Essentials 201

Ten Steps Toward Christ

Ten Steps Toward Christ

Essentials 201


What does it really mean to be a “Christian”?

Being a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ,, a follower of Christ, is far more than adhering to a list of what you should and shouldn’t do is far more than adhering to not a list of do’s and don’ts; it is more of an intimate relationship with our loving Heavenly Father. who loves us unconditionally and desires for us to demonstrate that love to others.

Essentials 201 lays out ten steps, built upon clear, fundamental truths. Taking these steps and adopting the habits they present will help grow your relationship with Christ. of fundamental truths that help for you that are clear in your growing your relationship with Christ. It is fundamental truths of what it takes to move forward toward Jesus Christ.

We encourage you to open up your heart and allow the Holy Spirit to minister all He has for you on this journey.

STEP ONE: Salvation/Being Born Again

There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jew. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”

Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. John 3:5,6

John 3:5,1-6

To understand being born again, we need to takeit will be helpful to look back at a quick trip back to the Garden of Eden and God’s creation of Adam and Eve.

The Origin of Death

When God created Adam and Eve, He breathed life into their nostrils and they became “living beings” (Genesis 3:7). ,” or as the King James Version says, “living souls” (see Genesis 2:7). The breath God breathed into them wasn’t just air; it was His Spirit breathing life into their spirits. Thus they were alive as triune beings-body, soul, and spirit. However, God warned them not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He warned them that on the day they ate of it they would die (Genesis 2:17).

Of course, Genesis 3 records how Satan , in the form of a serpent, tempted Adam and Eve and how they ateto eat the forbidden fruit, which caused them to be separated from God.. At the moment they ate of it, their bodies and souls didn’t die, but their spirits did. The Spirit of God departed from them and they became spiritually dead. Therefore, they could no longer commune with God intimately, as they had done when He walked with them in the garden.

They were now incapable of spiritual life or relationship and were spiritually separated from God. As a result, their minds became darkened, their emotions became corrupt, their bodies began to age and decay, their relationship divided, and they passed their fallen nature on to their children and generations after them. until the human race became utterly evil (Genesis 6: 5-6). To this day, spiritual death and the natural tendency to rebel against God are inherent in all of us as a result of the fall of Adam and Eve (Romans 7:14-21).

The Gift of Spiritual Life

Jesus came to save us by dying for us on the cross and paying for our sins. It is a debt we could never pay. But because of Jesus’ perfect life, God accepted His death as the payment for the sins of mankind. As we read in the Gospel of John,

God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:16-18

John 3:16-18

By believing that Jesus is God’s only Son sent into the world to pay for our sins, we are saved from sin and hell and born again of the Holy Spirit. This must include a recognition of the Lordship of Jesus and the fact that He alone is the Savior of the world.

Consider this text from Romans, talking about the meaning of certain verses in the Old Testament:

What does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10: 8-11 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”

Romans 10: 8-11

This text makes it clear that we must confess with our mouths Jesus as Lord and believe that He was raised from the dead. These are two crucial issues to understand in becoming a true believer in Christ. For one thing, without acknowledging the Lordship of Christ, we are simply buying “fire insurance” to save us from hell and to make us feel better. A profession of faith that doesn’t acknowledge Christ as Lord doesn’t change the fundamental problem between God and us – rebellion (Matthew 7: 22-23). Also, believing that God raised Jesus from the dead is essential because it signifies that only Jesus, and no other so-called savior, guru, or religious leader, satisfied the requirements of God to save us from our sins. The resurrection was God’s public and eternal validation that Jesus was who He said He was and that His sacrifice for our sins was accepted.

Salvation occurs as we believe and confess in accordance with God’s will. That is all we have to do. Jesus did the hard part for us that we could have never done. Now, and by believing and confessing, we can freely receive salvation from God. There is nothing we can do to deserve it (Ephesians 2:1-9). We can only accept it or reject it.

Here is the way the apostle Paul describes salvation as a free gift:

And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Ephesians 2: 1-9

Through faith in God’s Word, we believe our sins have been paid for by Jesus on the cross, as was attested by His resurrection from the dead (Isaiah 53: 3-5; Romans 1: 3-4; Galatians 3: 13-14). Also, by faith, we confess Jesus as the Lord of our lives (Romans 10: 9). The title “Lord” means “master” or “boss.” Using it (and meaning it) means we are stepping down from the throne of our lives and asking Jesus to fill the throne that was designed for Him from the beginning.

Prayer of SalvationThe day you receive Christ and become born again is your spiritual birthday and the most important day in your life. Are you ready to make Jesus your Lord? If so, pray this prayer:

“ “Lord Jesus, I have sinned and rebelled against You, a holy God, and there is no excuse. I confess my sins to You now and repent of my rebellion. I ask for Your forgiveness, as I believe that You died for my sins on the cross. I receive Your forgiveness now and believe that Your blood is more powerful than my worst sins. I am now totally forgiven by You, and I forgive myself. The past is behind me. I confess You now as my Lord and Savior. I step down from the throne of my heart, and I pray that You will now sit on the throne as my Lord and King. Come into my heart and give me the gift of eternal life. I know I don’t deserve it, but I receive it by faith as a gift of grace and now believe I am forgiven, born again, and on my way to heaven. I will live the rest of my life for You. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit and lead me, speak to me, and give me the power to change, make right decisions, and live for You. In Jesus’ name, amen.”

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are born again. You are eternally changed, and your salvation is secure in Christ. Your name has been written in the book of life in heaven (Philippians 4:3; Revelation 21:27).

Now that you are a new Christian, it is important to tell other believers about the decision you’ve made. So let me encourage you to Ttell a pastor, a church leader, a believing family member, and and/or a Christian friend about the your decision! you’ve made to live for Christ.

You’ve taken step one. Now for the next step!

STEP TWO: Covenant of Water Baptism and Communion

Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you… Matthew 28:18-20”; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

Matthew 28:18-20

He who believes and is baptized shall be saved.

Mark 16:16

are Jesus commanding believers to be baptized by water once they are saved. The New Testament word for baptize means to “immerseimmerse . Therefore, water baptism means to be immersed under water. Most evangelical churches have a baptismal where new believers are water-baptized. But I know of many people who are baptized in swimming pools, lakes, rivers, bathtubs, and so on.

Two Big Questions

Let me begin by addressing the importance of water baptism. I hope you will see that Wwater baptism is , in fact, a crucial next step after you have received Christ as your Lord and Savior.

Q. Why is getting baptized so important?

Baptism is important because Jesus commanded it and even had itwas even baptized, done to Himself, as an act of obedience to God the Father (Matthew 3:13-16). And Jesus is to be obeyed because He is Lord. Remember, the title Lord means “boss.” If we won’t do the first thing Jesus tells us once we are saved, that’s not a good sign and it reveals insincerity in our faith. We must get used to doing things that we don’t completely understand and aren’t comfortable with if we are going to be faithful followers of Christ.

Q. Can I be saved if I don’t get water-baptized?

The short answer is yes. But it is a qualified yes. Let me explain.

The thief on the cross next to Jesus recognized Him as Lord and King, and as a result, Jesus told him that he would join Him in Paradise that very day (Luke 23: 39-43). Of course, the thief couldn’t be baptized. It was a physical impossibilityphysically impossible—but . But he got to heaven!

Likewise, there are people who receive Christ on their deathbeds, on a crashing plane, or in other circumstances where being water-baptized isn’t practical or even possible. And there are others who receive Christ but are never taught about water baptism.

OthersI also know of many people who are baptized (sprinkled) as children and are taught that their infant baptism is all that is necessary. This is problematic because no one can make the decision for you to be saved or baptized but you. Not true.

Your parents may be well-meaning, but no one can make the decision for you to be saved or baptized but you. Being sprinkled or baptized as an infant may be a genuine token of parents dedicating their child to God and themselves as godly parents, but that is all it is. We must make the decision to receive Christ ourselves, and the act of water baptism is meaningful only after we have made our own personal commitment.

So, to summarize, we can be saved without being baptized as long as there are circumstances that justify it. God is a gracious and reasonable God, but being water-baptized is an important expression of the sincerity of our relationship with Jesus Christ and obedience to God. . However, if we know about the commandment to be water-baptized but will not obey when we could, it raises questions about our sincerity in making Christ the Lord of our lives.

What Water Baptism Means

Being water-baptized means we are publicly identifying ourselves with Christ as His followers.. It means we are making a declaration of our love and loyalty to Him. It is a public act that signifies a couple of private decisions we’ve made:


  • The first private decision is Tto die to Sin sin and live for Christ . The apostle Paul spoke about this: “In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead: ((Colossians 2: 11-12;,), . In other words, when we go into baptism waters, it symbolizes death to sin and self and being raised up a new person to live for God. It signifies that we have been born again as a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
  • The second private decision is Tto receive Christ’s death as the Ppayment for our sins and failures. As the apostle Peter said, “There is also an antitype which now saves us-baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers have been made subject to Him” (1 Peter 3:21-22). Now, by faith in Jesus’ finished work on the cross, our consciences have been purified so we can be free from our past and enjoy an intimate relationship with God.

Bypassing baptism, whether on purpose or by accident, stunts our spiritual growth and impairs our ability to know God intimately.

Baptism is: A Covenant of CCommitment

Water baptism is a powerful and important step in stating publicly that we belong to Jesus and are committed to Him. In response, God blesses us and reveals Himself to us in a greater manner. Because we are not ashamed of Him, neither is He ashamed of us.

Water baptism is the covenant seal of our relationship with Christ. It consummates our formal commitment to Him with a tangible outward action, just as a wedding ceremony does between a man and woman as they enter into the covenant of marriage.

A covenant relationship is the most special and sacred relationship we can have. The word covenant means “to cut” and it conveys the meaning of a permanent, sacrificial relationship . Jesus established the new covenant with His own blood-He was cut (Luke 22:20). Through His sacrifice, He made covenant with us to establish a permanent bond between us.

Our covenant with God is the most secure relationship we will ever have. But it has to be real. That is why God established Wwater baptism is a tangible demonstration of what has happened between us. When God makes a covenant, there is always an outward sign as an unforgettable reminder of the special relationship that has been entered into.

Communion is: A Covenant of Relationship

This is another important tradition of the Christian faith that, like baptism, is a sacred sign of our covenant relationship with Christ. Communion-or, as it is also called, the Lord’s Supper-is the ongoing covenant sign of our relationship with Christ. Jesus first instituted this actcommunion with His disciples just before His crucifixion, and He commanded us to do this in remembrance of Him (Luke 22: 19-20; , 1 Corinthians 11:23-32). Here is an account of the purpose and significance of communion given by the apostle Paul: