This is the title of one of my books that I published years ago. It is also a challenge to all who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Once you accept Christ as Lord that should mean something to you. It should compel you to change your lifestyle reflecting the teachings of Christ Himself. Christianity is a religious philosophy as well as a practice just as other well-known religions. But to be a Christian one must commit to its practices, which means to be a follower of Christ. A more formal definition is as follows:
"Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Its adherents believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and Savior of all mankind. His coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Hebrew Scriptures of Judaism, called the Old Testament and chronicled in the New Testament." –Wikipedia.
I particularly like this compact description because it gives you the basics fundamentals of the practice but the actual practices are many as laid out by Christ Himself. This is not something that can be reduced to just a few paragraphs. But when you understand His character that should inspire you to turn the practice into a lifestyle.
Obviously Jesus was not an ordinary man. He was not born like ordinary man nor given the same divine purpose. He was chosen to be the Messiah even before the earth was formed. He was predestined to become the sacrificial lamb to atone for mankind’s inherit sin-nature. No other person born on earth has the same distinction nor was given His divine purpose and mission. Even if we desired to be as closely like Christ as possible, that is not something that is possible. There is only one Christ who was sent to earth to achieve the Father’s mission and to share the good news bout salvation. We accept God’s offer of atonement through Him and seek to become His followers. Our acceptance of the sacrifice of Christ as a debt payment for our sins is part of what makes us a Christian.
So now that the technical definition is spelled out in a brief format, where do you stand? Do you fully accept Christ as your personal Savior? Do you believe in what the Father has done on your behalf through the sacrifice of His only Begotten Son? Do you believe in the Supremacy of God the Father, Christ the Son and the indwelling Holy Spirit as our living Helpmate here on earth? These are just a few fundamentals of the practice that are quite necessary in order to be a Christian. As you get deeper into the practice there are a host of other things that one learns, but you need the basic first steps in order to become a follower of Christ. The rest is personal between you and your Maker.
Not everyone choose Christ as their Lord and Savior or even Christianity as their chosen faith. This is something very personal for everyone. To get to that point in life requires a commitment that all are not willing to make. Even though I was raised to believe in God and Christ, I did not fully understand the commitment that one needs to make in surrendering your life over to Christ. To be truthful I had a problem with surrendering because of all the deceptions this world places in front of us. It is not just from the forces of evil but even from the pulpit. Man himself takes advantage of people using religion as a front. This is not intended to cast a smear upon the religious community but certainly there are those that have chosen to take a very dangerous path of deception representing the clergy. Their fate will be met when they reach the judgment seat of the Father. As Christ said, anyone who causes the little ones to stumble… Mark 9:42.
“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.”
I’m sure people might want to take this passage literally and reference the little ones only as little children but I can assure all are the children of God and if whoever causes one of God’s children to stumble they dig their own pit and will suffer greatly at the time of reckoning. This promise is from God. It is one thing to mistakenly teach false doctrine but to intentionally deceive the children of God is a direct offense to God. This is crossing a very fatal line: Deuteronomy 32:35. May God help them!
In the meanwhile if anyone has taken the first step and wants to genuinely know God let them come. Ask the Father directly and it will be answered directly. Christ said in Matthew 6:6: “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” If you do not know who to trust then trust God. Speak to Him in quiet meditation directly from your heart and He will hear you and answer you in that quiet place, the meditations of your heart. The Lord will send His Helper to be with you and lead you according to the desires of your heart. God will find you if you sincerely seek Him.
So the verdict is in, becoming a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ, requires something of the beholder. It requires a commitment, an acceptance and ultimately surrendering to your Savior. That is where many stumble. When you stumble you have doubt and it is doubt that keeps one from living the life as Christ teaches. As for me, I know that I stumble and that is why I know that I cannot rely upon my abilities therefore I surrender my all to the One that is more than capable. That is what it means to surrender. You place your trust in a power higher than all things on earth and in the heavens. In order to live the practice you must rely upon the power of the One who calls.
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.” John 6:44 – NIV
Place your trust in God almighty!