Becoming A Follower Of Jesus Christ
What does it mean to be a Christian? Being a Christian—being a follower of Christ—is much more than agreeing to a set of doctrines or rules. Instead, it means answering God's invitation to hear and join into the grand and glorious narrative of His goodness and love, the story of redemption for you and the whole world.
As the Bible tells us, the story of the world took a wrong turn not long after it got started. Created by God for relationship with him, we chose to go our own way. Craving control over our lives, we moved away from trust in God's goodness and care. Our rebellion led to brokenness, blindness to the love of the God who made us, and it twisted the whole creation.
In his grace and steadfast love, though, God continued to be in the midst of the story he had in his mind since before creation—inviting humanity again and again to return to Him and His plan to rescue us and renew the cosmos. This rescue story began with a man named Abraham and continued through a nation called Israel. The story reached its crowning point in the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. Perfectly expressing God's love and just character, while also showing us what it meant for humankind to live in perfect alignment with God's will, Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sin so we might be restored to a forever relationship with the One who made us. Jesus' rising from death was and is powerful evidence that God keeps His promise of a renewed creation and eternal life for all who willingly join his story.
But if Jesus of Nazareth—the Christ, or "anointed one"—lived, died, and was resurrected over two thousand years ago, how do we join into that narrative today? We have found that many people believe in God but have yet to enjoy a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Attending church is a good thing but does not make someone a Christian. Being "a good person" does not make us a Christian, either, for we all have fallen short of the love, justice, and holiness God requires (Romans 3:23). Nor does giving money to worthy groups! Rather, becoming a Christian begins with receiving Jesus the Lord into our life and thus entering into a whole new relationship with God.
Those who personally place their trust in what Jesus did at the cross and receive Him into their lives as Lord and Savior become children of God and new creations (John 1:12; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Revelation 3:20)! Having received Christ into our lives, we become woven into his grand and glorious narrative of rescue and restoration—restoration not only for ourselves, but for our local communities, the nations, even the whole world. We are also invited to join with other believers to seek God and his will for us, becoming part of the new family that Jesus called his Body, the Church. Jesus, the risen Lord, invites you into this story – into new relationship with Him. Why not turn to Him now, putting your trust in Him and the work He accomplished on the cross to redeem and save you?
If you have questions about God's story or what it means to be a part of it, you can find help from others who have walked the same path and have already said "yes" to God. Just call or send a message via the link below to be connected with a pastor or another Christian who can talk and pray with you. But, if you are ready to answer God's invitation right now, here is a suggested prayer you can pray to begin a whole new relationship with God:
Whether you've said "yes" to God's invitation today or are still on the road towards meeting Jesus, please let us know so that we may welcome you into the family of God, give you tools for your journey, and celebrate what God is doing in your life!