What Does it Mean to be a Christian
There are many ways to summarize what it means to know the King, but a simple tool some use is called “The Five C’s.” These help us to see the gospel-the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ. Thoughtfully consider each of the following:
Character of God
“Who is God?” The Bible affirms that God is loving, compassionate, and a friend to sinners. But it also affirms that He, who is one God in three persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), is holy, just, immense, eternal, invisible, unable to change, all-powerful, incomprehensible, all-knowing, and perfect in all He is and does. He is the Almighty King of all creation.
Condition of Man
“Who am I?” We must see ourselves the way God sees us. His word affirms that human beings are created in the image of God; therefore, they are great, the crown jewel of creation-they are, as C.S. Lewis put it, “God’s little kings and queens!” However, that’s only part of the story. Due to the fall of Adam, all human beings are dead in sin, falling short of the glory of God, and are unable to do anything of spiritual value or merit. Thus, to understand the gospel, we must affirm our “great wretchedness.”
Cross of Christ
“How can a God such as this (stated above) commune with a person such as I?” The answer is that God has provided the way, the truth and the life, not because of anything we have done, but because of His mercy and grace. Jesus Christ lived a sinless life, perfectly keeping the demands of God’s holy law that we are unable to fulfill. Then He died on the cross in the place of sinners just like you and me. When Jesus died, He completed all the work that had to be done and secured the salvation of all His people.
Coming to Faith in Christ (Conversion)
Though salvation is totally “of God,” we are converted through turning from autonomous trust in self to submissive trust in Christ alone for our acceptance before God. Though it is by grace we are saved, it is by faith that we access that grace. Faith involves the entire person (intellect, emotion, and will). It is not just assent to a body of truth, nor an emotional moment of religious awareness. But, it is the whole person embracing Jesus Christ alone.
Course of Life
The Christian is one who stands in grace. And that grace will at a heart-level change the person. There is no such thing as a Christian who knows Jesus as Savior, but not King. If He comes into a person, He will lovingly subdue him for His own purposes and glory. The Christian is expected to walk with the King and serve Him gladly all the days of his life as his salvation is worked out , trusting that “He who began a good work in you will carry it out on to completion.”
Here’s the bottom line question: What would you say if you died tonight and stood before God and He said, “Why should I let you into my Kingdom?” Typically, people answer this way: “Well, I’ve tried to lead a basically good life,” or “I’ve served God!” The difficulty with these answers is that they focus on the goodness or track record of the individual. And no one will ever get into heaven based on his own righteousness. We are spiritually unable to please God in and of ourselves. The only way God can accept a person into His sight is if they are perfectly righteous. Since no one is perfectly righteous, we are all lost apart from God’s graciously accepting us based on the righteousness (moral perfection) of Jesus who died in the place of sinners just like you and me. Thus, the answer would be something like this: “God should not accept me, but my trust is in Christ and His righteousness alone. He died for me. Therefore, I am forgiven of my sin and clothed with His righteousness.”
The most critical question you will face in life is whether or not you really know Christ the King. We urge you to be clear on this. Seek the Lord through prayer and reading His Word, especially the Gospel of John and Romans. Purpose to understand the gospel of grace. Someone is available to personally discuss this with you by calling Redeemer at 205.514.0199 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.