What is a Christian?

The short version...
A Christian is someone who accepts God's truth (declared in the Bible) that they are not right with God, and they turn to God’s Son Jesus Christ to be forgiven of their sins (wrong doings) in order to be made right with God.
In response to God’s forgiveness and grace, they also stop living life "their way", and they live life God's way by following Jesus.
In other words, a Christian is someone who trusts in Jesus Christ as their Saviour (Rescuer) from sin, and submits to Him as the Lord (Ruler) of their life.


 The longer version...
God is the loving Creator of our world and everything in it.  He made us in His image to know Him and enjoy Him, and He values and loves every person He created.  He made this world for us to live in, and He gives us life and everything we need for it.  Every good gift we have comes from Him. 

However, all of us have turned away from God.  We happily accept His gifts, but have little regard for Him or the way He has told us how we should relate to Him, His world, and everything in it.  We end up doing whatever seems right in our own eyes, instead of what is right in God's eyes.  God calls this sin. 

And He doesn't view sin lightly.  In fact, He is angry with sin for He sees it as rebellion.  Our sin breaks our relationship with God, because He is holy and pure.  It cuts us off from God in this life, and one day we will be permanently cut off from Him in the next life; we won't make it to heaven. Not only that, on the Day of Judgment we will be sentenced to everlasting punishment in hell (Revelation 20:15). 

But out of God's great love for you and me, He has done something to reach out to us and to rescue us from our predicament (John 3:16).  He sent His Son Jesus.  He didn't just come to teach us and to help the sick.  He primarily came to die on a cross. On the cross Jesus took our sins upon Himself, and He bore the punishment for them (Isaiah 53:5-6).  As a result, we can be justly forgiven and restored back to God.  We can be rescued from judgement. 

God also raised Jesus to life on the third day, showing us that Jesus is indeed our Saviour (Rescuer) from sin.  Jesus also ever lives to save (rescue) anyone from their sins (Heb 7:25). 

But in order to be rescued from our sins and to be brought into a right relationship with God, we must be willing to respond in three ways:

1. We must acknowledge our sins before God, by telling Him we are sorry for them, and turning from them (1 John 1:9).

2. We must ask (call upon) our only Saviour and Rescuer, Jesus Christ, to save us from our sins (Romans 10:13).

3. We must submit to Jesus as God's anointed King, and we are to follow Him (John 10:27).

Let us stress:  no amount of religious acts or good deeds will ever rescue us from our sins or make us right with God.  We need forgiveness for our sins, and only Jesus can do that when we turn to Him.  We are saved by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9).

 

 What next?

If you have humbled yourself before God and asked Jesus to save you from your sins, and if you have meant it from your heart, then welcome to God's family!  To help you grow in your relationship with God and to help you trust and follow the Lord Jesus, it is now important that you begin to read the Bible and pray to God daily.  A good place to start reading the Bible is at the start of the New Testament.  Also, find a local church that teaches God's Word faithfully and  where you can be encouraged by other Christians.  If you need any help finding a good local church, ask someone who you know is a genuine Christian, or feel free to contact us.