WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A CHRISTIAN
compliments of GCC in Sun Valley with ending by Pastor Will
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 Scripture.
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. 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 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 chang- ing our patterns of behavior can’t solve our sin problem or eliminate its consequences.
Jesus Is Lord and Savior. The New Testament reveals it was Jesus Himself who created everything (Colossians 1:16). Therefore He owns and rules everything (Psalm 103:19). That means He has authority over our lives and we owe Him absolute allegiance, obe- dience, and worship. 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) and pur- sue Christ (Matthew 11:28-30; John 17:3) and 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 always responds in obedience (Ephesians 2:10).
The gospel message is simple—you are a sinner and you are in need of a Savior. God calls every sinner to respond to this reality. You can reject Jesus and live for yourself only to suffer eternally for that rejection, or you can fall on your knees in true repentance and embrace Jesus alone as Savior and Lord.
So if you believe you are a sinner in need of a Savior and desire Jesus Christ alone to be your Savior and Lord then respond to him right now by turning away from your sin and trusting in Him with the faith of a child. If you know you are a guilty sinner, and if you are convicted of your sin and convinced you need Christ to save you, you should trust in Christ right now and believe that He will save you. Remember, it is not a prayer that saves you, it is repentance from sin and faith in Jesus Christ that saves you. Here is how a broken sinner might pray for salvation.
Dear Father in heaven, I know I am a sinner. I know I deserve divine punishment for my sin. I deserve to suffer in hell forever for the crimes I’ve committed against you—a holy God. I accept that you are just in punishing me for the sins I have committed. I know I don’t deserve forgiveness.
Despite my unworthiness, I thank you for showing me my sin and thank you for granting me a hearing of the saving message of Jesus. After learning about my sin and the saving work of Jesus on the cross, I do not want to continue on the path I am on. I don’t want to live any more without Jesus.
Father, I humbly ask you to forgive me of my sins. I trust you with the faith of a child. I trust that you sent Jesus to die on the cross in my place and that He received the full punishment for the sins I committed when He died on the cross, propitiating your wrath against my sin and satisfying your justice. I believe He accomplished the work of salvation in full when He said, “It is finished” from the cross. I believe Jesus died for me, was buried for me, and rose again on the third day for my salvation, and the salvation of all who will trust in Him by faith. I believe He is the risen Lord, seated at your right hand. I want Him to take over my life and to be my Lord and Savior. I want to live no longer for myself but for the glory of the God who saves sinners through Jesus. I surrender my life to you, Father. I want to be water baptized publicly to show that I am not ashamed of Jesus’ name, and that I belong to Jesus by faith. I want to join a healthy Bible-teaching church, and follow the Word of God for the glory of God the rest of my days and for eternity. Glory to God!