Summary: The difinition of being a Christian is simple, being a Crhistian and living it out takes the discipline of Christ in your life.
Christianity made simple
Romans chapter 5:1-11
This morning I want to talk to you about being a Christian.
By definition, it is a follower of Jesus.
This message actual started and took shape as I prepared for the Bible study on Wednesday night. We were finishing up our study on Philippians and as I began thumbing through I began to see a picture of what Paul was describing as a Christian.
If I was to ask you to give a simple definition of being a Christian, what would you say?
Follower of Jesus
Having faith in Jesus
Going to church
Living for Jesus
Changing your life and maybe you would give me a list of do’s and don’ts. If you are a Christian, these are the things that you do. These are things that you do not do anymore.
All of the things I have mentioned are characteristics of being a Christian; it did not define a Christian.
I think we have to go to the text this morning to find what being a Christian really means.
Romans chapter 5:1-11
A Christian is a person reconciled to God through Jesus Christ.
While mankind was powerless against sin, Christ died for us.
God demonstrated his love for us by sending His Son Jesus Christ who is the redemption for mankind.
Mankind who because of sin was an enemy of God was reconciled by the blood of Jesus Christ on the cross.
A Christian is one who accepts what Jesus Christ did for him and follows Him.
Christ died for all, but not all will accept what He has done for them.
Hope (Jesus) v 5 does not disappoint us. Believers hope is not unfounded. It is the blessed assurance of our future based on God’s love and demonstrated to us in the death, burial, resurrection of the Lord.
Paul in his writing here went from faith, to hope, to experiencing the love of God by the power of the Holy Spirit working in his life.
We cannot earn salvation.
We cannot chant enough verses nor do enough good deeds, it is by grace!
“For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not of yourselves, it is a gift from God, not by works, so that no one can boast.”
You cannot earn it, it is a gift, but like all good gifts, you should take care of it and put it in a safe place.
Society today has a lot of people saying they are Christians and not living like it.
Accepting what He has done for us and following Him. That is where we lose a lot of people and where their faith is lacking and their walk is almost non-existent.
There has to be a longing for Him- those that love Him want to spend time with Him. Those you love, you want to spend time with, you make time to be with them.
Those you love, you give your best too, there is a difference between loving someone and being an acquaintance with someone.
Apostle Paul loved the Lord!
Apostle Paul was willing to die for the one who died and was resurrected for him.
Paul cared about people enough to do something with that relationship.
“Casting all your anxiety on Him who cares for you.”
You will never trust Christ like that until you get to know him like that. (repeat)
It becomes fortified faith!
Your relationship grows
Your faith grows
Your trust grows
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
America today has become complacent and content in our relationship with God.
I do not think that is what Paul had in mind when he wrote- “I have learned to be content” because he believed that no matter what circumstance he was in that Jesus Christ was going to see him through.
He learned life lessons well
He learned what the Lord had taught him.
He learned to trust Him when he did not understand what was happening.
He learned to stay focused when trials and problems came his way, because he had learned the faithfulness of God
Fortified faith is only achieved when we are in an active relationship with the Lord!
O’ God you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirst for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water, I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.”
“As the deer pants for the streams of water, so my soul pants for you O God. My soul thirst for God, for the living God.”