What is a Christian?
A Christian is someone who both believes in God and who commits to be a follower of the Son of God, Jesus. Following Jesus can involve many things, but it starts with relationship. First, it’s about our own personal investment of time and prayer in getting to know Jesus, but also how that relationship affects our relationships with others. Christians believe that forming a relationship with Jesus transforms us and gives meaning to life.
God wants to have a personal relationship with us
Jesus taught that God wants our relationship with him to be deep, meaningful, and intimate. It’s a relationship of ultimate significance, for this life and the next.
God created the world, and we believe that he is still at work in the beauty of the life we see all around us. From the beginning of the Bible, we read that human beings have turned away from the close loving relationship God wanted. Ever since, God has been constantly calling us back to himself and acted decisively in Jesus to restore that relationship.
Jesus, the bridge to God
God loved the world so much that 2,000 years ago he sent Jesus to earth to act as a bridge to connect us back to God. Throughout his lifetime, many people were drawn to Jesus because he revealed God’s goodness, justice, inclusivity, love, and kindness. He healed the sick, fed the hungry, and offered hope to the hopeless.
In the second part of the Christian Bible, the New Testament, we read about Jesus’ life on earth, his death on the cross, his resurrection and the impact he made on his first disciples. Believing that Jesus is alive today is the unique claim of Christianity.
Through Jesus’ death and resurrection God provided a way where all that is wrong or broken need no longer have a hold over us. He said that following him would enable us to have life in all its fullness, and to know his love and forgiveness.
Jesus promises his followers that when our life on earth is over, the relationship we have experienced with God in this life will continue beyond death and last forever.
How do I follow Jesus?
Jesus’ death and resurrection provided us with a way to have a deep and personal relationship with God. Christians make a conscious decision to enter into this relationship by choosing to become followers of Jesus.
Some people find it helpful to pray a prayer to begin this new chapter of their lives. This is a suggested prayer that you could pray which can help you begin your journey as a Christian:
Lord Jesus Christ
Thank you for your loving kindness.
I am sorry for the things I have done which have led me away from you
(you may want to name some of those things).
Please forgive me.
Thank you that you died on the cross to close the gap between me and God so that I could be forgiven and set free.
Please come into my life by Your Holy Spirit and be with me forever.
Thank you, Lord Jesus.
Every relationship needs investment, by talking and spending time together, and our relationship with God is no different. Here are some suggestions that can help you develop your relationship with God as you begin to follow Jesus.
Prayer is simply talking to God and listening to Him. You do not need big, long words, just be open and honest. If you’re not used to praying, you might find the following link helpful:
Read the Bible
Reading the Bible helps grow our relationship with God. Not only is it an amazing and inspiring collection of books, but God can speak to us personally and encourage us through its words.
If you’re not used to the Bible, why not start with one of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John) that are found at the beginning of the New Testament. These four books tell the story of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.
The Bible can sometimes be difficult to understand. There are plenty of books, websites and apps which can help you read and understand it better. The link below may be a helpful place to start:
Join a Church
It is important to spend time with other Christians so that you can worship and learn about God together. Church can be an exciting place where you can deepen your relationship with God and make new friends. Church is also where you can love and encourage each other through life’s up and downs and share the love and good works of Jesus with the wider world.
For details about your local church and how to get in touch with your local vicar:Find a church and contact a vicar