WHEN DID YOU BECOME A CHRISTIAN?
- Dearly Beloved,
WHEN DID YOU BECOME A CHRISTIAN?
"Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the
right to become children of God - children born not of natural descent, nor
of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God" (John 1:12-13, NIV).
"He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness,
but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by
the Holy Spirit" (Titus 3:5, NASU).
I know that many may likely be surprised or even be annoyed by this simple
but profound question. I found it necessary to ask you the question and
discuss what it really means to be a Christian. The necessity came out of
the notion/belief of many people, and even some denominations, that a person
can be a Christian from birth, probably because one's parents are professed
Christians. Such people/denominations believe in what I call "biological
Christian lineage may be a means of becoming a Christian, but it is not an
end. One cannot inherit salvation by birth. There is no biological
salvation. The fact that parents are saved does not guarantee the salvation
of their children. No! The children also have to believe in, and accept
Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord. The spiritual birth is the
means of entering the kingdom of God (Titus 3:5). John the Baptist warned
the Israelites whose patriarchs were God-fearing: "Produce fruit in keeping
with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as
our father.' For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up
children for Abraham" (Luke 3:8, NIV). The Bible says children of God are
"children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's
will, but born of God" (John 1:12-13, NIV).
Many other people base their being a Christian on church membership. Church
membership is good, but it cannot be substituted for salvation. Your name
may be in a church's register, but it may not be in the eternal Register -
the book of life! Being committed member of a "living" church is another
means of getting you saved, but not an end.
Moreover, the work of salvation is not through activities. No! The work of
salvation is DONE. It is not what TO DO. Good work cannot make us attain
salvation. The Bible teaches: "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" (Ephesians 2:8-9, NIV. See also Titus 3:5
quoted above). You may want to protest about what James said in James
2:14-26, but verse 10 of Ephesians 2 clarifies that for us: "For we are
God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God
prepared in advance for us to do" (NIV). So, we are saved to do good work,
not that we are working in order to be saved. This is in line with Paul's
injunction to the Philippians to continuously work OUT, not work FOR, their
salvation (see Philippians 2:12). If you want to be saved, accept what Jesus
Christ has DONE for you, then, you can work for God.
There are many other false hopes of salvation and many other notions/beliefs
that people base their being a Christian on. However, a person must believe
in Jesus Christ in his heart as his personal Savior and Lord, and confess
with his mouth before he can be saved (John 1:12, 13; Romans 10:9-11). In
other words, one must be born again (John 3:3-7; 1 Peter 1:3, 23). This
experience is a personal one that one should have a definite testimony
about. That is when one becomes a Christian.
When did you have this life-changing personal experience? When did you
become a Christian?
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
"I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have
sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body,
whether by life or by death. FOR TO ME, TO LIVE IS CHRIST AND TO DIE IS
GAIN" (Philippians 1:20-21, NIV).
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]