."  (John 3)

We're born once into this natural world but we need to have a spiritual birth too. That takes place when we truly put our trust in Jesus.

A Brand New Start In Life

That is only the beginning. When a person really encounters Jesus in the gospel, he or she cannot remain the same as they were. Jesus is addictive, and a Christian loves Jesus supremely. They want to be like him, and they want to learn all they can about him. And they also want to be with other people who love him too. That's why church is all about Jesus.

As Christians we are part of God's people (his Church) and together we want to honour Jesus and spread his fame. And as individuals we want to take him with us into the work place, into our free time, and among our family and friends.

What You Can Do Right Now

Many people find that their lives change when they take a moment to pray a prayer something like this one:

Lord Jesus, I've offended you and your Father in many ways, but I know too that you offer amnesty to all who will sincerely turn to you. I believe that you died on the cross for me. And I believe that you are alive now and you can hear me right now, as I pray. I've heard that you will send your Spirit to live within me when I trust my life to you. As far as I am able, I submit to you right now, asking you to make me your true follower and friend. I do that now, and ask you to be my Saviour and my Lord. Amen.

We invite you to pray this too. Pray, not expecting some strange feeling; instead, pray believing that when God makes a promise he means it. And God has promised that if you believe in Jesus you will discover him.

Then start to read the bible through prayerfully. Perhaps you could start with John's Gospel, which will tell you a lot more about Jesus (you can follow this link to John's gospel).

Then, ask God to lead you to a church where the bible is honoured and where Jesus is loved.

If you'd like to contact someone from our church to find out more about becoming a Christian, please email: rector@stpancraschichester.org.uk

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