Summary: What IS a Christian? Can we be born from our mother as a Christian, or is there MORE to Christianity? The meaning of baptism and the difference between the Greek words "Bapto" and " Baptizo" We must understand that we can never EARN God's grace.
Matthew28:19 "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, BAPTIZING them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."
Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples: "If ANY of you want to be MY followers,you must forget about yourself. You must take up your cross and follow me."
In the Western world Christianity is a totally misunderstood perception. Children are raised to believe that they are Christians, because their parents are Christians. They are taught that paedobaptism makes them believers and followers of Christ. THIS argument is carried over from generation to generation. The question however that needs to be answered is whether it is Biblical?
Can someone live as a sinner and STILL be called a Christian, Or does he have to experience a spiritual metamorphosis…spiritual rebirth? The ONLY way to FIND answers to these compelling questions is by referring to the Word of God (The Bible.)
In Matthew 16:24 Jesus made it VERY clear that the ONLY way to become HIS follower, a Christian, was to deny ourselves and to pick up our cross. God created Adam without sin. When he however disobeyed God by eating of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, he became sinful, and spiritually died. Satan opened a trapdoor which is called a sinful nature. The ENTIRE human race born AFTER Adam, were sinners. They did not GO astray AFTER birth, but was BORN that way (Psalm51:5 and Romans 5:12). THIS in turn implies that we are BORN separated from the grace and presence of God. We NEED to RESTORE our relationship with God, BEFORE His spirit can return to our lives…take possession of us AGAIN.
It’s however of VITAL importance to understand that we HAVE to accept Jesus Christ into our lives as our Saviour to achieve this. We must FIRST become Christians, because NO CHRIST = NO RECONCILIATION WITH GOD and NO RECONCILIATION WITH GOD = NO CHRIST (John 14:6). THIS is the primary criteria to become a Christian. There’s NO other way around it. THIS is what it means to deny ourselves and to pick up our cross. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness. It doesn't matter WHAT we've done in the past (1 John 1:9). Faith in Christ means trusting in Him, remembering Him, and following His teachings. It is a conviction that He IS the Son of God, the way, the truth and the life.
However, it does NOT stop here. As Christians we FOLLOW the teachings of our Lord WITHOUT question, and do what HE has done and taught us, EVEN if it differs from world opinion. CONTRARY to secular believe, baptism is a PREREQUISITE for becoming a Christian, because in THIS, Jesus has set the example. In Mark 16:16 Jesus says: "He who believes and is baptized WILL be saved, but he who does NOT believe will be condemned." We DON'T have to be brain surgeons to understand Christ's command. The instruction from Christ to us, is as plain as He has given it: "Believing + baptism = salvation," (being saved).... a baby? Does he understand the meaning of BELIEVING? Jesus says that both belief and baptism are required to be saved. Baptism is a token of fulfilling the command Jesus gave to his disciples BEFORE He ascended into heaven,as recorded in Matthew28:19 "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, BAPTIZING them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."