What does it mean to be a Christian?

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What does it mean to be a Christian?

There is a sad, but true, reality that we must speak of – the vast majority of people in the Church (note, we are NOT talking about people who don’t know Jesus – but people who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior) have absolutely NO idea of what it really means to be a Christian. If you were to ask people what it meant to be a Christian, the vast majority would say things like:

·         Christians will get to go to heaven.

·         Christians get blessings from God.

·         Christians have a relationship with Jesus Christ.

And so on. All of these things are true – but incomplete. Yes, Christians will one day walk the streets of gold in Heaven – but that is after completing our mission here on Earth. Yes, Christians have a relationship with Christ (and it is absolutely critical) – but this is just one element of a boarder purpose. Yes, Christians are blessed with tremendous blessings and promises from God – but this is not the PURPOSE of being a Christian.

Consider this fundamental question: why did Jesus Christ have to die on the cross? I am not talking about the REASON (in order to save mankind from its sins), but rather the PURPOSE – for what purpose did Christ die? The answer lies in one of the most basic scriptures:

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but[b]have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

John 3:14-19

Look at what is being said here: Jesus identified that the REASON for His death was that “whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life”. But Jesus also answered an important question: He answered the WHY – “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son”.

The reason that Jesus had to die was love – because the Father so loved us that He would send His own Son to die for us. Before we go any further, let’s answer a very powerful question: why was it necessary for Jesus to die? We are going somewhere to happen.