Saturday, October 22, 2005

What is a Christian?

Throughout the course of our lives we are assaulted by many useless and inconsequential questions. Do we prefer Pepsi over Coke? What is the weather going to be like tomorrow? Will the NHL lockout ever come to an end? These questions, and ones like them, are petty and unimportant, because there are no major consequences to their answers.
But in life there are also some fundamental questions – questions that must be answered correctly in order to avoid negative… sometimes even severe consequences. For instance, knowing whether or not there is a difference between baking soda and baking powder is very important if you are trying to bake a cake. Being able to correctly answer which pedal in a car makes it go and which makes it stop is obviously essential! Before buying an animal as a pet, you would do well to consider if it is the kind that cuddles humans or kills them. Before getting married, you ought to have correctly answered the question, “What makes a good spouse?” And before you die, it is essential you come to the right answer to this question: “What is a Christian?”
This last question is really the most fundamental question of life for you on earth. It is, in fact, a life and death question for which there is absolutely no room for error. It is a fundamental question because its answer has fundamental and severe consequences...

Read the whole thing here...


  1. Thanks Pastor, I praise God that He has provided us a way to stand before Him righteous! Glory be to God! Look to Christ alone for your Salvation and delight in Him above all things!!


  2. Kerux,
    Do you beleive that Christians are sinful and ungodly?

    Do you think the point of Romans 3:23 is that "all have sinned" or that righteousness (as opposed to sinfulness) comes by faith rather than works? (verses 22 & 24)

    Read in context, that verse not only doesn't say that believers are sinful, it says they are made righteous. That's the good news of the gospel and I think we too often limit the goodness of that news by the declaration that Christians are under sin, even though that declaration doesn't come from the bible but from man. The opposite is declared later in Romans. Lots of Christians don't know how saved they really are!

  3. Don't think the progression of that article is lost on me. In it we end up "declared" righteous, but evidently still sinful? I want to point out that the righteousness we receive isn't just semantics. We're not "technically" righteous. It's not like God puts His arm around us and says, "O-kay...I'll call you righteous if it'll make you feel better, but don't forget who you really are."

    It's our identity. We once were sinful, but not anymore. We once were ungodly, but not anymore. We're Godly now, reborn into His family. New creations. With a new nature. It's not our same old sinful nature, it's brand new. Where it once was our nature to sin, it now is against our nature.

    I guess this is where I say, "Go in peace. Serve the Lord", huh?

  4. derifter,
    Great comments! I agree with you 100%. If the article is misleading, it is in the progression. Since I wrote it as an evangelistic piece, my goal was to show that alien righteousness (that makes us righteous absolutely!) is our only hope.
    If I was making a more thorough presentation of justification by grace through faith alone, I would include some kind of reference to the "already/not yet" aspect of the effects of justification. Meaning, I am justified and viewed as having the righteousness of Christ imputed to my account - however, there is another sense where I (yea verily, even I!) still sin (Romans 6 and 7). But the penalty for that sin has already been fully paid on the cross where He "did not spare His Son." Another helpful thing to talk about would be sanctification. Too often I think Christians lump justification and sanctification into one pot, but they are far too nuanced and distinct categories in the NT to do that.
    Does that answer what you were asking? I am a bit on the fly here, so if I am just spouting off at the mouth you can tell me!
    What if I changed "A Christian is a Sinful and Ungodly Person Declared by God to be Righteous" to "A Christian is a Person Who Was Once Sinful and Ungodly in the Eyes of God but Has Been Declared by God to be Righteous"?

  5. Kerux,
    Dang! You caught me off guard again. I expected a long drawn-out argument. If you changed the statement as you suggested you could have saved me some typing, because I would have only said "Amen!"

    A bit of advice:
    Don't ever agree with me 100%.

  6. derifter,
    Whoa! Did I say 100%?!?!
    What was I thinking?
    I must have the gift of imprecision!

  7. Good post. The only thing I would debate is that "What is the weather going to be like tomorrow?" is a question of little importance. Perhaps if we didn't ask this question we would end up sliding to our doom on an icy piece of road. Etc, in fact for that very reason I almost did.