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As people enquire and begin to take an interest in Christian faith they begin their quest in one of three general areas.

An intellectual quest
This is where becoming a Christian is the result of the study of scripture, and carefully considering the claims of Jesus Christ.

An experiential need
Some people have an experience of the spiritual realm which they attribute to Jesus, or God. This is where something happens and they conclude this is God at work. A specific example of this would be healing.

A relational experience
This is where a person begins to hang out with Christians and gradually adopts the values and lifestyle of the people they are with. The community of faith is inclusive and they are drawn in to the point where they want to become Christian. People admire the faith they see in others and desire it for themselves.

The journeys may vary, but the key to appreciate is that there is always a lead in - a period where the person begins the process of approaching God, and considering the possibility of being Christian. There may be a growing hunger to know God that gradually increases to the point where it is identifiable.

THE BASICS


1. God loves you.

It usually begins with a growing awareness that there is a God and that He is loving and caring towards us.

We begin to see the big picture of God in our world - His desire to re-establish relationship with us and the way he has sought to do this in a variety of ways throughout history.

2. Mankind is sinful.

As we learn more about God so we learn about the fact that we are very different.

There may have been specific things we have done where we deliberately ignored what we knew to be right. That is sin. The things we have done, or not done intentionally in defiance of what we know of the way God would desire for us.
But there is also a desire to live independent of God’s influence in our life. These are matters of the heart. We have an attitude that is sinful.

3. Jesus provides a way.

When any relationship is broken there needs to be some acknowledgement of the wrong, and some process of getting right again. In life when there is a breakdown of a relationship we often need a counsellor or some other person to act as an intermediary to help us restore what has been broken.

In terms of our relationship with God we have Jesus Christ, the son of God. Jesus came to earth and lived amongst us, but did not sin. Then in his death he took upon himself the condemnation and penalty of our sin. As a result we can receive God’s forgiveness; and restoration of the relationship with our God.

We receive the Holy Spirit as part of that new relationship.

4. We need to ask for forgiveness.

Jesus has already done everything from his side for us to have this restored relationship.
That leaves our side. We need to acknowledge our need and to ask for forgiveness. The old word for this is repentance.
We ask for forgiveness for specific sins we have done, and for things we refused to do. We also ask for forgiveness for the wrong attitude that caused us to live independent of this relationship.

When we do this—God forgives. And the new adventure begins.

A typical prayer.

Lord Jesus I come to you and ask for forgiveness for …… ( and we list some things that are obvious to us).
Lord Jesus I acknowledge my need for you to be involved in my life. I can not live in a way that pleases you without your enabling. Forgive me for trying to do it myself.
Help me now to live my new life in a way that will please you.
Amen.


Some key verses of scripture

  • This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

    Romans 3:22,23
  • But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

    Romans 5:8
  • For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

    John 3:16,17
  • For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast.

    Ephesians 2: 8,9



What is a Christian? - gotquestions.org
What does it mean to be a Christian? - Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry
Two ways to live: the choice we all face - Matthias Media

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