WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN?
1 Creation – The Start of the Friendship
Going right back to the beginning, God was the Creator of Universe. Genesis 1:1 says ‘In the Beginning God created the heavens and the earth.’ God made Adam & Eve and put them in the Garden of Eden in friendship with himself. They were able to do anything they liked except one thing, eat the fruit from one particular tree. This was fair enough, after all God created them, so it reminded them that he was No.1 and that they were No. 2.
2 The Fall – Falling out of Friendship
But Adam & Eve ignored God, ate some of the fruit, and fell out of friendship with God. They crossed the friendship line because they wanted their own way and didn’twant God’s way. All People are guilty of living their own way and not God’s way, and as a result are out of friendship with God. Romans 3:23 says “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”
3 The Death Line – When Out of Friendship with God
When we are out of friendship with God and cross the death line, we go to a place called Hell where there is No Friendship, Physical misery (Mt 25:30) as well as Spiritual misery (Mt 7:23). We’re all born out of friendship with God, on the wrong side of the friendship line, and if we do nothing Hell is where we end up. This is a pretty big problem, so the question is, What will it take to return to friendship with God?
4 God and Us – The Situation
God didn’t create us to send us all to Hell, he’s not that sort of God. But God loves us and has given us lots of good things and a beautiful world to live in. But we ourselves can’t just suddenly say to God, “I’m going to fix up our broken friendship”. It’s up to God to do something about it.
5 God’s Grace – Restoring the Friendship
God The Father promised I will do something about the problem (Ezekiel 36:25-27). But it was God the Son who fulfills the promise. Jesus died on the cross and rose again to take away the punishment that should have been ours for living our way not God’s. 1 Peter 3:18 says, “Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.” God the Spirit continues to deal with the problem today by Revealing the Truth about Ourselves and about God. He reveals that we are out of friendship with God and where we are heading, also that Jesus has come to fix the problem, so we can get back into friendship with God through Him (John 16: 7-11)
6 Repentance and Faith – Stepping over the line into Friendship with God
Therefore a Christian is someone who has come back into friendship with God through Jesus and what he has done at the Cross. A Christian is not in friendship with God because they’ve been a good person but because they realized they were out of friendship with God and trusted in Jesus to save them. There are certain Marks of a Christian when they are in friendship with God. After everything Jesus has done for them Jesus is now No. 1, they want to love, serve, and obey him. They have the Holy Spirit inside them, and are being changed by reading the Bible, Prayer, and Church with other Christians. They still struggle with sin, but because of the difference Jesus has made in their life they love people and want others to know about Jesus.
7 The Death Line – when In Friendship with God
When the Christian crosses the death line they go to a place called Heaven where there is Friendship, as well as Physical happiness, as well as Spiritual happiness (Rev 21:4-5).
8 The Question – God and You?
Can you see how it is possible to believe that God exists and yet end up in Hell? Also, that you can live a good life and still end up in the wrong place? The only way back to friendship with God is through Jesus! Where do you stand? Which side of the friendship line are you on? And, is that where you want to be or do you want to return to friendship with God?
9 The Commitment – Returning to friendship with God
If you want to return to friendship with God through Jesus and start living his way; then pray to God and tell him your commitment.
I admit that I’ve been living my own way and not your way. Please forgive me.
I believe that Jesus died and rose again to save me so I could come back into friendship with you and go to heaven. Jesus, please come into my life.
I commit my life to you from now on and will follow you, seeking to live your way and not my own, so I’ll show the marks of a Christian.
10 You and God in Friendship
From here on, seek to grow in your friendship with God by having Jesus as your number 1 in life, seeking to love, serve and obey Him. Also seek to read the Bible, pray and meet with other Christians at church so your life will show the marks of a Christian.
Do you know what a Christian really is?
Keen to find out more about what it means to be a Christian? Why not check out one of our services.
Why not do a short course to find out more about what it means to be a Christian? We run Christianity Explained regularly, which is designed to outline the Christian faith. Contact the church office if you're interested.