OF COURSE I'M A CHRISTIAN... I THINK
When I was in college, I got on a dorm elevator one Saturday night to go up to my room on the 19th floor. Two people were on the elevator. They were both wearing medium-sized cross necklaces. I looked at their necklaces and asked them if they were Christians. They looked at me with an incredulous expression and answered, "Of course!" I thought their response was a little strange. It was almost as if they were saying, "What else would we be? We are Americans, aren't we? We go to church, don't we? Of course we are Christians."
What does it really mean to be a Christian? Does it mean you have joined a church? Does it mean you have been baptized? Does it mean you have intellectually believed some facts about the life and person of Jesus? Does it mean you do some religious things? No, No, No, and No!
WHAT IT REALLY MEANS
Sad but true, many people claim to be Christians and truly think they are Christians but do not understand what it means to be one. What does the Bible say regarding this all- important subject? The Bible tells us that a Christian is one who has received the very life and nature of God - "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27).
In 1 John 1:3, The Apostle John talks about the fact that he has fellowship (koinonia - "sharing") with the Father and with His Son Jesus. What is fellowship? One preacher defined it as two fellows sharing the same ship. While that is certainly catchy, it does not go far enough. I think Adrian Rogers hit the nail on the head when he defined fellowship as two fellows sharing the same life. A Christian is someone whose life is now connected to God. He/she is someone was has a personal relationship with the Lord. someone who really knows the Lord, not in his/her head, but in his/her heart.
I grew up going to church and learning about God and His Son Jesus. I believed what the Bible said. I believed Jesus was God in the flesh who performed great miracles. I believed He died on the cross and rose again from the dead. In my head, I believed all that stuff. and yet I was lost, unconnected to God, with no hope of going to heaven.
Then one day, I heard the full truth: I was a sinner (I knew that) and I was lost (I did not know that). And if I died, I would not go to heaven (I really did not know that). And that Jesus died and rose again FOR ME (I never really realized that). And if I would turn from my sins and give my life to Jesus, He would give His life to me and save me.
On a Monday night in January, 1980, all alone in my bedroom, Jeff Schreve, a 17 year-old hell raising, skirt chasing, party animal got down on his knees and asked Jesus to save him. I gave my life, MY WHOLE LIFE, to Jesus Christ that night. and He gave His life to me. I was born again that night and became a "partaker (sharer) of the divine nature" (2 Pet. 1:4). And I knew it was real because my life began to change. You see, when the Lord moves into a life, He ALWAYS makes changes. I was under new management. and it quickly began to show.
HOW ABOUT YOU?
My friend, has there been a time in your life when you genuinely, humbly, and sincerely gave your heart to Jesus? Does He really and truly live inside of you? That what it means to be a Christian; it is Christ in you!
If you are not sure, pray right now and ask Jesus to forgive all your sins and take your life. Ask Him to come into your heart and be your personal Lord and Savior. He wants to save you, He died to save you. He will answer your prayer IF AND ONLY IF you mean it. You cannot snow job God. He does business with those who mean business.
If you do take that step today, email back and let me know. I would love to send you some free materials to help you grow in your relationship with Jesus.
Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.