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. Let’s look at the following truths found in the Bible.
God Is Creator
Modern day thinking says man is simply a product of evolution. But the Bible says we were created by God to love, serve, and enjoy endless fellowship with Him. The New Testament shows us that 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 dedication, 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. First 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 doing acts of human kindness. But we are utterly incapable of understanding, loving, or pleasing God on our own (Romans 3:10-12).
A Price or Penalty Must be Paid for Sin
God’s holiness and justice demand that all sin be punished by death (Ezekiel 18:4). For this reason, we cannot simply change our patterns of behavior to solve our sin condition 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 Good News and Character of Saving Faith
Genuine 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. Genuine saving faith always responds in obedience (Ephesians 2:10).