A great number of people that consider themselves Christians remain only with the name. Many of them want to change the way how the things go on and want to be true Christians. If you have this wish, I want to present you in this article seven steps to become a genuine Christian. I will follow up these steps in the lives of the Christians from Colossae, to whom Apostle Paul wrote the epistle with the same name.
1. Realize your sinful condition
If one wants to draw near to God, firstly he has to realize his own spiritual condition. Apostle Paul wrote about the Colossians:
… although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds (Colossians 1:21)
… you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh (Colossians 2:13)
For it is because of these things (immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry) that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. (Colossians 3:5–7)(NASB)
Maybe all these things that have once described Colossians are the description of your spiritual condition? Are you ready to admit this? Only so you will be able to go to the next step to become a true Christian.
2. Listen to the word of truth of the Gospel
The Gospel is the good news of God about the salvation that He brings to all people through faith in Jesus Christ. No one can believe in God unless he hears His Word. Apostle Paul writes that they “have previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel ” about a hope of the eternal life, in which they believed and that is laid up for them in heavens. Have you heard this news? Have people come to you to tell you about the forgiveness from God? How did you behave with them and how did you answer to the message they had brought to you?
3. Accept the calling of God
God calls us to reconcile with Him through the Gospel, as it is written:
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. (Colossians 3;15)(NASB)
How have you answered to the calling of God until the present time?
4. Ask for forgiveness from God
The Most High is ready to forgive all our sins and to give us a new life when we come with repentance. Here is what he had done for the Colossians and it is ready to do for each of us:
When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. (Colossians 2:13–14)(NASB)
The forgiveness of God was perfect for the Colossians and it can be this way for you too, if you come to Him with repentance in your heart.
5. Die with Christ
When I say this, I don’t refer to death as to Christ’s crucifixion on the cross, that was His physical death. Through His death on Golgotha, the Lord Jesus had a total victory against sin. To die with Him means to die for sin and not to live the same way anymore. It means to make a total decision not to live for your sinful nature. Here is what Apostle Paul writes about the Christians from Colossae:
For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience. (Colossians 3:3–6)(NASB)
The death with Christ means a total, categorical and definitive separation from all sins listed above or others that are similar with them and that are not comaptible with the life of faith.
6. Raise up with Christ
The life of the Christian is not only an effort to abstain from the evil and sinful habit. This is a beautiful living in the fulfilment of the spiritual things. That’s why Apostle Paul could say to the Colossians that had been raised up with Christ, the following things:
Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. (Colossians 3:1–2)(NASB)
7. Study the Word of God
Before they were called Christians, the believers in the Lord Jesus had been called “disciples”. This was their first name and this is what Jesus waits from each of us, to be good disciples of His. The Christians from Colossae received teachings from Epaphra. Who do you receive healthy teachings from? Who teaches you from the Word of God? You can not be a good Christian if you don’t study the Bible.
Be a true Christian!
Translated by Djugostran Felicia