WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN ANYWAY?

Errol Hale

There are some basic facts about becoming a Christian and being a Christian that are often misunderstood due to poor communication on the part of Christians.  Why should anyone become a Christian?  What does one need to do, if anything?  And what difference does any of this make to you personally?


OUR PROBLEM

Everything begins with God.  He is the creator.  He is the One Who is ultimately in charge of everything.  He is also perfect.  His perfection can be pictured as Light, as it is in the Bible.  "God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all." [1] Darkness cannot come into the light without ceasing to be dark.  God's perfection demands perfection.

People, on the other hand, are not perfect.  Human nature is universally short of perfection, no matter how good it is.  That imperfection is darkness.  The Bible calls this darkness or imperfection, sin.  "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." [2]  "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, everyone to his own way." [3]  That is what makes us men of darkness.  We have turned from the Light (God's way) to the dark (our own way).  Just as darkness can never come into the light without ceasing to be dark, we can never get to God and His perfection while darkness remains in us.  We are separated from God by sin.  When we stand before God in judgment, if there is any darkness in us, we shall die in the presence of His Light.  This death is eternal separation from God's grace.  This separation from God's grace is Hell, a terrifying eternity of wrath.


GOD'S PROVISION

But God, desiring that none should be separated from Him by sin, made a way for us.  That's what Jesus Christ and the cross are all about.  Jesus Christ, who is God in human flesh, took the sentence of death that belongs to us as a result of our being less than perfect.  He stepped into our place to receive our judgment.  The really good news is that He rose from the dead, proving His claim to Deity.  He can now freely offer us forgiveness and restore us to the relationship that God intended for man to have with Him in the beginning.


BELIEVE

In order to become a Christian one must believe: 1) the facts of who God is; 2) that sin separates man from God; and 3) that only God can make the way back, which He did in the person of Jesus Christ.


RECEIVE

Having believed these things, we must receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.  There is a great difference between believing and receiving. For instance,  I can believe in marriage, but unless I say, "I do," I am not married.  To be married, a personal commitment to relationship is required.  By the same token,  it is not enough to simply know the facts about Jesus.  You must personally receive Him by agreeing with God that you need to be saved from bondage to sin so as not to suffer eternal separation from Him. [4]

Since sin separates us from God, an important part of receiving Christ is repentance, or turning from sin. Jesus' first sermon was, "Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand." [5]  Those who truly receive Christ, desire to turn from sin.  While Christians are not sinless, when we receive Christ, we must begin sinning less.  The longer a person follows Christ, the more he will experience victory over sin.


TURN TO GOD

Each must turn to Christ, God's own Son, who died on the cross for you. Receiving Christ by faith and turning from sin to God's perfect will for your life is the way you say, "I do" to God.

If you sense the truth contained in these words, it is because God is calling you out of the darkness into His glorious Light.  Jesus said, "I am the Light of the world.  Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." [6]  He also said of Himself, "I am the way, the Truth, and the Life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me." [7]

What is a Christian?  A Christian is one who hears God calling in his heart and responds by believing Jesus is the only way, receiving God's gift of life, and turning from the darkness of sin toward the light of God's love.  God loves you.  He wants to have a relationship with you.  He has provided the only way to reinstate the perfect relationship between you and Him, which was broken by your sin.  That way is Jesus Christ.  Don't be deceived into thinking that all roads lead to Heaven.  That idea is not true.  There is only one way: Jesus Christ, the Lord and Savior!


 If you are unsure of your eternal destiny, if you fear the future, or death, the Bible has the answers.  Please call us here at Grace Bible Church, or contact one of the churches in your area that teaches the Bible.  We are here to help you find the truth that will bring you joy unspeakable, and the peace that passes all human understanding.

 

1 1 John 1:5; 2 Romans 3:23; 3 Isaiah 53:6; 4 John 1:11-13; 
5 Matthew 4:17; 6 John 8:12; 7 John 14:6