Monday, February 25, 2013

What Makes Us A Christian?

The first day of spring is only 23 days away!
I'm thinking spring... 
I just keep looking at the spring decor I've put out and that helps. :)

My devotional reading from This Day with The Master was especially good this morning. Author, Dennis F. Kinlaw brought out a simple truth from the story of the rich young ruler. We can gather helpful understanding from Jesus's response to this sincere, right-acting man, he writes. 

The sincerity of the rich young ruler did not make him a Christian. One can tell he was sincere because he ran to Jesus and knelt before him. He was not ashamed of his desire or need. He honestly sought eternal life. In fact, he was a good man, but this did not make him a Christian. 
The righteousness of the rich young ruler did not make him a Christian. He was remarkably upright, keeping all the commandments. He was clean and faithful. He did not steal or deceive, and he did not kill by murder, ill will, or resentment. He did not lie or defraud people. He even honored his parents. And yet, all these righteous actions did not make him a disciple of Christ.  
The love of the Lord Jesus did not make the rich ruler a Christian. Christ loved him, but that love was not enough to make him a follower of Christ.
If sincerity and righteousness and the love of God are not enough to make a person a Christian, what is necessary? Here again, the story of the rich ruler helps us to understand. Becoming a Christian means believing that Jesus is trustworthy and surrendering our life to his control.  
A Christian is a person who believes in Jesus enough to follow Jesus.

And of course, "believes... enough" is a literary way to say it, because in reality the message of the New Testament is that trusting Jesus is what makes us "become a Christian." Believe is often the word translated in English, and we can lose the meaning of the concept if we don't understand the original word means much more than just to believe. Addedly, we either trust Him or we don't. It's isn't a matter of trusting "enough." Placing our trust in Him as the source of absolute truth is a life-changing decision!

I still liked the overall message of this devotional. I hope it inspires you as well.

Curt and I recently listened to an inspiring audio presentation by Os Guinness. I highly recommend it! Here is the link. The title is The Journey: A Thinking Person's Quest for Meaning.