What does it mean to be a Christian?


Being a Christian is more than identifying yourself with a particular religion or affirming a certain value system.  Being a Christian means you have embraced what the Bible says about God, mankind, salvation through Jesus Christ, and a proper response.

GOD

God is Sovereign Creator

The New Testament reveals it was Jesus Himself who created everything (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16).  Therefore, He also owns and rules everything (Psalm 103:19).  That means He has authority over our lives and we owe Him absolute allegiance, obedience, and worship.

God is Holy

God is absolutely and perfectly holy (Isaiah 6:3), therefore He cannot commit or approve of evil (James 1:13).  God requires holiness of us as well.  I Peter 1:16 states, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

MAN

Mankind is Sinful

According to Scripture, everyone is guilty of sin: “for there is no one who does not sin” (I Kings 8:46).  That doesn’t mean we are incapable of performing acts of human kindness.  But we are utterly incapable of understanding, loving, or pleasing God on our own (Romans 3:10-12).

Sin Demands a Penalty

God’s holiness and justice demand that all sin be punished by death (Ezekiel 18:4).  That’s why simply changing our patterns of behavior can’t solve our sin problem or eliminate its consequences.

CHRIST

Jesus is Lord and Savior

As Creator of all, and Ruler over all, Jesus Christ has authority over our lives and we owe Him absolute allegiance, obedience, and worship.  Romans 10:9 states, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”  Even though God’s justice demands death for sin, His love has provided a Savior who paid the penalty and died for sinners (I Peter 3:18).  Christ’s death satisfied the demands of God’s justice and Christ’s perfect life satisfied the demands of God’s holiness (II Corinthians 5:21), thereby enabling Him to forgive and save those who place their faith in Him (Romans 3:26).

RESPONSE

The Character of Saving Faith

True faith is always accompanied by repentance from sin. Repentance is agreeing with God that you are sinful, confessing your sins to Him, and making a conscious choice to turn from sin (Luke 13:3; I Thessalonians 1:9) and pursue Christ (Matthew 11:28-30; John 17:3) and obedience to Him (I John 2:3).  It isn’t enough to believe certain facts about Christ.  Even Satan and his demons believe in the true God (James 2:19), but they don’t love and obey Him.  True saving faith always responds in obedience (Ephesians 2:10).

If you have questions about becoming a Christian, or want help in knowing how to live the Christian life, please call the church office during the week.