I recently got brought into a discussion on what it means to be a Christian. Friends, we overcomplicate it sometimes! I thought I’d share my response with you. There is only one way to get into heaven. That is to accept the fact that Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose again from the dead. He did that because we are born with a sin nature and are not holy enough to come into the presence of our mighty Creator. By making that sacrifice, Jesus paid the price for our sins and God sees us as holy.
There are no actions we can take to make us good enough to get there on our own. Thankfully, all it takes is faith. (Romans 10:9 If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved).
In the Old Testament, there were 10 commandments and a total of 617 laws to follow. Jesus came to earth to fulfill those laws and left us with only two (these two cover all the others). The first is to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (Matthew 22:37). The way we do this is by having a relationship with Him. We pray, worship, and study His Word so that we can understand who He is and what He has done for us.
The second is to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39). Here’s the thing…we cannot truly love our neighbor (the 2nd command) if we do not know God (the 1st command). God is love, so if we do not know God then we cannot truly know what real love is. As we begin to know God, we begin to understand love.
Sometimes love is walking compassionately alongside someone and sometimes it is correcting and rebuking them. God will do this with us, as a loving and gentle Father, and He will guide us on how we are to love others. Sometimes He will call us to have compassion for others and sometimes He will call us to disciple them in truth. Knowing Him, hearing His voice, and reading His Word are how He speaks these things to us.
So…being a Christian is a personal walk with our Savior. His Word is directly written for you and should never be used to condemn another, although it should be used to help encourage other believers and help them grow. Most importantly being a Christian is knowing your Father in an intimate way and hearing and listening to His voice.