What does it mean to be a Christian?
To have a conviction about Jesus Christ – yes, that man who was born, lived, taught, worked miracles, and died on a Roman cross on a hill in Judea, modern-day Israel. To be convinced that he said who he said he was, and that he really did what he said he was doing:
For the Son of man [Jesus] also came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. (Mark 10:45)
And he began to teach them that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again (Mark 8:31)
And so to be a Christian means to also believe that he is risen, alive to this very day with the power of an indestructible life. It was after his death and resurrection that Jesus appeared to a man named Saul who was an enemy of those who believe in Jesus:
And [Saul] fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” (Acts 9:4-5)
Not all of need or want an apparition like this to believe. There has to be a meeting of the heart and mind to believe, and this is the work of the Spirit. We cannot demand faith or the kind of proof that makes faith unnecessary, but we can seek, and it shall be opened, knock and it shall be opened, even as the Lord is knocking on our door. There is a mystery of this gift of faith, as the same Apostle Paul could write later on:
Indeed, by [God’s] undeserved kindness you have been rescued, through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God, not because of works, for fear that anyone should boast! (Ephesians 2:8)
If you would like to talk about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or if you have any questions or reservations about the Christian faith, or if you would like to become a Christian, we invite you to get in touch with us now.
As Jesus taught and still teaches though the voice of the Church:
The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it! (Matthew 13:46)