Summary: The most important question we can answer is, "How do I become a Christian?"

(taken from a message by Bob Russell)


TEXT: ACTS 2:22-24, 36-41


OPEN: A. The title of this message is “How Do I Become a Christian?”

--that’s such an important question. Three reasons I want to preach this message:

1. If you’re not a Christian, you need a clear signal, not mixed messages concerning this issue

2. If you are a Christian, you need to be confident that you’ve met the requirements in God’s Word.

3. If you’re a maturing Christian, you need to feel adequate in your knowledge in this area so that

you can share with others how they can become a Christian

4. A man went forward during the invitation time one Sunday. A counselor met him and told him

to kneel and “pray through.” While he was praying, another counselor came and asked him if he

would sign a card. After he signed the card, another counselor came and put his arm around him.

The counselor said, “Watch for the light, brother. When I was saved, I prayed and saw a bright

light.” Another counselor came and said, “Hold on, brother, hold on.” Another counselor said,

“Let go, brother, let go.” The man said, “Boy, between praying through, signing a card,

watching for a light, and holding on and letting go, I nearly went to hell!”

B. What does a person do to become a Christian?

--I want to invite us to do three things together this morning:

1. Let’s listen objectively

a. Don’t listen to see if what I say measures up to your past experience or tradition

b. Let’s just open God’s Word and allow Him to speak to us

--let’s listen objectively

2. Let’s study thoroughly

a. Let’s not take one verse and build a whole theology around that verse.

b. The Bible challenges us to correctly handle the Word of God and to study the whole counsel

of God

1). I heard about a fellow that argued that the Bible gave him permission to have eight wives

--four better and four worse

2). People can take one verse of the Bible or one phrase concerning salvation and close their

minds to any other verses that might expand on that subject

c. When you study the New Testament about how to become a Christian, sometimes the answer

is more detailed depending on the knowledge of the person being dealt with

--We need to put ALL of the Scripture together to form a complete picture

d. Let’s listen objectively, let’s study correctly, and…

3. Let’s begin correctly

a. The Bible is our source of authority but the place to begin in the Bible is after Jesus died and

rose from the grave.

b. A Christian is someone who follows the risen Christ.

--So, to discover how to become a Christian, we shouldn’t turn to encounters people had with

Jesus in the Gospels because He had not yet completed His mission

1). Those encounters give us insight into who Jesus is and what it means to be a follower of


2). But a study of Nicodemus, the rich, young ruler, the woman at the well, the thief on the

cross, do not tell us how to become a Christian

--Technically those people lived under the Old Testament dispensation. Jesus had not died

and come back from the grave.

3). To correctly understand how to become a Christian, the place to begin is immediately after

Jesus rose from the grave and ascended to the Father.

a). That’s why the book of Acts is the place to start. The four Gospels tell us about the life

of Christ but the book of Acts picks up after Jesus resurrection and ascension

b). The book of Acts tells us how the apostles carried out Jesus’ orders in Mt. 28:19-20 –

“…go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son

and the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you…."

C. Acts Chapter 2 tells us that on the day of Pentecost, which was a significant Jewish holiday, Jesus’

disciples went into the streets of Jerusalem after the power of the Holy Spirit had come upon them

and they began to preach about Jesus.

1. This is an important section of scripture because it is the first time that a message was preached

about Jesus after his death, burial and resurrection and His return to heaven.

--A good rule of Bible interpretation to remember is “the rule of first mention,” which basically

says that wherever you find a doctrine, word, or theme mentioned in the Bible for the first

time, that passage can set the tone for understanding the topic throughout the rest of the Bible.

2. Peter was their main spokesman that day

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