Being a Christian
- Becoming a Christian - but how?
In our broad scope of viewing things, many people profess
themselves to Christianity. Even though they do not belong
to a church or attend one, they say that they are "Christians".
For whatever reason, that is the way it is. Some believe that
Jesus once lived and His teachings were good and, therefore,
they think that they are Christians. Others believe that their
belonging to a "church" automatically makes them
to be believers. Nothing is further away from the truth.
In order to "be a Christian", conversion is first
of all necessary. This does not take place through a written
declaration of membership to a "church", but rather
as Jesus says- through a true following and a personal experience
of His resurrection.
All the apostles of Jesus taught (Acts 2:38) that whoever
wants to be a Christian must firstly believe in the resurrection
and the work of Jesus on the cross. You have to carry your
cross and separate yourself from the worldly life and sin.
You have to "be buried" in the water baptism in
Jesus' name (Romans 6:4 "Therefore we are buried
with him by baptism into death..." Colossians 2:12
"Buried with him in baptism..."). There is no such
thing as "baby baptism"! On the 3. day, Jesus rose
again from the dead, we experience this resurrection with
Him when we receive the Holy Spirit, for in Romans 8:9, it
says, "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit,
if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man
have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his."
Everywhere in the book of Acts, we see how this takes place.
The conversion, the water baptism, and the baptism of the
Holy Spirit is called "being born again", which
Jesus speaks about in John 3:1-7. Only then has a person truly
become a "baby Christian" (I.Peter 2:2). Christ
requires obedience to the gospel and His teachings (Mark 16:16).
The apostles teach exactly the same thing. Whoever obeys the
gospel will find life (John 14:21)! rw