What is a Christian? What is a believer?
For centuries the church has been trying to communicate to the unbeliever what it means to be a Christian and what that means to the unchurched. By and large, the church has been distracted by accusations, defensively explaining the church rather than honestly saying the truth.
As the church reaches in love to those who are in need of salvation, let us not forget the truth of our position. We are not hypocritical for what we believe. In fact, it’s the exact opposite.
A Christian with pride dishonors his label. A Christian who thinks they deserve salvation is an ignorant one. A Christian that looks down their nose at a sinner, making a moral judgement of how good they are compared to the sinner is one that is of no use to the Kingdom of God.
A real Christian, is the man, or woman, who knows the sinner needs salvation, because they need the same salvation. A real Christian is one that says you need forgiveness, because they need it as well. A true Christian is saying we need to strive to live a life morally right and acceptable to God, not because they’ve accomplished that goal, but because they know they haven’t.
Paul said it best when he named all the lifestyles that would not make it into heaven. He named the thieves, the immoral, on and on through a list of bad choices, lifestyles, and labels. After he’s listed all the negative lifestyles of sin he looks directly at the church and says “such were some of you. But, you were washed…” In other words, he was reminding the Christians that get a little too big for their britches where they came from, and how good they were on their own.
Paul himself knew what it was like to be in sin and find the unmerited favor of God. He called himself the chief of sinners; a remorseful remembrance of his life prior to conversion.
Christians are no better than the sinner. They are the sinner. The only difference is they’ve found grace; unmerited favor.
When I say I’m a Christian, I’m saying I’m a sinner that found grace; unmerited favor. I wasn’t worthy, I wasn’t valuable, I didn’t deserve anything. But what I was freely given has made all the difference. And I want to share that experience with everyone.