What is a Christian?
What does it mean to be a Christian? There are many different ideas out there as to what a Christian is, but what counts is what God’s idea of a Christian, and we find that in the Bible. But before we look at what a Christian is, we need to look at a bit of history.
In the first book of the Bible it says that God made the world, including people, and that when He had finished making the world, “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31) God made people in His own image and gave them everything they needed to live. And when God made people, He made them so they would live forever with Him. There was no such thing as death.
When God made people and gave them everything they needed, He also gave them instructions for their own good. However, the devil tempted the first people to disobey God. The first people had the choice to either obey God or obey the devil. They chose to obey the devil. This was the first time people disobeyed God. When people disobey God, we call that “sin.” This sin broke the relationship between God and people and also brought about the wrath of God. If people would refuse to do things God’s way, then they could no longer live with Him forever and so death was introduced into the human race.
The first people were not the only human beings to sin. Ever since then, every single human being (except Jesus) has sinned. This includes you and me. Romans 3:23 says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” This means that every human being will one day face death. It is inevitable.
God loved us so much that even though we had disobeyed and spurned Him, He made a plan to rescue us from our own sin and from death. He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to live as a human being just like us. Because Jesus is God’s Son, He is perfect and always obeys God the Father. That means that He was the only person never to sin. That means He was the only person who never deserved death. Yet Jesus willingly chose to die in our place. When Jesus died on the cross 2000 years ago, He died as substitute for us. That means, He took our sin upon Him and took the death penalty for us.
But Jesus didn’t stay dead. Three days later He rose from the dead! This proved that He had conquered death! It also means that He has also conquered death for those people who follow Him! One day in the future, God will rise from the dead those people who follow Him, just like He rose Jesus from the dead, and we will live with God forever in paradise!
However the Bible says not everyone will be saved. Jesus’ message was “Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is near.” (Matthew 4:17). What does that mean? “Repent” means to turn around, or to change your mind about God. It means to admit that you have sinned, and to turn around from doing things your own way, and to turn to doing things God’s way. If you do that, and trust in Jesus and ask Him to forgive you of your sins, then He will forgive you and you can have eternal life. With your co-operation, He will change your heart and your life so that you will become a godly person. This is what it means when Jesus says in “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” (John 3:3) To be born again means that you start your life afresh, with God, and that your sins will be forgiven so that you will have eternal life!
If you become a Christian it is also important to join a church where they preach from the Bible and do things the way the Bible says. If you live in Beaudesert or nearby, we’d love to have you come to our church. If you live elsewhere, we can try and put you in touch with a good church. If you’d like to know more, please contact our pastor.