What is a Christian?

Most likely you’re reading this because of some interest in our Church. So we would like you to know we think that one of the first and best questions to ask in order to get to know a Church is how they would answer the most basic question of all. And the most fundamental question for any Church is, “what is the Gospel,” or “what does it mean to be a Christian?” What a Church believes about the Gospel touches every other belief and practice of that local Church. It defines who the Church is and what it does. So because of the importance we place on what the Church is and its role in the world, we also place great importance on what it means to be a Christian.

What then is a Christian? A Christian is one who is so motivated by the love of Christ that he dedicates his whole life to Him. Being a Christian does not mean merely believing in our heads that Christ died for us. It means that the love of Christ so presses upon our minds and hearts and wills that it grips us and holds us and controls us. As the Apostle Paul said,

For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again (II Cor. 5:14-15).

So Christians are those who no longer live for themselves, but for the Christ who died for them. Christians are those who treasure Christ, who love Christ, who hunger and thirst for Christ, and who are satisfied with Christ. The great theologian Charles Hodge said it this way, “A Christian is one who recognizes Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the living God, as God manifested in the flesh, loving us and dying for our redemption; and who is so affected by a sense of the love of this incarnate God that he desires to make the will of Christ the rule of his obedience, and the glory of Christ the great end for which he lives.”

Do you know something of this experience? Do you have an overwhelming sense that the love of God in Christ is something really special? Has God poured his love out in your heart by the Holy Spirit? Have you tasted joy unspeakable and full of glory? We invite you to come be with us for worship this Sunday morning as we seek to know ourselves to be loved by God because of all that Christ has done, and to join us in tracing every manifestation of His great love back to him.

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