What is a Christian?
If you have read any of our books, and/or wondered what it means to be a Christian, here’s a quick explanation . . .
First we have to go back to the beginning!
God made the heavens and the earth, and he made people to know him. At first everything was perfect, but sadly, we deliberately disobeyed God, and ‘sin’ came into the world. That’s things like lying, stealing, cheating . . .
Our sin separates us from God (who is perfect in every way), so we needed someone to take the punishment in our place. Justice has to be done. Sin has to be paid for.
Because he loved us so much and wanted to make a way for us to live with him again, God the Father sent his Son, Jesus, into the world. Jesus was born in Bethlehem at the time of the Romans, and lived a perfect life. Jesus took on himself the punishment we deserved for our sin, when he died on a cross – he hadn’t sinned like we do, but he died in our place. (It’s a bit like someone paying someone else’s debt.) Three days later, Jesus rose from the dead – he defeated death!
We don’t deserve God’s forgiveness, but if we are truly sorry for our sin and decide to walk in his ways instead of ours, he not only promises to forgive us, but gives us his Holy Spirit to live with us forever. So when we are a Christian, we will go on living with God forever.
So a Christian is someone who:
- has turned to God
- has had their sins forgiven
- follows Jesus (that means doing what he says)
- has the Holy Spirit living in them
- is looking forward to heaven!
We know all this though the Bible, which is God’s word – it’s great book. 🙂
Would you like to be a Christian?
If you would like to become a Christian, like Emily Jane in The Birthday Shoes, John Ouma in The City Kid, Ben in A Pennyworth of Peppermints, and millions of people in real life, you need to take the following steps:
- Be sure it’s what you want to do. Think carefully. Are you truly sorry for your sin? Do you really want to follow Jesus?
- If you do, you need to pray. That means talk to God. You can do it anywhere, any time! (Not only did he make the whole world and everything in it, but he knows everything about us and hears us when we pray. Awesome!)
- Here’s a first prayer you can use if you like. (It starts Dear Lord – many prayers say ‘Lord’ when they are talking about God, because when you are a Christian, Jesus becomes the Lord of your life, which means you do what he wants, not what you want . . . you will find out more about this as you grow as a Christian.)
I’m truly sorry for my sin. I realise now that my sin has stopped me from knowing you in the past, but I believe you died in my place. I’d like to follow you from now on. Please forgive me and send me your Holy Spirit, so I will be with you forever.
(Amen is a word often used at the end of a prayer. It means ‘let it be so’.)
- Now you need to get to know God! Here are some steps you need to take:
- First, tell someone you have prayed. Who are you going to tell? Do it right now! You can contact us, too – we would love to hear from you.
- Read the Bible. Find the book of Matthew (it’s the first book of the New Testament), get yourself a bookmark, and start reading! Read a bit every day. You can read the Bible online if you haven’t got a Bible yourself.
- Carry on praying. You can pray all the time, any time, anywhere – it is the most wonderful, amazing thing to talk to God who made the whole world and everything in it! You might like to just talk about how you feel. You might like to thank him for the good things in your life. You might like to ask him to help you or others. It’s fine to make up your own prayer – you can just talk, as if you were talking to a close friend or a loving father, because from now on Jesus will be your friend and God will be your Father in heaven! Or you can find some prayers online or in a book if you like. You can pray out loud or in your head because God even knows the thoughts of our hearts.
- Go to church with a friend or your family. Everyone who is a Christian needs to spend time with other Christians. If you don’t know any other Christians, pray the Lord will help you find some, especially if you live in a country where there aren’t many Christians and churches.
God loves you more than you can imagine!
He knows everything about you – he even knows how many hairs you have on your head!
He will always be with you – he will never abandon you or leave you alone!
If God’s Holy Spirit lives in you, you have been ‘born again’ by the Spirit.
If you have asked for forgiveness and are truly sorry, you will be forgiven – it’s a promise!
Because we are human, we will keep on getting it wrong, but every time we ask for forgiveness, we will be washed clean once again.
However you feel, trust in God. You know how on a cloudy day you can’t see the sun? It’s still there though! In the same way, you might not always feel that God is with you, but he is there just the same.
If you have any questions, or would you like to contact any of our authors, please do so here:
Thank you for reading this, and we look forward to hearing from you!