How One Becomes a Christian
A Sermon on How to Become a Christian from Philippians 3:12
12Not that I have already grasped it all or have already become perfect, but I press on if I may also take hold of that for which I was even taken hold of by Christ Jesus.
12Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
In this sermon on Philippians 3:12 titled “How One Becomes a Christian,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones continues his series on core truths of Christianity. Perhaps one does not know Jesus Christ, but they are being convicted of their need to be forgiven of sin. Perhaps they are asking how to become a Christian. In this sermon, Dr. Lloyd-Jones preaches on this and addresses related topics to help understand what one must do to be saved. To start, Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains why all are in need of a savior. The answer is because everyone’s life is going the wrong direction. From the Apostle Paul’s example, he shows what else must happen to be saved. First, they must be arrested by Christ—that is, He must catch their attention and they must realize the eternal danger they are in without Him. Second, they must be convicted about personal sin and feel the weight of sins that have separated them from God. Third, they must be convicted of the truth that the charges Scriptures levels against them, and surrender to them—not fighting them or making excuses. In this way, they hand themselves over to Christ, and as Dr. Lloyd-Jones says, this is essentially what happens when people realize their need for Christ and come to Him.
- By nature, all humans are self-willed and rebellious against God. We follow our own desires instead of God's will.
- No one becomes a Christian through a process of searching or reasoning. Conversion is not something we bring about ourselves. It is something that happens to us.
- To become a Christian, a person must be "apprehended" or grasped by Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. This is a sovereign act of God, not something we accomplish through our own effort.
- This apprehension by Christ interrupts a person's life and disturbs their complacency. It makes them face the reality of their sin and separation from God.
- The charge against us is always personal. It is about our own sin and rebellion, not the sin of others or the state of the world. We must face God as individuals.
- The essential charge against us is our wrong view of and relationship to Jesus Christ. We have rejected who he is and what he has done.
- To become a Christian, a person must be convicted of the truth of this charge and surrender to Jesus Christ. They must believe that he is the Son of God and savior, and yield themselves to him.
- The Christian life is about knowing Christ and being conformed to his death and resurrection. Our desire is to live for him and gain more of the knowledge of him.
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.