Friday, July 23, 2010

What does it mean to be a Christian?

Many people are mistaken about what it means to be a Christian.

Here are some things that do not make you a Christian.

Obeying the 10 Commandments.

Going to church every Sunday.

Going to church more than once a week.

Wearing a tie in Church (or obeying any other dress code).

Undergoing Trinitarian Baptism.


Avoiding smoking, drinking, going to the cinema, dancing and pop-music.

Avoiding anything else.

Selling all that you have and giving to the poor.

Becoming a missionary.

Reading the Bible every day.


Speaking in tongues.

Healing people miraculously - even raising the dead.


Taking the Holy Sacraments.

Ensuring that your good deeds outbalance your sins.

Being kind to waifs and strays.

Loving your neighbor as yourself.

Reciting the Creed (any of them).

This is what it means to be a Christian:

You must recognize that you are not good enough for God, no matter how hard you try.
(Romans 3:23 All have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God.)

You must trust in the love and mercy and grace of God through the Lord Jesus Christ, to save you from your well deserved disgrace and punishment (Romans 3:24 ... and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus)

In particular, you must trust that Jesus' death on the cross was a punishment that paid for all your shortcomings and made you righteous in God's sight (Romans 3:25 God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished.)

You must trust in the fact that Jesus was raised from the dead as a sign that you are right with God. (Romans 4:25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for out justification)

You don't have to put your life right first before you can take advantage of God's offer. (Romans 5:8 God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.)

Your belief and trust in Jesus is not just a 'paper transaction' like a lawyer's contract, but a transforming transaction that changes you by instilling new life. (Romans 5:18 Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was the condemnation for all men, so the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.)

As a consequence we have eternal life. (Romans 6:5 If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.)

This new, transformed life begins now, not because we want to add anything of our own to what Christ has done, but because of his transforming influence on our lives. (Romans 6:6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.)

This new transformed life is everlasting. (Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord)

On your own you could never sustain such a life, but God has sent his Holy Spirit to nourish and sustain you. (Romans 8:11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Christ from the dead is living within you, he will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who lives in you.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Amen Prof!