Being a Christian is more than a belief system or affirming a kind of morality. Christians are those who have embraced what the Bible says about God, mankind, and salvation. The Bible says we were created by a personal God to love, serve, and enjoy endless fellowship with Him.
The New Testament reveals it was Jesus Himself who created everything (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16). Therefore, He also owns and rules everything (Psalm 103:19). That means He has authority over our lives and we owe Him absolute allegiance, obedience, and worship. God is also absolutely and perfectly holy (Isaiah 6:3); therefore He cannot commit or approve of evil (James 1:13). God requires holiness of us as well. First Peter 1:16 says, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
The Bible teaches that Adam and Eve sinned against God and incurred guilt before Him. As the offspring of Adam and Eve all who are born from Eve were born of the same corrupted sinful nature. In other words, everyone is guilty of sin: “There is no man who does not sin (1 Kings 8:46). That doesn’t mean we’re incapable of performing acts of human kindness. But we’re utterly incapable of understanding, loving, or pleasing God on our own (Romans 3:10-12). God’s holiness and justice demand that all sin be punished by death (Ezekiel 18:4). That’s why simply changing our patterns of behavior can’t solve our sin problem or eliminate its consequences.
But thankfully Romans 10:9 says, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.” Even though God’s justice demands death for sin, His love has provided a Savior who paid the penalty and died for sinners (1 Peter 3:18). Christ’s death satisfied the demands of God’s justice, and Christ’s perfect life satisfied the demands of God’s holiness (2 Corinthians 5:21), thereby enabling Him to forgive and save those who place their faith in Him (Romans 3:26).
True faith is always accompanied by repentance from sin. Repentance is agreeing with God that you are sinful, confessing your sins to Him, and making a conscious choice to turn from sin (Luke 13:3, 5; 1 Thessalonians 1:9), pursue Christ (Matthew 11: 28-30; John 17:3), and obey Him (1 John 2:3). It isn’t enough to believe certain facts about Christ. Even Satan and his demons believe in the true God (James 2:19), but they don’t love and obey Him. True saving faith always responds in obedience (Ephesians 2:10).
This is the message that all of the Old Testament points to and all of the New Testament proclaims. This is the message on which Christians throughout the centuries have staked their lives. And this is the message that continues to ring out today, as God declares how sinners may be saved from His judgment through His Son, Jesus Christ.
To help you in your consideration of it, here is a sermon entitled “What is the Gospel” by Pastor Tom.