|Posted by obsessd on December 5, 2012 at 4:25 PM|
Before I truly came to Christ, there were a lot of things I didn't understand that I thought I did. It's amazing but there are many professing Christians out there who fall into similar traps. How many have heard someone who professes to be a Christian say this:
Oh, I've always been a Christian. I was born one.
I think the root of the problem is that so many people mistakenly identify Christianity as a religion, and not as a relationship with Jesus Christ. A religion is a system of works whereby sinful man attempts to justify himself before a holy God, where Christianity is God's justification of sinful man based on the merit of what Jesus Christ accomplished on the cross. There are major differences in these two, but that's its own post that may well come later. For now, however, let's focus on one difference: a religion you can be born into. A relationship you cannot.
But that nonsense was a mindset I was comfortable with at one time. Amazing, isn't it? Of course, it's simply not possible. You can be born in to a Christian home, but you cannot be born a Christian. That would be like saying the best friend you have on earth right now, you were born already knowing that person. I didn't come out of the womb and think, "Hm, I'd really like to hang out with my best friend" because I didn't have one. I didn't build a relationship with anyone yet.
The first step of any relationship is to meet that person. I can't very well say I know someone I've never met. I've never met Tom Hanks, so I can't claim I have a relationship of any kind with him. So before anything can happen, first you must meet the individual.
So it is with Christ. We first must meet Him, when we come to Him asking for forgiveness for our sins, aware that only through His sacrificial death, the perfect, unblemished passover lamb offered for the forgiveness of sins, can we be made right with our heavenly Father. Then we must build a relationship with Him by reading the Bible and following the instructions therein, not because good works will lead us to heaven (Ephesians 2:8-9 explains that very succinctly), but because they help us grow and be changed more into the likeness of the One who bled for us.
Jesus wants to build and cultivate a relationship with us, but if we are not willing to meet Him, to get to know Him, and to follow Him, it's never going to happen. And the scariest part of all is that a relationship with Him is the only thing that saves you from the punishment every man and woman rightfully deserves: an eternity in Hell.
For those who think you can be born a Christian, I would humbly say that you cannot be born into a relationship with someone. If you really want to be a true Christian, you must acknowledge yourself a sinner, justly deserving God's wrath. You must accept Jesus as God's one and only Son, and the cross as the payment of the debt your sins bear that cannot be paid in any other way. If you have not surrendered completely to Him, if you've ever held any sins or desires or parts of your life back from Him an refused to make Him Lord over them, I would be concerned and do whatever was necessary to "make your calling and election sure." (2 Peter 1:10).
I hope this post has been enlightening and useful. May God bless you, all.