What Is A Christian?

If you asked five people on the street what a Christian is, you would probably get five different answers! Popular answers are someone who:

  • goes to church;
  • does good things;
  • was born in the UK;
  • believes in God; or
  • was christened as a baby.

So what is a Christian? In a nutshell, a Christian is someone who believes that Jesus died on a cross to be punished for the wrong things that they have done, and so they respond by asking to be forgiven and committing their life to Him.

Of course, there are some big ideas in that description of a Christian, ones we can’t skate over. So lets unpack that a bit.

Believing that Jesus is who He says He is.

Jesus claimed to be God, not just a good person, not just a great teacher, or even a revolutionary. He claimed to be nothing less than God.

Believing that our guilt has cut us off from God.

We all know that we do things that are wrong; none of us is perfect. But of course, if we compare ourselves to others we can feel that we are not that bad.

However, the true measure of how guilty we are is God himself. His character and standards are perfect. When compared to Him we fall far short. That’s a problem because the Bible says that our guilt cuts us off from God and trying harder to be good is not going to work.

This has consequences for this life as we live as orphans, not knowing God personally. That’s why we are naturally scratching our heads about God, we don’t know Him. It also has consequences for the next life as we would stay separated from God and worse than that, receive the due punishment for our guilt.

Believe that Jesus died for you.

Why would God become a man? He did so because His justice demands that our guilt be punished, but His love does not want us to be the ones who are  punished. God’s answer was to be born as a human being and die on a cross, suffering wrath and condemnation in our place. We did the bad things but Jesus took the punishment. That’s real love!

Making a response.

To receive forgiveness and have a real relationship with God we have to respond in what the Bible calls ‘repentance’ and ‘faith’. Repentance means turning from living for ourselves and the things we know are wrong, and turning instead to follow Jesus. Faith means trusting that Jesus’ death was for you.

Getting to that place of being sure that you are a Christian can be a journey. It can begin with a simple prayer, something like this:

“Father please forgive me for the wrong things I have done (name some of them). Thank you that Jesus was punished for me. I commit my life to you. Amen”

You can know for absolute certainty that God has forgiven you and come into your life. Its a definite miracle that happens, and you can tell that it has happened or not. Have a read of the blog article called “Can I be sure I’m a Christian” so you know what to look for in your own life.

If you would like to discuss this more, or if we can help you in any way, please get in touch. Details are on the contact page.