Anyone who spends much time around First Church of Christ will notice that people are encouraged, taught, loved and prayed over with one result in mind; that they would make an informed, Spirit led decision to walk like Jesus.
Some will make this choice for the very first time, becoming a new Christian, for others it may be the renewal of a commitment they have already made to Christ.
The bible is full of examples of people turning their hearts to Jesus. It must be made clear that any decision to follow Jesus, receive salvation, and live for Him must come from the context of faith or belief in Jesus Christ as God's only Son who paid the price of our sin with his death.
Through the pattern of the New Testament and example we see there we can clearly understand the following as God's expectation for those who would call themselves Christian. Salvation through Jesus is a process. It is a way of life, a direction, something that is both attained and lived out.
Here is the process:
Faith / Belief
This must be the starting point for any person who desires to receive forgiveness and follow Jesus.
Acts 16:31; John 11:25
Recognition and conviction of personal sin and the act or pledge of turning from sin to Christ.
Acts 2:38; Acts 17:30
Simply, an announcement of your faith.
Matthew 10:32; Romans 10:8-9
According to Biblical example and practice baptism is full immersion in water (to dunk or plunge). It is not a work that you do to earn salvation but a humble yielding of yourself in acceptance of the Death of Jesus as you are buried with Him and raised to a new life. It is an act of faith and obedience. It is not about "membership" in a particular church. It is for the forgiveness of sin and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, but only in response to faith, repentance and confession.
Acts 2:38; Acts 8:26-39; Galatians 3:27; Romans 6:1-4; Matthew 28:18-20
Live for Jesus
Matthew 28:18-20; Titus 2:11-14; Colossians 3; Ephesians 5:1-21