How to Become a Christian – Thomas Allen Robertson

Thomas Allen Robertson

Christianity A Matter Of Certainty

It is quite common today to hear people say: “I hope I am a Christian.” In every other relationship of life man is able to have a degree of certainty and so it is with the man who is a Christian. The married man knows he is married; he has complied with the terms necessary to get him into that relationship. So the man who is a Christian may have certainty with reference to his relationship to Christ if so be that he has complied with the terms by which he becomes married unto Christ (Rom. 7:4). One is not left to wonder or hope that he is a Christian, because in very simple words and definite commandments God has told the sinner exactly what he must do to be saved from his sins and thus become a Christian.


The man who is willing to hear what God says, and do it, need have no doubt or uncertainty at all concerning his forgiveness. If he refuses to hear the Gospel of Christ, of course he cannot be saved. For God saves through preaching. “For after that in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe” (1 Cor. 1:21). And again,

No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets. And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father cometh unto me (John 6:44-45).

And Paul said, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17). It is not strange in view of such truths that we find a preacher present in every case of conversion recorded in the New Testament.


Having heard the Gospel of Christ one is then in a position to have faith in Christ. Faith is one of the prime requisites of salvation. It is not the only essential, as some falsely claim; but certainly no man can be saved without it. “For if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins” (John 8:24). Since faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God, in the New Testament we have a sufficient ground for our faith, an abundance of evidence on which belief is to be based. “Many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples which are not written in this book; but these are written, that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life in his name” (John 20:30-31). There are three things very evident from these passages; (1) Faith comes by hearing the Gospel; (2) that faith is not a belief in creeds, disciplines, and church manuals, but it is faith in Jesus Christ as God’s Son; (3) such faith does not in itself make us children of God, but it gives us “power to become” sons of God (John 1:12).


When one has come to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God he then is ready to repent of his past sins. Repentance is an act of the will by which a man makes a decision to cease from sin and turn to God. If a man is to be saved, it is necessary that he repent and turn from all sins. “That repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47). Peter said, “Repent ye therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19) and Paul declared, “The times of this ignorance God winked at: but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). Peter also states that it is God’s will that all men should come to repentance. (2 Pet. 3:9.) And it was Jesus himself who stated, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3).

Many are confused over just what constitutes repentance. The story of that two sons as told by Christ according to Matthew 21:28-31 gives a very fine illustration of the meaning of repentance. A certain man asked his two sons to go and work in the vineyard. One of them said, “I will not” but afterward “he repented and went” This son did two things (1) he “repented” and (2) he “went.” The repenting was simply a change of mind, a change of will. Repentance precedes reformation of life and it precedes the remission of sins. For without repentance there will be no reformation and neither will there be any forgiveness.


Having heard the Gospel of Christ, having allowed it to produce faith in Christ as the Son of God, this faith in Christ having brought one to the point of repentance of sins, one is then ready to confess faith in Christ before men. In stating the necessity of confession of faith in Christ with the mouth the apostle Paul said,

If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (Rom. 10:9-10).

This clear and simple statement of the necessity of confession of faith in Christ with the mouth is in complete harmony with the words of the Lord himself. For Christ said, “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I also confess before my Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 10:32). Now notice: this confession (1) is before men; (2) is with the mouth; (3) is unto salvation; (4) precedes baptism (Acts 8:36-38); and (5) if we do not make it, we will not be confessed before God. This confession is something that is essential and cannot be ignored.


The person who has heard the Gospel, believed in Christ, repented of his past sins, and confessed the name of Christ is no longer a fit subject for the devil’s kingdom. He is now ready to be baptized into Christ. We do not wish to over-emphasize baptism; it is not the one saving command. The command to be baptized for the remission of sins is no more important than any of the other commands, but it is just as important as they are. Take away any one of the commands of God, and the others are useless so far as procuring a man’s eternal salvation. A man may believe, confess Christ, and be baptized, but if he has no faith, these other commands will not save him. He may believe and repent; but these two things without baptism are not enough.

Jesus said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:16). Paul said, “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death” (Rom. 6:4). Peter said, “Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). It was the same apostle who at the house of Cornelius “commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus” (Acts 10:48).

From these passages it is clear that (1) baptism is a burial; (2) it is for the remission of sins; (3) it is commanded of God and is necessary to salvation; (4) it puts one into Christ, into his body, into the church, thus it is the act by which one becomes a new creature in Christ, a Christian.

Baptism is not an act that is to be submitted to by one who is a Christian, but is a command that must be obeyed in becoming a Christian, in being born into the family of God. All of the various activities of the Christian are to be performed over and over, but baptism is something to be done only once.

We are not teaching, nor do we believe the Bible teaches “water salvation” but that salvation is secured through faith and obedience, and baptism is a command of God, and must be obeyed in order that one might become a citizen in the kingdom of heaven, a member of the church, a Christian. Faith working obedience is God’s plan for the salvation of man, he has no other.

So, throughout the New Testament we find God holding out the promise of salvation from past sins and eternal life to all who will obey his simple plan and live faithful here upon this earth. This is God’s plan, not man’s. The one who accepts it is obeying God, not man. The one who rejects it is rejecting God. Every man must decide for himself. And in the final judgment every man shall account to God for the decision he has made. Will you not carefully study the matter, and make your decision to do that which God has commanded that you might become a Christian?

   Send article as PDF   

Author: Editor

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *