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- Ruth R., Elliot Lake Baptist Church, Elliot Lake, ON
What Is A Christian?
There are a lot of ideas floating around about what it means to be a Christian. This
is to be expected since most people have not been taught about the Bible. Some ideas
about what makes a person a Christian are:
- believes that God exists
- believes that Jesus Christ was a real person
- goes to church every week
- was taught about religion when they were young by parents/church
- reads the Bible and knows a lot about it
- follows the rules, laws, commandments and rituals of a church
- preaches to others telling them how they should live
A Christian is:
The word "Christian" is used in the Bible in Acts 11:26 which states that the disciples
of Christ were first called "Christians" in a city called Antioch. The word literally
means "little Christ" signifying that one is like Christ. Christians are people who
are similar to Jesus Christ in their actions and thinking. They have come to see
themselves and the world around them in a new way. After looking at and studying
the Bible and the world around them, they have come to realize
several things. They believe these conclusions, not on blind faith but
because there is evidence that they are true.
(Click here to examine some of the evidence.)
Some of these conclusions are:
- the Bible is a reliable and true book
- there is a God who created the universe and all living things
- this God loves everyone and wants the best for each of us
- anyone who loves another gives them the freedom to choose whether to love
them back or not
- God gives each person the freedom to live in whatever way they want, but there
are consequences to the choices they make (for example: everyone who chooses
to live their life without consideration of God, has to live with the
consequences of that decision)
- the world today is in a "mess" - full of evil and suffering
- the evil in the world is a result of people's choice (either now or in the past)
to live apart from God
- each person has contributed in some way to the evil in the world by their
evil desires, thoughts, words or actions
- because of this evil in each of us, we deserve punishment from God
- we cannot become good through our own efforts - we need someone's help
- God chooses to love us in spite of the evil inside of us and He Himself has
provided the help we need by sending Jesus Christ (the Messiah)
- Jesus was a real person who lived about 2000 years ago, was murdered
by being hung on a cross, was buried, about three days later came back to
life and about 40 days later left the earth
- this Jesus was not just a man but is the Son of God: He existed before the
creation of the universe, He left heaven, became a man and when He left
the earth returned to His Father where He is now
- the reason Jesus came was to pay for the evil in the world
so that we could be forgiven
- this forgiveness is not automatic, but is only given to each person who
chooses to receive the living Jesus Christ as their savior and who
gives Him control over their life
How to become a Christian:
Becoming a Christian is a process of realizing the above conclusions. Then you need
to make a choice - do you allow Jesus to take control of your life? If you believe
that Jesus died for you and you want Him to take over, then you must personally
ask Him to come into your life.
A suggested prayer is the following:
"Lord Jesus, I need you. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open
the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Master. Thank You for
forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of my life. Make
me the person You want me to be."
This will be the beginning of a new life with Jesus.
The benefits of becoming a Christian:
After you have chosen to trust Jesus, you will receive what God has promised to
those who love Him. Check each of the promises below by looking up the Bible
- your sins have been forgiven (Col 1:13-14)
- Jesus Christ is living inside of you (in the form of the Holy Spirit)
- you are a new person (2 Cor 5:17)
- you have been born-again into God's family; you have become a child of God
- you have a guarantee of eternal life with God in heaven; nothing can separate
you from God (John 5:24, Rom 8:31-39)
- because you trust Jesus you will value His opinion and ask His advice on
various aspects of your life; your reliance on Him will grow stronger
over time (Prov 16:3, John 15:12-17, Ps 37:1-6)
- the power of sin over you has been weakened and it will continue to diminish
in strength; you will still occasionally sin but you will progress and
become more and more like Christ (Rom 12:2, Phil 3:12-16)
- you will want to read the Bible (2 Tim 3:16-17)
- you will care about others more (1 John 4:7-21)
- you will become more confidence/hopeful/assured and you will worry less
and less (Rom 15:13, Phil 4:6-7)
- you will want to go to a church where Christ is honored and the Bible is
preached (Heb 10:25)
- God will be with you even when you have difficulties and will use them for your
good or someone else's good (Rom 8:28, James 1:2-3)
God wants you to have a full life (John 10:10) and it can be yours just for the
asking. (Rom 6:23)
So what is stopping you?
your questions or comments.