So what is a Christian?
So you came here searching to understand what is a Christian. Some would simply say, “to believe in Jesus” makes you a Christian. But what does it mean “to believe?” And who, really, is “Jesus Christ?” According to the Bible, Jesus is the promised Messiah foretold in the Hebrew Scriptures. His Hebrew name is “Yeshua”, which means “Salvation”. He is the only begotten Son of God, God come in the flesh, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin, who suffered, and was crucified for the sins of the world. He died and was buried, and on the third day, He rose again from the dead having the keys of hell and death. Soon afterward He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father, and will soon return to judge both the living and the dead.
Those are the facts about Jesus, but how can you know they are really true so to really believe in Him? The kind of believing which the Bible speaks of means “complete trust”, so that you throw your entire existence upon Jesus in FAITH that He will save you. How can someone do that? And why do you need to be “saved”? The answers can only come from the highest authority, God Himself, by His REVELATION. Real FAITH only responds to real REVELATION from God… about Him AND about you. God communicates to a person through His Holy Spirit and His Word (Jesus Himself, and The Bible, Old and New Testaments). The Creator reveals His existence, His nature, His authority, and His will to people, in a way that makes them sure about Him. A true Christian is not someone who has chosen a particular “religion” because it appeals to him or because it seems reasonable. Rather, he comes to know his Creator by REVELATION, and comes to know Jesus personally as who He actually is: the only begotten Son of God and Savior of the world. REVELATION is also required to see yourself as you truly are in God’s eyes.
Reading the Bible does not automatically bring REVELATION, but when God’s Spirit brings conviction and certainty about His truth, then you can respond with true FAITH. Matthew’s gospel [Matthew 16:15-17] gives a powerful example: Jesus said to His disciples, “But what about you?” “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.” Peter’s answer about Jesus was revealed by God, Himself.
REVELATION from God also can come in other ways, such as visions, and there is general REVELATION from nature which testifies to an intelligent Creator. However it comes, REVELATION is God’s part in the process of becoming a Christian. But REVELATION alone will not make someone a true Christian. Many people receive REVELATION from God in many ways but never become Christians. This is because they refuse to repent and believe; they do not respond with REPENTANCE and FAITH. REPENTANCE means turning around and away from one’s own understanding and way of life, which is sinful and self-centered; and turning to God. It means responding to REVELATION from God recognizing His existence, His perfect holiness and our hopeless sinfulness. When we truly repent, we really understand and agree that we are sinful unto death, that “all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God” [Romans 3:23]; that we desperately need forgiveness and a purification that we cannot accomplish ourselves, because by our very nature we have violated God’s law and His holiness. Only being deeply convinced of these things we can truly respond with a FAITH that trusts completely in Jesus, the Savior who died for sin, and reconciled us to God.
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