What Is A Christian?
We live in a broken world, surrounded by broken lives, broken relationships and broken systems.
This brokenness is seen in suffering, violence, poverty, pain and death around us.
In contrast to the brokenness, we also see beauty, purpose and evidence of design all around us.
The Bible tells us that God originally planned a world that worked perfectly - where everyone and everything fit together in harmony.
"And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good." Genesis 1.31
God made each of us with a purpose - to worship Him and walk with Him.
"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork." Psalm 19.1
Life doesn't work when we ignore God and His original design for our lives.
We selfishly insist on doing things our own way, which the Bible calls sin. We all sin and distort the original design.
"All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Romans 3.23
The consequences of our sin is separation from God - in this life and for all of eternity.
"For the wages of sin is death." Romans 6.23
Sin leads to a place of brokenness. We see this all around us and in our own lives as well.
When we realize that life is not working, we begin to look for a way out - going different directions and trying different things just to figure it out.
"They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served something created instead of the Creator." Romans 1.25
Brokenness leads to a place of realizing a need for something greater.
THE GOOD NEWS.
Because of His love, God did not leave us in our brokenness. Jesus, God in human flesh, came to us and lived perfectly according to God's Design.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3.16
Jesus came to rescue us - to do for us what we could not do for ourselves. He took our sin and shame to the cross, paying the penalty of our sin by His death. Jesus was then raised from the dead to provide the only way for us to be rescued and restored to a relationship with God.
"For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures." 1 Corinthians 15.3-4
REPENT AND BELIEVE.
Simply hearing this Good News is not enough.
We must admit our sinful brokenness and stop trusting in ourselves. We don't have the power to excape this brokenness on our own - we need to be rescued!
"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast"
We must ask God to forgive us - turning from sin to trust only in Jesus. This is what it means to repent and believe.
Believing, we receive new life through Jesus and God turns our lives in a new direction.
"If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved." Romans 10.9-10
RECOVER AND PURSUE.
When God restores our relationship to Him, we begin to discover meaning and purpose in a broken world. Now we can pursue God's Design in all areas of our lives.
Even when we fail, we understand God's pathway to be restored - this same Good News of Jesus.
God's Spirit empowers us to recover His Design and assures us of His presence in this life and for all of eternity.
"For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure." Philippians 2.13