Summary: There may be times when you find it difficult to reconcile God’s truth to your own opinion or worldview, God’s truth is eternal, it does not change, our understanding of the truth does change as we allow God to work in our hearts and minds. These sessio
Who you believe:
In this series of studies we continue our quest to establish what is true about God, the Bible and us. Ask ten people the question “What is a Christian?” and you will probably get 10 different answers.
Some answers may contain a grain of truth, others are a far from accurate description. Here are ten answers given in a recent survey:
“A person who is not Jewish or a follower of another religion.”,
“A person born in a Christian country.”,
“A person raised by Christian parents.”,
“A person who goes to church.”,
“A person who eats Communion.”,
“A person who reads the bible.”,
“A person who does to others what they want done for them.”,
“A person who follows a certain set of values & does not have any fun.”
Baptism, Bible reading and Communion all have value, but there glaring omission in the list. Where is God or Jesus mentioned in this list? It is frightening that neither belief in God nor following Jesus appear in this list.
There are many people in this world who think they know what a Christian is, but the reality is they do not. Christians are stereotyped as weak, fragile, hypocritical people that have no place in the modern world. The picture the modern world has is based on little knowledge or truth.
Would the atheist Richard Dawkins want to be called a Christian?
Can faith be passed on through childbirth?
Does just following the teachings of Jesus provide a real connection to Him?
Does going to church make you a Christian?
Does standing in a garage make you a car?
An emphasis on the negatives does not fit in with the message of Jesus Christ in John 10:10 “I have come that they may have life, and live it to the full”. A person may say, “I believe all that I hear in church”, but the reality is that their belief is nothing more than a list of ideas they have listened to, they are only “doing church” and they have no real relationship or faith.
The truth that a real Christian is a person with a one-to-one relationship with Father God, saved by grace through faith in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and indwelt by the Holy Spirit is a reality that the world would rather ignore. Just because they choose to ignore the truth does not stop the truth being real.
Jesus said He was THE WAY not A WAY. It is our job as Christians to tell the world around us the truth. God has called us to witness so that others can be saved.
Why should Christians bother to tell others?
Christians should “bother’’ because truth is at stake. None of the definitions in the list above give the full picture of what a Christian really is. We need to bother because the world needs to hear the truth. Our understanding of the truth determines what we believe, who we trust, and what we do.
Many believers who trust in Jesus as Saviour often speak of coming from darkness into light. Coming to know the truth of God is like the difference between being in a dark room and then suddenly finding the light.
What we think of God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit matters. The purpose of these studies is to illuminate our thinking, to lay out the truth of the Word in Black & White, to help us grasp the basic doctrines on which our faith rests.
What defines a real Christian, an authentic Christian?
It is what’s on the inside, it’s the inward real heart transformation, not external behaviour modification. God desires each of us to have a deep encounter with Him, God does not want us to be shallow, superficial Christians, God wants us to be sold out, willing to grow, willing to serve Christians.
20:20 is all about focusing on the essentials, using the Bible as our source of truth and authority. The Bible spells out for us the extraordinary impact of Jesus’ life, teaching and identity, who He was, will be the natural focus of this group of studies. Who we are on the inside is of great importance to Jesus, He has said that what comes out of our hearts matters. By gaining a greater understanding of who Jesus is, by filling our hearts with Him, we are enabling God to use us and work through us.
Welcome to the next stage of the journey.