From “How to become a Christian”: Chapter 13 – How to be saved – the four basic steps
I now want to make a few further points about how a person comes to be “saved” or “born again” or “converted”. I will also make some general points about salvation, and especially about the vital need for sincerity, i.e. genuineness. If we try to become a Christian insincerely, without really meaning it, and especially if our repentance isn’t real, then nothing will happen. We will remain unsaved, no matter what words we may have said.
It would all be meaningless ritual and would have no effect. Christianity is not about formulas or forms or words with some magical powers in themselves. Far from it. These steps are to be taken only by those who really mean it and are genuine.
Having made that very serious point, I also need to say, on the other hand, that forgiveness and salvation are freely available to everybody. Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins, not His own, because He had no sin. Therefore salvation is available to anyone who wants it, if they will meet God’s simple conditions. Jesus died once and it was on behalf of us all. No one is excluded from the offer of salvation. Let’s look at some passages which emphasise that fact:
Salvation is available to everybody. Nobody is excluded or disqualified.
3This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, 4who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.1 Timothy 2:3-4 (NIV)
‘And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’Acts 2:21 (NASB)
“For Christ also died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit.”1 Peter 3:18 (NIV)
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16 (NIV)