What Does it Mean to be a Christian?
You may have known about God all your life. You may be a church member. You may have wondered, "Am I really a Christian?" Maybe you've had doubts about it.
Don't click away from this website without being sure...God can help you make a positive change in your life. Maybe you've been to a church before, or perhaps you've been to church since you were a child, or your mother was a Christian so you say "...that makes me Christian too"; but none of that matters unless you make that personal decision to truly follow Christ.
Making the Decision
God has given us free will to make our own choices. Sooner or later we all are faced with a decision to make in our lives. Whether it is choosing a career, to buy a home or car, or what health plan to select; it's all about making an informed choice. So why not choose to follow God who gave His son for us? If you have decided to do so, here are some simple steps to help you make that choice:
Put God first: Admit that God has not been first place in your life and ask Him to forgive your sins. "If we confess our sins He's faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from every wrong."
Believe in the sacrifice: Believe that Jesus Christ died to pay for our sins and that He rose and is alive today. "If you confess that Jesus is your Lord, and you believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."
Accept God's free gift of salvation: Don't try to earn it. "It is by grace you are saved through faith and it is not of yourselves. It is the gift of God. Not of works so no one could boast." You get there just by accepting God's free gift. Our relationship to Christ is not restored by anything we do, but on the basis on what Jesus Christ already did for us on Calvary.
Invite Jesus Christ to come into your life and be the director or Lord of your life: No longer are we calling the shots in our lives. Jesus Christ is the manager of our lives. "To all who receive Him, He gives the right to become the children of God. All we need to do is to trust Him to save us. All those who believe this are reborn. Not a physical rebirth but from the will of God."
You can take these steps by praying a simple prayer of commitment to God. If you've never settled this issue or if you've always had doubts, "Am I really a Christian? Do I know for sure I'm going to heaven?" You can know for sure by doing what Christ has said to do, by praying this prayer and meaning it in your heart:
"Dear Jesus, Thank you for making me and loving me even when I've ignored You and gone my own way. I realize I need You in my life and I'm sorry for my sins. I ask You to forgive me. Thank You for dying on the cross for me. Please help me to understand it more. As much as I know how, I want to follow You from now on. Please come into my life and make me a new person inside. I accept Your gift of salvation. Please help me to grow as a Christian. Amen."
Church and Fellowship
What's the difference between being a Christian and being a member of a church family? The difference is the word "commitment". I become a Christian by committing my life to Christ. I become a member of a church by committing myself to other Christians. I say, "That's going to be my church home where I'm going to give and be given to, where I'm going to serve and be served, where I'll love and be loved." Ephesians 2:19 reads: "You are a member of God's very own family and you belong in God's household with every other Christian."
The church is a family: It says "God's household". It doesn't say the church is like a family. It says the church is a family. It's a spiritual family. In fact, your spiritual family is going to outlast your physical family because we're all going to be related in heaven.
God expects me to be a member of a family: Notice He says, "You are a member of God's very own family." That says it's God's will. It's not optional. Every Christian needs a church family. A Christian without a church family is like a person who says, "I want to play NFL football but I don't want to be a part of any team." The fact is we need each other to be strong in our Christian faith. Once you became a believer you are automatically a part of the universal church of God -- automatically, the moment you gave your life to Christ. But you don't become a part of a local church until you make that choice.
A Christian without a church family is an orphan: It says, "You belong in God's household with every other member of the church." God has given us at least 30 instructions in the New Testament that you can't fulfill unless you choose to be a part of a local church. The Bible says, if you're a Christian, it means you're a part of the body of Christ. What would you say if the liver said, "I think for one week I'll be a part of this body over here and the next week I'll be a part of that body over there and the week after that I'll be a part of this body over here..." Pretty soon what's going to happen is an unconnected liver weakens, shrivels up, and dies. You need to be a part of a local church family.
Solid Rock Church of God, 20 Holloran Road, New Windsor NY 12553, 845-534-3278