Being a Christian is more than identifying yourself with a particular religion or affirming a certain value system. Being a Christian means you have embraced what the Bible says about God, mankind, and salvation. Consider the following truths found in the Bible.
God is the Sovereign Creator
Contemporary thinking says man is the product of evolution. But the Bible says we were created by a personal God to love, serve, and enjoy endless relationship with him. The New Testament reveals it was Jesus himself who created everything (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16). Therefore, he also owns and rules everything (Psalm 103:19). That means he has authority over our lives, and we owe him absolute allegiance, obedience, and worship.
God Is Holy
God is absolutely and perfectly holy (Isaiah 6:3), meaning God is morally perfect and separate from his creation; therefore, he cannot commit or approve of evil (James 1:13). God requires holiness of us as well. First Peter 1:16 says, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
Mankind is Sinful
According to Scripture, everyone is guilty of sin: “There is no man who does not sin” (1 Kings 8:46). Sin refers to our general opposition to God, whether in our thinking, doing, and even feeling. That doesn’t mean we’re incapable of performing acts of human kindness. But we’re utterly incapable of understanding, loving, or pleasing God on our own (Romans 3:10-12; 8:5-8; Hebrews 11:6).
Sin Demands a Penalty
God’s holiness and justice demand that all sin be punished by death (Ezekiel 18:4; Romans 6:23). That’s why simply changing our patterns of behavior can’t solve our sin problem or eliminate its consequences.
Jesus is Lord and Savior
Romans 10:9 says, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you shall be saved.” Even though God’s justice demands death for sin, his love has provided a Savior who paid the penalty and died for sinners (1 Peter 3:18). Jesus’s death satisfied the demands of God’s justice, and his perfect life satisfied the demands of God’s holiness (2 Corinthians 5:21), which is why he’s able to forgive and save those who place their faith in him (Romans 3:26). And the proof that God has given to us that Jesus’ life and death forgives all sinners who believe in him is his physical resurrection from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:16-17).
Our Response: Faith
Faith is simply taking God at his word. Just as we take the bank for its word that it will handle our money wisely, so believers (those who choose faith in God) take God at his word that he is holy and we are sinful, but according to his mercy and motivated by his love, he has given his Son as our only Savior (Ephesians 2:4-7; John 3:16; 14:6). Faith is also “empty-handed,” meaning it does not claim any personal reason for God to save us apart from his mercy (Luke 18:13-14; Galatians 2:16; Philippians 3:7-11).
The Character of Saving Faith
True faith is always accompanied by repentance from sin. Repentance is agreeing with God that you are sinful, confessing your sins to him, and making a conscious choice to turn from sin (Luke 13:3; 1 Thessalonians 1:9) and pursue Christ (Matthew 11:28-30; John 17:3) and obedience to him (1 John 2:3). It isn’t enough to believe certain facts about Jesus. Even Satan and his demons believe in the true God (James 2:19), but they don’t love and obey him. True saving faith always responds in love (1 John 5:3) and obedience (Ephesians 2:8-10).
How Can You Be Saved?
By abandoning confidence in your ability to save yourself from God’s wrath against you because of your sin (Acts 17:30-31) and receiving Jesus with empty-handed faith for salvation (Acts 10:43; Romans 10:9).