What Does It Mean to Be a Christian?
Being a Christian is more than identifying yourself with a religion or affirming a value system.
Being a Christian means you have embraced what the Bible says about God, mankind, and salvation with your whole heart.
Consider the following truths found in the Bible.
God Is Sovereign Creator
Contemporary culture says man is the product of evolution.
The Bible reveals that all things, including mankind, were created by God from nothing (Genesis 1:1-2:25) through Jesus Christ (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2-3).
Each man’s own heart testifies that he is created by God (Romans 1:21).
As Creator of the universe, God owns all things and has authority over all things (Psalm 24:1).
God Is Holy
As the Creator, God is holy, which means He is perfectly good morally – perfectly righteous in all His being (Isaiah 6:3).
Being perfectly holy, He cannot commit or approve of evil (James 1:13).
No evil or immoral person can abide in His presence (Psalm 5:4). God must punish every wrong done, or He would not be good.
Man Is a Sinful Creature
Man (Adam in particular) was created in the image of God and in a state of goodness. Man dwelt in fellowship with God.
But, Adam disobeyed God, and the human race was plunged into a sinful state. Since Adam’s sin, all human beings are born sinful (Psalm 51:5). We are enslaved to sinful desires (John 8:34), and we are enemies of God (Philippians 3:18).
God’s law is written on our hearts (Romans 2:15), yet we willfully sin by violating it (Romans 1:18). We live separated from the Giver and Sustainer of life (Ephesians 2:12).
Because of our sin, we do not know true freedom.
Sin Demands a Penalty
God’s justice demands a payment for our sins. Romans 6:32 says, “For the wages of sin is death.” This is more than physical death.
God is infinitely holy. Even just one thought, word, or deed that violates His holy law is an infinite offense against a perfect God. Even by committing one sin, you offend an infinitely holy God, and you deserve an infinite punishment.
The Bible describes this punishment as eternal, conscious torment in Hell (Luke 16:19-31). As lawbreakers, this is what we deserve.
But, God hasn’t left us without hope.
Jesus Is Savior
God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty of death to satisfy the demands of divine justice. Christ’s perfect life, as both God and Man, satisfied the demands of God’s holiness (2 Corinthians 5:21). Christ can forgive those who repent and place their faith in Him (Romans 3:26).
Jesus Is Lord
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 will be saved.” God’s justice demands death for sin, and His love has provided a Savior who paid the penalty and died for sinners (1 Peter 3:18).
Those who believe, who trust wholly in Christ’s blood to save them from the wrath of God, are united to Christ (Romans 6:4). They are united to Christ in His death, which means God considers the sinners’ payment satisfied in Christ on the Cross. They are covered by Christ’s righteous life, able to stand before God in perfect righteousness. Finally, those who believe are eventually brought into His presence to dwell for all eternity in perfect fellowship and joy (1 John 3:2).
You respond to these truths either by rejecting your only hope of salvation and freedom in Christ Jesus or by confessing them as true and embracing them wholeheartedly.
There is no neutral position.
You are a lawbreaker who deserves punishment. There is only one way to be saved from eternal conscious torment in Hell:
Cry out to God for mercy as a sinner.
Believe in Jesus Christ as your only Savior.
Repent of your sin, and make Jesus Lord and Master of your life.
You have two roads ahead. One road leads to death, the other leads to life. Choose life.
Your response has eternal consequences. If you reject your only Savior, Jesus Christ, He will one day judge you and repay you for all of your wicked deeds (Acts 17:31). The greatest of these is that you have rejected His offer of grace and mercy in salvation.
He will judge you and fit you with a body able to endure and survive immersion in an eternal fire (Luke 16:23). You will suffer in anguish and darkness for all eternity.
But, you can choose life. Those who repent and believe, receiving Jesus as Lord and Savior, receive eternal life (John 1:12). You can be reconciled to God and brought into right relationship with Him immediately.
You will be adopted into God’s family instantly (Romans 8:15). You will be cleansed from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). The Holy Spirit will live in you and give you freedom from sin and freedom to obey God’s law (Ephesians 1:13-14).
You will have the greatest quality of life – eternal life. You will walk in fellowship with the Creator of the universe as one of His children (John 17:3).
When you die, or Christ returns, you will dwell in eternal blessedness and fellowship with Him. There will be no more pain, no more crying, no more death. There will only be eternal joy, day after day, forever (Revelation 21:3-5).