The difference between being a Christian and practicing other religions is pretty basic. Religions invite you to exercise a system of beliefs, rules, and practices to supposedly earn the favor of God, and work your way into heaven by your own effort and merit. But in reality, most religions tend to manipulate people with guilt, rituals and empty traditions that really do nothing to impress God or gain His favor. For this reason, many have given up on God all together and wonder if He is even real. Many have lost hope, perhaps because they never really understood who God is, what He has done or what He really wants for us, the human race. Christianity not only makes sense of reality because it answers life’s greatest questions, it also offers what no other man-made religion can: Our only hope for true peace with God.
Being a Christian is unique. It’s not about joining some religious sect, going to church or about being good. It’s not about religion, but rather a relation: a personal relationship with God Himself, the real, true, one-and-only, sovereign Creator of the universe. But, how can we have a relationship like that? Only God can make such a relationship possible. God Himself tells us how in His Word, the Bible. It says,
“God our Savior, wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all men.” (I Timothy 2:4-6)
So, this relationship with God is established through a “mediator,” not through works or religious practices. We can’t earn God’s favor doing more “good” things than “bad” because at the end of the day, we are still guilty of all the bad things! We can’t save ourselves by what we do. That is why God Himself became a man in the person of Jesus Christ, the God-Man, our mediator, to take all our guilt and condemnation and cancel them with His own blood on a cross. Why did He do this? Because of His great love for mankind.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son… He poured out His life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the trans-gressors…For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.“ (John 3:16, Isaiah 53:12, I Peter 3:18)
Jesus offered Himself as a sacrifice on our behalf, taking our place to receive the punishment that we deserve for our sin and to satisfy once and for all God’s justice and so reconcile us to God, then He rose from the dead. There is nothing we can add to that perfect sacrifice. God doesn’t require anything else from us because Jesus already did it all. The price for our sin has been paid in full forever. All He asks is that we believe it, repent of our sin and receive His forgiveness by faith. Confess your sin to God and trust in Him alone.
“No one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the law…This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe… Whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life… For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– not by works, so that no one can boast…For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 3:20,22, Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 6:23)
The moment you trust in Christ as your Savior, you receive His Spirit, you are forgiven and reconciled with God and adopted as His child. You are a new creation; you have a new life and eternal life in heaven. Your new relationship with God is permanent and doesn’t depend on what you do or don’t do, but on what Jesus did for you. He loves you and will never leave you or let you down. When you put your faith in Him, His grace is always sufficient for every day and He promises to be with you to the very end and beyond.
“Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age… Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you…Trust in God ; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (Matthew 28:20, Hebrews 13:5, John 14: 2-3)
Remember it is God who loves you, God who saves you and God who keeps you. There is nothing you can do to make God love you any more or any less than He already does. In Christ, God accepts you and delights in you as His child, not because of what you do, but because of what Jesus did for you. If you believe this and are trusting in Jesus Christ as your only hope and Savior, then CONGRATULATIONS! You are a Christian and a child of God and many promises in God’s Word are for you. As God’s children we have the privilege of serving Him with our lives and telling others about His love and truth. To learn more about the Christian faith and life, read the Bible! Study to show yourself approved a workman that need not be ashamed, rightly handling the Word of truth.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)