What does it mean to be a Christian?
I run into this question quite a bit and to be honest there is a very simple answer but that simple answer tends to lead to other questions that are not nearly so simple…
Since I have begun to post about “Fake Christianity” I thought it would be a good idea to make sure that the basic definition of true Christianity was clear for anyone who might read this blog. The Gospel, or Good News, is pretty simple and straightforward. It consists of just two basic parts:
1) We are all sinners.
Every single one of us are sinners. No matter how hard we try and no matter how well we are at pretending it isn’t true, we all fall short. Some of us may have actually committed horrible acts against ourselves or others. Some of us may have only committed such acts in our hearts or minds. Some of us may be guilty of what humans might consider fairly minor sins or sins of omission such as gossiping not being generous but we have all been measured and we all fall short.
2) Our Sins Can Be Forgiven Through Jesus Christ
God loves us and to save us from our own sinfulness He sent His son, Jesus Christ, who willingly suffered and died for us; paying with His blood for all of our sins. To receive that gift of salvation all we have to do is accept it and to repent. Accept His sacrifice and profess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and then repent of our sins. Repent is an old fashioned word that simply means to “turn away” from our sinful ways.
Does that mean we will automatically be transformed into saints who never sin again? Of course not. It just means that we will actively and consciously try and follow His Word and guidance and be more like Him and less like our own sinful selves.
Folks, that is it.
It really is as simple as that; recognize the sin in our lives, accept Jesus’ sacrifice as our savior, and turn away from a life of sin.
There are many variations but most churches have some sort of prayer to help people accept this gift and make this commitment. Here is one example:
“God, I know that I have sinned against You and deserve punishment. But I believe Jesus Christ paid for my sins so that through faith in Him I could be forgiven. I receive Your offer of forgiveness and place my trust in You for salvation. I accept Jesus as my personal Savior! ”
Like I said, it is really very simple.
With that said most people have lots of questions on how this all applies to daily, some would say real, life. Be patient. We will get there.
Take care and God bless.