I find there is much confusion over the answer to that question today. The media often uses the term "Christian" simply as a category for a man or woman who belongs to a major world religion. Many people believe that someone is a Christian simply because that person attends church occasionally or was raised in a godly home. For some, it's no more than a box to check off on an application or survey. Some religions teach that you can be born into their faith. No person, however, is born a Christian. To become a Christian, you must:
ADMIT that you are a sinner in need of a Savior. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23, NKJV). Understand that you have been separated from God by sin from birth. "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me" (Psalm 51:5). "But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you" Isaiah 59:2).
REPENT of (turn away from) your sin. "For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance" (Matthew 9:13b). "Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord" (Acts 3:19).
BELIEVE that Christ died on the cross for your sin and rose again from the dead. "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:9).
RECEIVE Christ by faith into your heart for the forgiveness of sin and the gift of eternal life. "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9). "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23).
If you have never received Christ as your Savior, you may do so now by praying: "Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner. I repent of my sin, and turn to You in faith, believing You died on a cross for my sin and rose again from the dead. I ask You to come into my heart and save me." If you have done this, then you have been born again by the Spirit of God and are now a creature of Jesus Christ.
Jesus said, "Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God ... That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (John 3:3-6) "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation" (2 Corinthians 5:17).
by Franklin Graham -- President, Samaritan's Purse