What does it mean to be a Christian?
To be a Christian means to put your faith in Christ's earthly work as the only way to be reconciled to God.
Why do we need to be reconciled with God?
"All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23
"As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins." Ephesians 2:1
We were made to have a relationship with God. But when we sinned, we broke that relationship. And this is a problem, because:
"The wages of sin is death." Romans 6:23a
This is primarily spiritual death--or separation from God, which is always accompanied by bitterness, terror, and pain--although it also includes our eventual physical death and the sin and sickness which are now part of our daily lives.
How are we reconciled with God?
By putting our faith in Christ's earthly work, which involves what he did for us while he lived on earth. By living a life of perfect obedience to God's law and then dying a completely undeserved death in our place, Jesus did everything that is necessary for us to be reconciled to God. He satisfied Godís need to punish sin through his death on the cross, which atoned (paid for) for our sins, and he also acknowledged and met Godís righteous requirements as the sovereign Lord who rightly commands our obedience, even unto death.
What does it mean to put your faith in Christ's earthly work as the way to be reconciled to God?
It means to trust God's promise that all you have to do to be reconciled to him is to rely on what Christ has already done for you and in your place. God, in the person of his Son, Jesus Christ, is the one who saves you, and through the Holy Spiritís power he will then start the process of making you holy, for Jesusí sake.
How do you put your faith in Christ?
You can start by praying to God and telling him that you trust his promise to make you right with himself by your acceptance of Christ's earthly work as the way of being reconciled to him. You will then need to go on by learning more about what God the Father has promised, what Jesus Christ his Son has done, and what God now wants to do within you through his Holy Spirit, who now lives within you. This learning takes place primarily within the church, which is where God's people gather, and through hearing and reading the Bible. So you need to find a church that you can attend regularly. You also need to get a Bible that you can understand, and you should talk with other Christians who can help you learn how to read the Bible well.
If you haven't read the Bible before or haven't read it much, then you may want to start with one that's easy to read, like the New International Version. You can probably find one at a nearby bookstore, or you can even read it online at Bible Gateway.
What if I'm not ready to do these things?
"God rewards those who seek him." Hebrews 11:6
We seek God by putting our faith in his words. These are the promises that he makes to us through his Scriptures (the Bible). In John 3:16 we read, ďFor God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.Ē This is Godís promise to you. If you cannot accept this promise yet, then you can still pray to God, asking him to make your heart receptive to him and to this message. Some of us at this website will be praying that God will move you to put your faith in him.
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