Defining what it means to be a Christian is tough, but it seems rather obvious that in order to talk about a Christian worldview, it is vital to understand what it really means to be a Christian.
At the most basic level, a Christian is a follower of Jesus Christ. A Christian is one who understands at least a few basic truths about the world.
- “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23, NIV)
- “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23, NIV)
- “For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” (Romans 5:10, NIV)
- “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13, NIV)
- “I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” (Ephesians 4:1, NIV)
To make this into a very general statement of faith:
We affirm that the world is not perfect because of our sin.
We affirm that sin separates us from God, has eternal consequences and deserves judgment.
We affirm that there is no hope for humanity outside of Jesus Christ.
We affirm that through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we can be reconciled to God, and eternal life with God is available to all who ask for forgiveness and put their faith and trust in Him.
We affirm that following the will of Jesus Christ is something that ought to influence every area of our lives.
This is the fundamental core of the Gospel. Jesus Christ literally died and rose again for my sin and for your sin. Because of that, we can be reconciled to God if we call on Him and ask for forgiveness. As a result of our newly repaired relationship which we can enjoy for all eternity, we have the ability to live lives that are worthy of our calling by the power of Jesus Christ.
We can live lives that honor God in public and in private. We honor God at work and at home. We do not just live as Christians on Sunday; Christianity necessitates a full-time commitment to following Jesus Christ. Our calling is high, so we need to live lives that are dedicated to bringing glory to God.
I certainly understand that there are other beliefs that Christians hold, and we're going to look at many of those over the course of this journey together. However, if I had five minutes to communicate the Gospel to someone and explain what it means to be a Christian, I think this is pretty much how I would do it.
In the next post, we will look at how Christianity and worldview are inevitably connected (despite what the world tells you).