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); therefore He cannot commit or approve of evil (James 1:13). God requires holiness of us as well. 1 Peter 1:16 says, You shall be holy, for I am holy.
Mankind Is Sinful
According to Scripture, everyone is guilty of sin: There is no man who does not sin (1 Kings 8:46). That doesn't mean we're incapable of performing acts of human kindness. But we're 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.
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, His love has provided a Savior who paid the penalty and died for sinners (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; 1 Thessalonians 1:9), pursue Christ (Matthew 11: 28-30; John 17:3), and obey 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 always responds in obedience (Ephesians 2:10).
Responding to the Gospel
The glorious truth is that, right now, if you have read what is said above, and God has moved in your heart to believe and desire to trust in Jesus Christ, Jesus himself commands you to, "Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest!" (Mt.11:28). Turn from your sin, and turn to Jesus Christ giving yourself over to him completely and accepting him for all that he truly is: Lord of everything and all sufficient Savior. Jesus has promised that, "All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out." (Jn. 6:37) If you turn to Christ, giving yourself to him in faith, he has promised to embrace you for eternity, forgive your sins of the past, present, and future, and seat you with him in his kingdom for eternity.
If you wish to speak with a pastor or elder more about this, or if you have received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we'd love to hear from you. Please call our church office at 319-235-9586 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and someone will reach out to you right away!