To learn how to become a Christian, we should turn to the Scriptures, which provide answers to all spiritual questions. The books of Acts and Romans are especially good for helping us understand how to be forgiven of our past sins and how to be added to the family of God.
First, we believe that it is important to know that God made us in His image (Genesis 1:27). So as human beings, unlike the rest of God’s creation, we have the power to choose. Adam and Eve, for example, had the choice of whether to eat of the forbidden tree. We also have our own choices to make about sin. Unfortunately, all who have reached an age of understanding, have at some time in our lives chosen to sin. As Romans 3:23 states it: “all have sinned and fallen short.”
What does our sin do to our relationship with God? It breaks those close ties and separates us from Him. Isaiah 59:2 says sin separates us from God and Romans 6:23 states that the wages of sin is eternal separation from God. So here we are sinners from our own choice and by this choice separated from God. What can we do? Nothing we do on our own will change things. No matter how good we might be after sinning, our goodness can never forgive the sins we have committed. We are powerless to restore our relationship with God.
The next step, then, is God’s. Because God is just, He must punish our sins. But God also loves, and He wants to forgive our sins. So, God in His great mercy and wisdom has found a way to solve our sin problem – a way that will allow Him both to punish us and also forgive us.
This is good news! How did He do it? God sent Jesus Christ, His only son, to earth to live as one of us. But, unlike us, Jesus resisted all temptations to sin. Yet, at the end of this perfect life without sin, Jesus was treated as a sinner by being executed on a cross. After three days in the grave, God raised Him from the dead to be both Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36).
God now has offered us a way back to Him, but we must accept it. Our own choice of sin separated us from God and God requires that we also make a choice to return to Him. It is a gift that we must accept. We accept it by confessing our faith in Christ and demonstrating that faith by obeying His commands to “repent and be baptized…for the forgiveness of our sins” (Acts 2:38). And so, just as Christ died, was buried, and then was raised from the dead, we also must be buried with Christ in baptism and then be raised to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4).
And that is just what we are at Aberdeen Church of Christ: sinners saved by God’s act of amazing grace (Ephesians 2:8-10). We encourage all to accept God’s terms of salvation so their sins can be taken away and they can be added to Christ’s church.