Guest Columnist The meaning of true Christianity

Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015 7:43 PM

If someone were to ask if you are a Christian, how would you respond?

If you would say you are a Christian, what makes you believe that to be true? Is it because you go to church, or because of your belief that you are a good and moral person? To this I must ask, how does God’s Word, the Holy Bible, say about how we can become Christians?

To become a Christian we must first understand that we are all sinners in need of grace.

In Genesis, the first book in the Bible, we learn about how God created all things in literally six days. The first man and woman were created in the image of God on the sixth day of the Creation week. God created the man and woman as adults with intelligent minds and the freedom to choose, hoping they would choose to love Him as He loves us. In spite of that, they chose the sin of disobedience instead of trying to please God.

Little has changed from the time of the first man and woman to the present day. Their sin has caused a separation between all of mankind and God. The Bible tells us in Romans 3:23 that, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God Later in the same book we read, for the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23). There are many ways that people have tried to bridge this gap throughout history, without success. Proverbs 14:12 tells us, there is a way that seems right to man but in the end it leads to death. Many of us prefer the temporary pleasures of sin in this frail body to looking forward to an eternity with God.

Jesus Christ is the only answer to this problem. He died on the Cross and rose from the grave, paying the penalty for our sin and providing a way to bridge the gap between God and sinful mankind. God demonstrated His love for us in that, while we were still

sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).

When we understand that we are sinners, regardless of any good things that we do to occupy our time, it is necessary to repent from our sin and ask for God’s forgiveness.

Repentance means we stop sinning and turn to God’s ways. To learn about how to live by God’s ways instead of our own, we need to read the Bible.

It is not enough to know about, or to be involved with Jesus Christ as an historical figure to be a Christian. It is not enough if you go to church or to do good things, although that is a good start. Doing kind and thoughtful things alone would perhaps make you feel good about yourself. You might think that you are a more virtuous or religious person by spending your time and energy helping others. If that is your motivation for doing good works, then you are simply pleasing yourself. The issue is not about your high self-esteem or of having a religious experience, but to be in a true relationship with Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). There is no other Name by which we may be saved (Acts 4:12).

We can only come to God as He has said-not by any other way that makes us feel more comfortable. Attempting to see Jesus through anything other than biblical glasses puts us at risk of creating God in our own image, which is idolatry. We cannot recreate

Jesus in a form that better fits our self-pleasing, sinful lifestyle and claim to be Christians. That is the broad path that leads to the destruction of our soul. John 4:24 tells us that God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in

truth. There are many ways to be spiritual, but only one way to eternal salvation-the truth that is found in Jesus Christ.

Why do we need to become Christians, and what do we have to do to have such a relationship with Jesus? To answer those questions, I know a good book that I’d like to recommend-the Holy Bible. It would be good to begin at the beginning, reading at

least the first eleven chapters of Genesis. There you will learn about the Creation of all things, and how mankind went from a perfect, simple life of plenty to a world of sinners in need of salvation. God offers us that salvation through Jesus Christ.

Jesus told us in John 10:10 that He came so we may have life, and that we may have it more abundantly. How abundant does your life feel today? If you don’t truly know Jesus, you can begin to read about His life from the New Testament books of Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. These books are eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ life leading up to His death,

resurrection and ascension to His Father in heaven. I’d like to encourage you to learn more about Jesus Christ today, and it is my prayer that you will accept Him as your Lord and Savior. When you do, then you can begin to grow as a Christian and live the far more abundant life God truly intended you to live.

Fran Kuik is a follower of Jesus Christ in Cortez.