4.1 We believe that God commands each person to stop rebelling against Him and His ways, and to receive the salvation which He offers. Before an individual can be reconciled to God in this way, it is necessary for the Holy Spirit to work in his life. God opens his eyes so that he understands the truth of God’s word, changes his heart so that he welcomes it, and frees his will so that he can respond to it. Although this is God’s work, becoming a Christian is a free and responsible action on the part of the individual in whom God is working.

4.2 Becoming a Christian involves four things which properly belong together: repentance, faith, receiving new life which the Holy Spirit gives, and baptism. (These are explained below.)

4.3 Repentance begins when we see our life and our sin as God sees them, and we desire with all our heart to turn away from sin and live under God’s rule.

4.4 Faith recognises that we cannot save ourselves. All we can do is to receive with gratitude the provision which God has made for us to be reconciled to Him through Jesus Christ, and to trust Him to keep His promises to save all who turn to Him. Through faith in Jesus Christ, believers are united with Him so that when God looks at us, He sees the perfect righteousness of Jesus instead of our sin. God declares just (or ‘justifies’) those who trust in Christ in this way, pardoning their sin and counting them righteous. Those who are justified are adopted into God’s family.

4.5 When we become Christians, the Holy Spirit begins to live in us. He gives us a new heart, which desires above all else to please God. He opens our eyes to understand the message of the Bible, enables us to overcome sin, equips us with gifts and power to serve God and makes us more and more like Jesus Christ as we display the family characteristics.

4.6 Baptism is the way in which we express outwardly our new-found faith. Those who have turned from sin to God and are trusting Christ to save them are immersed in water in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In being baptised, we identify ourselves with Christ in His death and resurrection for us, we are assured that through Christ our sin has been forgiven, and we commit ourselves to living God’s way. Baptism normally leads to becoming a part of the local Church.

4.7 This new relationship with God cannot be earned or deserved; it is due entirely to God’s grace.

Passages for study: Jeremiah 31:31-34; Acts 2:37-47, 16:13-34; Romans 5:1-11, 6:1-14, Romans 8:5-27; 2 Corinthians 4:1-6; Ephesians 2:1-10