What is a Christian?
What is a Christian?
A Christian is a person who has a desire for a relationship with God, and who sees Jesus Christ as the one who makes that relationship possible.
A Christian is, therefore, someone who has become a disciple (or follower) of Jesus.
What is a disciple?
A disciple is a person who places themselves under the teaching and authority of another (in this case Jesus) in order to grow in the wisdom which leads to life.
The first disciples called Jesus ‘Teacher’ (Mark 4 : 38) and ‘Lord’ (Matthew 14 : 28) and Jesus said that they were right to do so (John 13 : 13).
But there was something unique about this teacher and Lord. Christianity, as a religion, stands or falls, not on the teaching of Jesus about God, or about how we should live our lives, but upon the simple question, ‘Who is Jesus?’
This is the starting point on our journey towards God. Jesus asked his disciple Peter, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter replied, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” and Jesus was pleased with his answer (Matthew 16 : 13-20). Jesus, himself, said “The Father and I are one.” (John 10 : 30)
Jesus also said about himself, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14 : 6
A Christian believes that Jesus is…
…the way….through his life, Jesus shows the way in which we can live our lives in relationship with God.
…the truth….through his teaching, Jesus directs us away from the darkness of this fallen world, and towards the light of God.
…the life….through Jesus’ obedience to his Father (God) in every aspect of his life and death, the way became open for potentially every human being to gain eternal life.
Do Christians agree on everything?
No. Christians differ in how strong their desire for a relationship with God is and in how they believe that relationship might be experienced.
They differ in how much their life in this world is affected by their relationship with God.
They differ in their thinking about how to live out that relationship with God.
They differ in their understanding of what the Bible teaches, and in how much weight they give to the traditional teaching of the church.
They differ in how they show their love for God through their style of worship.
Differences are allowed, but what all Christians must do is love one another (John 13 : 34-35).
Do I have to be a good person to become a Christian?
No. In fact, if you think you are good you will find it harder to become a Christian! Jesus revealed the kind of people he was searching for to save when he said, “For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.” (Luke 19 : 10) So if you recognise that you are ‘lost’ you are just the person Jesus is looking for.
How do I become a Christian?
You were created by God so that you may live in relationship with him.
If you want to become a Christian it is because you are sensing God’s calling on you to come and live in that relationship with him.
The key thing is that you need to approach God with humility and love. These two qualities are absolutely essential for a relationship with God. Without them a relationship with God is simply not possible. Humility is necessary because it allows truth to be at the core of the relationship.
- The truth that we are not equal to God
- The truth that we are sinful human beings in need of God to save us
- The truth that we are also the pinnacle of God’s creation and of such great value to God that he was prepared to come in human form to live and suffer and die to save us
(Repentance is important because it is the way in which we verbally acknowledge these truths.)
Love is necessary because God created us for a love relationship with him. That is his desire. He is not interested in being scientifically examined or academically studied…unless these things contribute in some way to us living in a relationship of love with him. Jesus prayed, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.” (Luke 10 : 21)
So having decided to make Jesus your lord, to be his disciple, to admit the truth about yourself and your need for him, then commit yourself to a life of pursuing that relationship with him by…
- Talking with God regularly (prayer)
- Reading or studying the teaching found in the Bible
- Joining a church and being baptised into God’s family
- Living a life of service to others
Which church you join is up to you. Just remember that the purpose of the church is to provide a community in which you can grow into maturity as a Christian, and in your relationship with God.
Can I be saved as a member of another religion?
To be honest…I don’t know! But I do know that if you are saved it will be because Jesus made it possible when he died for you on the cross. So if you believe that Jesus IS who he says he is, “the way, the truth, and the life,” why follow anyone else?