|What is a Christian|
Quite simply a Christian is someone who belongs to Jesus Christ.
No one accidentally or unknowingly becomes a Christian, as one might find they have accidentally joined an online emailing list. To belong to Jesus Christ requires a wilful choice to embrace all he is and all he has done for us.
God loves all of humanity. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son so that whoever believes in him should not perish but should receive everlasting life.” It is not his will that any should perish but that all should come to know Jesus and the salvation he makes possible for all who turn to him in faith.
A Christian is someone who believes that in Jesus, God has visited this planet to rescue wayward humanity from the consequence of rejecting him. Christians recognise that when Jesus died on the cross, he was utterly innocent and therefore he was able to take our just punishment for rebelling against God.
Punishment? Does a kind and loving God punish us? Imagine for a moment what the world would be like if there was no law, no punishment for wrong doing. What chaos! What a terrifying place to live (in many places that is exactly how it is - lawless!). How can a God of love possibly allow a lawless universe where the guilty go free?
Consider for a moment... God is light and life. To reject him is to reject light and life, and therefore to embrace instead darkness and death. As it says in the Bible; "He who has the Son has life – he who does not have the Son does not have life." Our 'punishment' for rebelling against Life, is quite naturally death. Not just the death we all face on this planet, (which is God's way of limiting the amount of evil any one person can do) but ultimate separation from Life - eternal death. It is the logical outcome of turning our backs on the one who created us. That's the Bad News! Now for the good news...
God has not abandoned us. Instead he has dealt with our guilt. He personally paid the penalty for our failure. Through his own death on the cross Jesus has made it possible for us to be forgiven whilst still protecting the well-being of the entire created order. In other words he didn't turn a blind eye to our sin. Even though he loves humanity, he had to deal with our lawbreaking in a manner that did not create universal chaos! So he took the rap himself.
And what does he give those who turn to him in faith? Forgiveness and a renewed relationship with God, PLUS all that such a relationship entails; joy, peace, fulfilment, meaning, eternal life and so much more!
To those who reach out in faith and receive this wonderful gift of forgiveness and eternal life, God gives power to live today as he always intended us to. He grants us a clean sheet, a truly new beginning - a new birth - a spiritual birth... What will you do with such an offer?