What does it mean to be a Christian? That’s a great question. You hear people talk about being a “Christian” but what does it really mean to be a Christian?
Being a Christian is a matter of belief.
Sounds simple so am I a Christian if I just believe?
Yes and not really.
Being a Christian means your belief is not just that Jesus Christ exists or even God is somewhere out there, but you believe in your need for Jesus Christ as a Savior of your life. At the end of the day, just thinking he might exist is not the belief we’re talking about. The Bible says, “The demons from hell believe, and tremble at what they know very well to be true.” James 2:19
So Christianity is about belief, but not just about belief in an idea. It is a bit more than that.
This topic is so huge and hugely important, but for the purpose of this article we want to attempt to simplify this complex subject to help you begin to consider if you’re a Christian or not. Talking with a pastor or with one of us is always a great option to sort this weighty subject out.
But we think it might be helpful to use three “R” words to make this concept easier to think through. So for simplicity sake, consider these three stages to determine what it means to be a Christian:
The first step is to realize you need a savior. Maybe that’s not something you realized before now. And maybe it’s not something you totally realize yet. That’s okay.
It’s entirely possible you haven’t given this much thought until now; so don’t feel badly about that. Start from here.
Realize that there is a God. One God exists who crafted the world and you exactly according to His plan.
Look closely at a tulip or a redwood or a giraffe (not too closely, those tongues are crazy) and see signs that God is behind it all. Take a little time to ponder if it takes more faith to believe those diverse, amazing things just happened—bang– or if it takes more faith to believe a Master crafted them. Beautiful diversity and planned utility is all around as signs that a purposeful God made this planet for us. He made you too.
Realize His existence and how you are powerless to save you from yourself. A quick scan of your past hurts may stink, but helps with this exercise. Recall the times that looking out for #1 really didn’t land you in the top spot with your friends, spouse, or child.
You are not alone and you are not supposed to be in the number one spot. Realize this.
Repent sounds like a dusty, old word, but don’t zone out like it’s high school history class. It sounds old-fashioned, but you are probably familiar with repentance on some level in your life.
Repent means to change your behavior. To turn around and go the other way.
Repenting involves action, not just belief.
If you are on the “the 10” headed west into the city and you know that you should be heading to east to Phoenix. Does it do you any good to think “east-bound” thoughts as you keep driving into L.A.? Or will you eventually arrive in Phoenix if you slow down and along the way agree that heading east is a good idea as you continue to head west? No. You will still arrive west.
If you truly repent of your past fails, repent of your sins to a sinless God, you put your blinker on, hit the off ramp, and turn around.
Repent of your self-reliance and ask God to forgive you. Out loud or in your mind, he hears you.
He’s not like you or me. He will forgive immediately with gladness.
After you realize and repent. Then it’s time to receive. Time to soak it up.
After you have realized God’s existence and acknowledged his handiwork all around and confessed your sins and the sin of thinking you could be God of your own world, receive the love and forgiveness he has for you. His offer of eternal life with him in heaven is a free gift. It’s not every day you get offered a free gift!
Have you seen the 3:16 signs at basketball or football games? Those signs reference a Bible verse from the book of John. A foundational verse from the Bible that explains God’s plan and Jesus’s sacrifice made for each of us. John, who actually hung out with Jesus when he lived on earth, wrote this,
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
So here we are back where we started at belief.
Today may be a turning point for you and your belief. We pray it is. “Whoever believes in Him” changes your today and definitely your future.
But only you can make a change. And only you know what you believe.
Only you truly know if you’re a Christian or not. You look into your soul and know what you truly, truly believe, who you really follow, and if that belief prompts a response. None of us can or should care to judge someone else’s faith or lack of it.
At Building Bridges our faith is important to us and your faith is important to us too, but faith is NEVER a requirement in asking for our help.
Your journey along the road of faith is a personal one and we respect that. We will meet you exactly where you are.
At Building Bridges Christian Counseling we pray for each client before every meeting. We will offer to pray for you at the close of each session, and always respect your wishes at that time. We are grateful for the inspiration we experience by knowing we are saved and loved by Jesus and guided by his word that’s proven reliable and helpful for centuries.
Our team prays that Jesus’s love and plan for your life will become more and more evident as you spend time with Him and in counseling. We know God loves to heal. And we love to help.
It’s no mistake you’re reading this today.
God loves you.
Building Bridges Christian Counseling respects each person’s individual privacy and unique journey and exists to offer Christ-like love to all. Give us a call today and let’s talk about ways we might help. (909) 303-0563 Call or text. Located in the Inland Empire with offices in Ontario and Fontana.