On becoming a Christian...
Transform your life by putting your faith in Jesus, who is the 'Christ', the Messiah who came to deliver us from oppression.
Although many people are able to remember the moment that they took this step, others who have been raised in the Church speak of never being able to remember a time when Jesus had not been present in their lives.
Nonetheless, as our life unfolds there are key moments where we give all of ourselves to God in whom we find peace, healing, a sense of purpose, and hope for the future. Every prayer time, every gathering for worship, every mindful act of service that we take part in embodies this idea. Thus, whilst we might describe a point in time where we became a Christian, we also recognsise that we are 'becoming Christian' constantly.
Words are never enough to explain what these moments feel like. Jesus used the description 'being born again' to stress how this change from within shifts our whole perspective on life. John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church, spoke about how his heart was 'stragely warmed' at the beginning of a fellowship meeting. Up to this point and despite his best efforts, he had experienced failure and deep unpopularity. After this point he found a sense of purpose and confidence that altered the course of his life.
You may find it helpful to view some of our YouTube interviews recorded as part of a series called, 'Me, Jesus, and the Church'. These showcase some of the extraordinary experiences of everyday people as they share something of their faith journey and how they became more involved in their local congregation.
On being 'saved'
“if you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10. But saved from what?
In short, we are saved from a world that is broken, saved from ourselves (in that we act in ways that can be destructive and harmful to others), and saved from death (in that Jesus promises eternal life).
One of our most cherished Methodist teachings states that:
All Can be Saved
God's love and offer of life-transformation is open to everyone. No one is beyond God's reach.
All Can be Saved by Faith Alone
Te journey begins when we put our faith in Jesus, rather than our own strength and achievements.
All Can be Saved and Know that they are Saved
God will give you an assurance that he has hold of your life.
All Can be Saved to the Uppermost
God's work in us continues thoughout our whole lives.
A simple summary of what we believe:
God, our creator, longs to restore His creation and reconnect with us.
Jesus said, 'I came to bring life, life in all its fullness'. (John 10:10)
Jesus provides the healing and the wholeness for which we yearn.
Through Jesus we can find forgiveness from sin and hope for the future.
Jesus's death and resurrection are a testament to His Word and identity.
Jesus gives us the strength to love and endure despite life's challenges.
On Heaven and Hell
The concept of heaven and hell is a relatively new invention in the contemporary Jewish thinking of Jesus' day. When Jesus refers to 'hell', he is referring to 'Gehenna' a place outside of Jerusalem's walls, a burial site where cremations were carried out, and formerly a site of ritual abuse and child-sacrifice. In doing so, Jesus is warning his hearers of the truth that God is judge, and our actions will have consequences. One day we will face our maker. Jesus is fiery and uncompromising about this - because he is on the side of the poor, the oppressed, and the vulnerable in society.
As to the nature of heaven and hell, and the sharp divide between the two, and who will end up where, perhaps one helpful peace of advice is to leave what we do not understand up to God. Our responsibility is to follow Jesus in loving God and our neighbour. And besides, Hell is not the point. In reality people are attracted to Christianity by an overwhelming sense of God's love and grace, and the sense that God is calling them personally, rather than any fear of eternal damnation.
Say 'yes' to Jesus
If you have arrived here, perhaps as a consequence of viewing our social media content, you may well be asking the question, 'What must I do to take that step of faith; to become a Christian?' The answer is simple. Say yes to Jesus.
The earliest followers of Jesus were confronted with one simple fact, and from there, over time, things became clearer. This fact was the news of the death and resurrection of Jesus. Beyond the nature miracles, deliverances, and healings that Jesus performed during his lifetime, it was the death and resurrection which caused people to stop and think. Jesus is not just any religious teacher. He is the Son of God. Or as the early church put it, both truly God and truly human.
One of the earliest and most potent expressions of faith was 'Jesus is Lord'. To accept Jesus as Lord is to follow His way as you live your life. In doing so you will also connect with God the Father in heaven, and the Holy Spirit, God's presence, now here on earth. You will find that as you open your heart to God, God hears, listens, consoles, strengthens, directs you, and gives us hope.
The Sinner's Prayer
The sinner's prayer is a Christian term for a prayer that is said when someone wants to repent of their sin, ask God for forgiveness, and state belief in the life, death, and saving resurrection of Jesus Christ. Here are two examples, one modern, and one taken directly from scripture. If you find yourself saying this prayer and would like to talk to someone, please contact us direct via firstname.lastname@example.org, or via our Facebook Page.
Lord Jesus, for too long I’ve kept you out of my life.
I know that I am a sinner and that I cannot save myself.
No longer will I close the door when I hear you knocking.
By faith I gratefully receive your gift of salvation.
I am ready to trust you as my Lord and Saviour.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for coming to earth.
I believe you are the Son of God who died on the cross for my sins and rose from the dead on the third day.
Thank you for bearing my sins and giving me the gift of eternal life.
I believe your words are true.
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus, and be my Saviour.
by Dr. Ray Pritchard
and from Psalm 51
“Have mercy on me, O God,
according to Your unfailing love;
according to Your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.
Against You, You only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in Your sight,
so that You are proved right when You speak
and justified when You judge.
Surely I have been a sinner from birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me…
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me and I will be whiter than snow…
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from Your presence
or take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.
Then will I teach transgressors Your ways,
and sinners will turn back to You.
Become part of a local church
Of course, there is more to being a Christian. As a priority, you will want to become part of a local church, if you are not already. (It is quite common for people to come to church and be questioning what faith is about, or discovering that being a Christian is about so much more than having Christian values). If you have not been baptised or confirmed (a prayer in public that your faith would be strengthened), then this is your next step. At any rate, ask someone you trust to pray with you right now.
Gaining a deeper understanding
The rest of this page is dedicated to resources that you might find helpful. As ever, if you would find it helpful to talk with someone, please contact us: