Are you ready to make a decision to follow Jesus? If so, read on. If you are not yet sure that you want to do this, please first read Why should I follow Jesus?
If your background is in a religion other than Christianity, please read first Do I need to change my religion to follow Jesus? (in preparation)
The step you are about to take is sometimes called “becoming a Christian”. But even if you already call yourself a Christian you may need to take this step. Another term that is sometimes used for this is becoming “born again”, which means that you have received new life from God.
It is up to you to make the decision that you want to follow Jesus. But you can’t make yourself into his follower. Even if you could succeed by your own efforts in pleasing God perfectly for the rest of your life, he would still reject you for the things you have done wrong in the past, and for your part in a world system which has rejected God’s standards. According to God’s law, what you have done wrong is called sin, and the penalty for it is death.
But there is good news. God loves you. So he has provided a way in which you can be forgiven for what you have done wrong, and made clean and acceptable to him. His Son Jesus, the one man who did nothing wrong and so did not deserve death, was put to death on a cross. In some mysterious way, by dying he made it possible for God to forgive the sin of everyone who asks him to. The way is then open for us to turn away from doing wrong things and follow Jesus, who is now alive again.
So, if you want to become a true follower of Jesus, you need to take a few simple steps. You need to speak to God. This is what is called prayer, but you don’t need to do anything special like kneeling or putting your hands together. You don’t need to go to a special holy place, but it might help to find somewhere quiet. Then you just talk to God. You might like to speak out loud, but God can still hear you if you prefer to do this silently. You can use my words here or adapt them as you prefer – but don’t leave anything important out.
Start something like this:
God, I know that I have messed things up. I have not lived as you intended me to. I want to put things right. But I know I cannot do this by my own efforts. I need your help.
Thank you for loving me even when I turned against you. Thank you for sending your Son Jesus to this world to show me the right way. Thank you that because he died on the cross I can be forgiven for the things I have done wrong. Thank you that because he rose again I can share his new life as I follow him.
God, I want to live as you intend. I want to receive your new life. I want Jesus to be my master and myself to be his follower. Please now forgive me for all the things I have done wrong. Please show me how I can live as you want me to. Please fill me with the power of your Holy Spirit so that I can faithfully follow Jesus as my master.
If you have followed these steps, congratulations! You are now following Jesus. The new life of God which lasts for ever is in you, and nothing can separate you from his love. But it is important that you nurture this new life so that you grow into a mature follower of Jesus and enjoy all the good things he has for you. So please now continue by reading I have started to follow Jesus. What next?If you have any questions, please ask in the comment box below, but see the special comment policy for this series.