What it really means to be a Christian
Praise the Lord that you have prayed to receive Christ as your Savior. Do you know that you now have eternal salvation and have entered into a wonderful relationship with Him?
Your Sins are Forgiven by God
Before you asked Jesus Christ to be your Savior:
- You were a sinner without hope – “…for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3:23)
- You were destined for death – “For the wages of sin is death…” (Rom. 6:23a)
- You faced God’s eternal judgment – “And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Rev. 20:15)
But God loved you and saved you by:
- Sending His only begotten Son – “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
- Becoming your sacrifice – “…Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29b)
- Paying your ransom (debt) – “…the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all…” (1 Tim. 2:5b-6a)
- Raising Christ from the dead to justify you – God “raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.” (Rom. 4:24b-25)
Without question, your sins have been forgiven by God.
You Have Been Born into God’s Family
Not only have your sins been forgiven, but you have received:
- Eternal life – “…but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom 6:23b)
- The Holy Spirit – “And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’” (John 20:22)
By receiving Christ as your life:
- Your spirit has been made alive – “even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),…” (Eph. 2:5)
- You became a child of God, born of God – “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13)
By receiving eternal life, which is God as the Spirit, into your human spirit, you have now been born of God, qualifying you to be His child in His family.
Assurance of Salvation
Once you have been born of the Spirit:
- Your salvation is eternal – “…and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.” (John 10:29b)
- The Spirit even is your witness – “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,…” (Rom. 8:16)
- You have love for the brothers – “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.” (1 John 3:14)
Your salvation is sure and you can never be taken out of God’s family.
Baptism to Complete the Step
After you believe, the Lord says you need to be baptized, “He who believes and is baptized shall be saved;…” (Mark 16:16). You are baptized into:
- The death of Christ – “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Rom. 6:3-4)
- Christ – “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” (Gal. 3:27)
- His Body, the church – “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.” (1 Cor. 12:13a)
- The Triune God – “…baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19b)
Jesus too was baptized (Matt. 3:15-16). It is normal for us to be baptized immediately after receiving Christ as seen in the example in Acts 8:35-38.
Building a Relationship with the Lord
Now that you are in God’s family, it is crucial to build up a relationship with our living Lord Jesus Christ. He lives in you as:
- Your Helper who leads you – “He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever – the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” (John 14:16b-17)
- The Anointing (Christ) who teaches all things – “But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.” (1 John 2:27)
How do you experience Jesus Christ?
- In the Spirit – “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24)
- By calling on the name of the Lord – “…for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him.” (Rom. 10:12b)
- Eating His word – “…as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.” (1 Pet. 2:2-3)
- Praying with His word – “take … the word of God; by means of all prayer… in the Spirit,…” (Eph. 6:17b-18a – Greek Interlinear)
Meeting with God’s Family
Your relationship is not only with Christ, but with your new family, the brothers and sisters, in the proper church which satisfies God according to His word. It is important to meet together as seen in Acts 2:46-47:
“So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”
Through the fellowship, you are encouraged to grow in Him and to be built up with the members in His church, God’s family.
Your Destiny in God’s Family
God desires you, as His child, to grow in Him with the goal of fulfilling His purpose. At Christ’s second coming, He wants us:
- To become kings and priests in His kingdom – “…and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him,…” (Rev. 1:5-7a)
- To inherit God’s kingdom – “But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever.” (Dan. 7:18)
Learn to experience the living Christ, to grow up in Him, to be built up together with the saints in the church, and to prepare for His soon return. Praise the Lord and welcome to God’s family!
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