Word Studies

WordStudies

I am a Christian. More precisely, I am a follower of The Way, The Truth, and The Life, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Word of God, so I am a student of the inerrant Scriptures, the Holy Bible.

a-christian

You may have been told that you need to do good to become a Christian. That is backwards. Yes, Christians do good, but that is not how they became Christians. Rather, Christians do good because they are Christians.

There are many who say they are Christians, but they live an evil life. There are three possible reasons for this. Maybe they are not Christians. I am not accusing them of lying. Maybe they have been mislead to believe they are Christians. Perhaps they are ignorant of the teachings of Christ, or they have fallen.

As Christians, we have inside information. We know the Designer and Creator of the universe. He has decided what would be good for everyone to know about the way the universe works and how to live our lives in accord with this. He put all of this information in a Book, The Holy Book, The Holy Bible. Wouldn’t it be wise for us to live in harmony with the teachings of this Book? Christians are those who follow Christ. So, we learn what the Bible says, and do it, so we do good.

So, how does one become a Christian? Repent and believe the gospel. You might be thinking that “repent” means to do good, so I am contradicting myself. Again, that is backwards, repentance results in doing good, but repentance is not an overt action.

To repent, first I must see how extremely bad my sins are to God. Each sin is rebellion against a Holy God. My sins are so bad, Jesus had to suffer horribly, and die unjustly, to pay the penalty for my sin. Yes, it is that bad. I must come to the realization that I do not deserve to be in God’s presence, and that there is nothing I could ever do to merit such an honour. That is the bad news. If I don’t agree, then I cannot repent.

The good news, the gospel, is that Jesus’ sacrifice means He can and does now offer me a pardon for my sins. That is why repentance, and believing the gospel, must both go together. To repent, I am turning from my sinful ways, I am turning from my own way of running my life, I am turning away from rebellion against God. But, I am not just turning away, I am also turning towards. I am turning from death to life. I am stepping off the throne of my life and receiving Christ as my king.

Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man this thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.

Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, [and] to turn [them] from darkness to light, and [from] the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

Acts 26:20 … they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

So, you see, repentance does not consist in a change of my behaviour, but a change in my mind, having faith, believing, trusting. There is no virtue in believing on Christ. All of the virtue is in what He has done. I am trusting in His virtue, not my own virtue.

After I have repented, there will be several virtuous things I will do, also known as “works meet for repentance,” now that Jesus is on the throne of my life. I will love the One True God and no other gods. I will not bow down to images. I will get baptized. I will love others. I will build the structure of my life on the foundation of my love for God and others. Those are some examples, and there are many others, but I do not learn everything at once. Over the course of my life, God will keep teaching me, through His Word, about the truths that I did not know, that I misunderstood, or about which I had been mislead.

1 John 2:3-6
3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

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