What is a christian?

  • In our culture the term Christian can mean anything from someone who celebrates Christmas and occasionally goes to church, to a person whose life is governed by a set of strict rules, or a number of other definitions in between.  What, however, does the Bible say about being a Christian?  At Neighborhood Church we look to the Bible as God’s holy word and want to define who we are by what God’s Word says.

    There are three significant words that are found in the Bible that help us to understand what a Christian is. These words are:    

          "Christian" which is found in the book of Acts, Chapter 11, verse 26,which states that the followers of Christ are first called “Christians.”
          "Saved" which is found in the book of Romans, Chapter 10, verse 9 which states the following:  “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
          "Born Again" which is found in the book of John, Chapter 3, verse 3, where Jesus says:  “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”

    God loves you.
    God is holy and heaven is a real place.
    We are selfish and sinful and separated from God.
    God made a way for us to know Him and spend eternity with Him.

    If we are realistic at all, we know we do not deserve to spend eternity with a holy God.  The Bible says in Romans 3:23 “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  In our hearts we know we are selfish and have done things we should not have done. The Bible tells us that the result of sin is separation from God, because a holy God can not be associated with sin. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death". And yet the conclusion of verse 23 states "but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Why would God give us a free gift? The Bible tells us in John 3:16, “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son (Jesus) that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”  Then in Romans 5:8 it says “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  He took our place; Jesus became the sacrifice needed. But it didn’t end there.  1 Corinthians 15:3-4 says, “Christ died for our sins . . . He was buried . . . and He was raised on the third day, according to the Scriptures". All of this is truly a miraculous act of grace. 

    Jesus said in John 10:10, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”  He also said in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me.” Being a Christian is not about what we do or do not do or who we hang out with.  According to the holy Scriptures, it is about accepting the free gift of God.  It is admitting that we fall short of God's holy standard, and it is believing Jesus is the only way to God.  It is believing in your heart and declaring with your mouth that “Jesus is Lord”.  According to the Bible, that is the only way to have a relationship with the God of the Universe.  God sacrificed His Son for you and is asking you to recognize your need for salvation and make Jesus Lord of your life.

    It is a simple prayer to confess your sins to God since He already knows and loves you.  The next step is to tell Him you want to be His child and that you accept His Son Jesus as your Lord and Savior.  In a miracle we cannot comprehend, God lifts the burdens of our sins and gives us a fresh start – and the promise of eternity with Him in a place the Bible calls Heaven.

    Neighborhood Church encourages you to look these verses up for yourself.  Yet even now you can give your life to the God who knows you and loves you no matter where you find yourself today.  God is watching and waiting.  It is your decision.  How will you live the rest of your life on earth and where will you spend eternity?

    “Come close to God, and God will come close to you.” (James 4:8)

    “Dear Lord Jesus,
    I know I am a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe you died for my sins and rose from the dead. I trust and follow you as my Lord and Savior. Guide my life and help me to do your will. In your name, amen.”

    If you have prayed this prayer or would like to speak with Rev Horton about this, please click here to send him a personal email message.