WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A CHRISTIAN
INTRODUCTION: Recently a news report caught my attention. It was about
the ex-wife of Joe Bob Briggs, small time actor turned late night movie
host. It seems that the former Mrs Briggs had decided to pose nude for
a pornographic magazine. What was unusual about this is the unashamed attitude
she took. "I'm a good mother and a good Christian" declared Mrs. Briggs.
She said that she showed her children "Christian" videos and that God had
made her with a good looking body and it was perfectly right to display
Does this "lady" know what it even means to be a Christian? Unfortunately,
while many of God's people will not go so far, they seem to be oblivious
to what it really means to be a child of God. Just what does it mean to
be a Christian?
I. IT MEANS THAT WE HAVE HAD ALL OUR PAST SINS CLEANSED.
A. We were without hope before becoming Christians.
1. Colossians 1:21 - And you, who once were alienated and enemies
in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled
B. Look at what happens at the point of our baptism into Christ.
2. We deserve to be separated from God, simply on the basis of our unforgiven
a. Romans 6:23
1. We have our sins washed away - Acts 22:16
2. We have the remission (forgiveness) of our sins - Acts 2:38
3. We are saved from our sins - 1 Peter 3:21
4. We have been redeemed from our sins - Ephesians 1:7; Romans 6:3-4
II. IT MEANS THAT WE BEGIN A NEW LIFE.
A. We have put off the old person.
III. IT MEANS THAT JESUS IS NOW OUR LORD AND MASTER.
1. Romans 6:6 - knowing this, that our old man was crucified
with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should
no longer be slaves of sin.
B. We start a new life "In Christ Jesus"
2. Ephesians 4:22 - that you put off, concerning your former conduct,
the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,
3. Colossians 3:9 - Do not lie to one another, since you have put off
the old man with his deeds,
1. 2 Corinthians 5:17 - Therefore, if anyone is in Christ,
he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all
things have become new.
2. Romans 6:4 - Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into
death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the
Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
3. Colossians 3:10 - and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge
according to the image of Him who created him,
4. We are not "babes in Christ."
a. 1 Corinthians 3:1
b. 1 Peter 2:2 - as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word,
that you may grow thereby,
A. He is our Lord.
1. Acts 2:36 - "Therefore let all the house of Israel know
assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and
B. This means that we belong to our Lord - He has control over our lives.
2. Matthew 28:18
3. Revelation 17:14 - "These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb
will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those
who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful."
1. Romans 14:8 - For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if
we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the
2. 1 Corinthians 6:15 - Do you not know that your bodies are members
of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members
of a harlot? Certainly not!
3. We are to give ourselves over to the Lord - 2 Corinthians 8:5
4. Colossians 1:10 - that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing
Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge
5. Galatians 2:20
6. 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20 - Or do you not know that your body is the
temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you
are not your own? 20 - For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify
God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.
IV. IT MEANS THAT WE MUST BE ACTIVE AS CHRISTIANS
A. Christians are not "new creatures" so they can lazily ease
their way to Heaven without any labor.
1. Ephesians 2:10 - For we are His workmanship, created in
Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should
walk in them.
B. Look at all the times when the New Testament tells us to be active in
2. 1 Corinthians 15:58
1. Matthew 5:16 - "Let your light so shine before men, that
they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
2. 1 Timothy 2:10 - but, which is proper for women professing godliness,
with good works.
3. 1 Timothy 5:10 - well reported for good works: if she has brought
up children, if she has lodged strangers, if she has washed the saints'
feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, if she has diligently followed
every good work.
4. 1 Timothy 5:25 - Likewise, the good works of some are clearly evident,
and those that are otherwise cannot be hidden.
5. 1 Timothy 6:18 - Let them do good, that they be rich in good works,
ready to give, willing to share,
6. Titus 2:7 - in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good
works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence,
7. Titus 2:14 - who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from
every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous
for good works.
8. Titus 3:8 - This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you
to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful
to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.
9. Titus 3:14 - And let our people also learn to maintain good works,
to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful.
10. Hebrews 10:24 - And let us consider one another in order to stir
up love and good works,
11. 1 Peter 2:12 - having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles,
that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works
which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.
12. All these passages, even if there were not any more in the Bible,
should convince us that we should be active in doing the Lord's will and
that he wants us to be zealous after good works.
C. Our work for the Lord will be a standard by which Christians
1. Revelation 20:12 - And I saw the dead, small and great,
standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened,
which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their
works, by the things which were written in the books.
2. Jesus condemned lazy disciples as being wicked.
a. Matthew 25:25, 26 - "'And I was afraid, and went and hid
your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.' 26- But
his lord answered and said to him, 'You wicked and lazy servant, you knew
that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered
3. If the Lord placed a divine standard that those who refuse to work should
not eat concerning physical things which God has promised us (2 Thessalonians
3:10), why do we think that spiritual matters should be different? He has
blessed us bountifully, but will not allow us to ride home to Heaven of
the coattails of others.
Copyright 2000 by Grady
Scott may be reproducted for non-commercial purposes at no cost to others.