What it means 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, and salvation. Consider the following truths found in the Bible:

 

God is Sovereign Creator. Contemporary thinking says man is the product of evolution. But the Bible says we were created by a personal God to love, serve, and enjoy endless fellowship with Him. 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), which means He is absolutely good and righteous, set apart from all that is impure and imperfect. He cannot commit or approve of evil (James 1:13). God requires holiness of us as well, and commands, "You shall be holy, for I am holy" (1 Pet 1:16).  

 

Mankind is Sinful. According to Scripture, everyone is guilty of sin: "There is no man who does not sin" (1 Kings 8:46). That does not 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 is why simply changing our patterns of behavior can't solve our sin problem or eliminate its consequences.

 

Jesus is Lord and Savior. Romans 10:9 says, "If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved." Even though God's justice demands death for sin, in His love He provided a Savior, Jesus, to pay the sin penalty for sinners (John 3:16; 1 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 (2 Corinthians 5:21), thereby enabling Him to forgive and save those who place their faith in Him (Romans 3:26).

 

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 13:3,5; I Thessalonians 1:9). Saving faith is also marked by pursuing a deeper relationship with Christ (Matthew 11:28-30; John 17:3) and living in obedience to Him (1 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 is characterized by a love for God that joyously lives in obedience to Him (John 14:21; Ephesians 2:10).

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