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Summary: According to surveys and statistics, revealed by Christianity Today, 85% of the American population is Christian and 99% of Mexico's population is Christian. I have been to both countries and can understand why some folks are confused with these percenta

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A Christian? What’s that?!

I Peter 1:22-25

Introduction:

According to surveys and statistics, revealed by Christianity Today, 85 percent of the American populous is Christian. Even more amazing is a recent survey that shows Mexico to be 99 percent Christian. I have been to both countries and can understand why some folks are confused with these percentages in light of the declining morals, embraced situational ethics and overall culture of celebrated sin.

In our country alone we have been shocked with over a million abortions each year, a 50-60 percent divorce rate (some studies showing a slightly higher percentage for “Christian” marriages), 5 people for every 100,000 being murdered, over 200,000 American’s sexually assaulted every year, over 2 million burglaries every year, over 3 million children are molested every year, and the list goes on and on. Add to this the leadership in our churches, the pastors, the bishops and the priests that are being caught cheating on their wives, embezzling money and molesting children.

No wonder the non-Christian is looking at the Christian through a lens of distrust! No wonder our Southern Baptist denomination is reporting a decrease in church attendance, membership and baptisms. The world is failing to see the kind of true love and power in Christianity that would compel them to receive the Gospel. So, either these statistics are faulty or our definition of Christianity is.

So, let’s define the word “Christian”. It is someone that is:

Pardoned:

• Forgiven: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us of all unrighteousness”-I John 1:9 One of the misunderstandings of the Christian faith is to believe that Christians are much better than everyone else. Never look at the Christian and think they are perfect, for the Bible says “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”. So it is not a matter of Christians being “better” than everyone else. We are not better, just better off. We are better off because we have been made joint heirs with Jesus. Better off because we have a Father that is all powerful, all loving, all knowing and all present that LOVES us. Better off because we have victory down here and a blessed hope up there. Better off because we are saved, secure and sure. Better off because He has reclaimed us, renamed us and released us! No, as Christians we are not better than the non-believer, we are just better off because we have been forgiven.

Isn’t it about time you were forgiven?

• Free: At 21 I could not handle all of the guilt and shame that my sin was causing. And yet I was trapped by my emotions and the power that sin had over my life. “The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him; the cords of his sin hold him fast”-Prov. 5:22. So I called upon the Lord for salvation and asked Him to “direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me”-Psa. 119:133. And now I stand before you today free from the power of sin! Jesus said “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” –John 8:31-36 Christianity is NOT about a embracing a bunch of “do’s” and “don’ts” that restrict, confine and enslave. It is about being released from a life of bondage and snares that sin has kept you in for far too long. Come to Christ, be washed in His blood and experience what real freedom really is! If you are broken today, overwhelmed with the struggles of this life, do not turn to medication, alcohol, drugs, toxic sinful relationships, or even modern psychiatry. Turn to God the Father and discover what the psalmist found when he said “In my anguish I cried to the LORD, and he answered by setting me free.” –Psalm 118:5


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