Introduction-Day One: What It Means to Be a Christian


(Read a chapter in Romans each day throughout this devotional)

Acts 11:26 (ESV)
And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.

When you hear the word, “Christian,” what comes to your mind? Is a
Christian someone who goes to church, votes Republican, doesn’t use
foul language or neglect tithing? Is Christianity something you believe, or
something you do? Is there a Christian only a part of a person, or is the whole
person Christian?

In our society, Christianity can be like going to a candy shop: lots of
flavors, all different kinds, and all used to satisfy that little thing called
our conscience every once in awhile. Christmas and Easter are the days
when “non-practicing” Christians show their respects to God. Yet Jesus
does not ask for empty worship, but real living and a walk with Him. The
only problem is, this is not Christianity, but an empty shell of what it once
was.

Christianity is first of all about Christ, the work of Jesus in coming to
this world and the good news that He saved us from our sin. It’s real,
and therefore it should have real evidence in our lives. When a family
member dies, a funeral is held; people show up, mourn, go through
the motions of burial and learn to cope with the loss. Death impacts
the world, both around the family of the loved one who died, and each
person as they will die one day. But Jesus died, bearing our punishment,
and yet His death was not the end. He rose again, defeating Hell, the
grave, and the Devil. He gave us a living hope because He is alive. We
can be free from sin by trusting in Him alone.

The word “Christian” comes from two different words: “Christos” in Greek
(Which means Christ or Messiah) and “ianos” in Latin, which is used to
describe the possession or slave of someone else. A Christian then, is
someone who is “possessed” or owned by Christ. Your allegiance to Him
as Lord and King is shown in your words and actions, to show you are
of the Kingdom of God. If you met someone from India, everything about
that person, from the way they dress and talk to the way they act, proves
their citizenship. Their life was shaped around where they are from.
Likewise, we are citizens of Christ’s Kingdom, and this means our life
is first of all to become more like our Savior by following in obedience.
As we go on this journey for the next two weeks, I challenge you to ask
yourself:

1) In what ways have I made my life about Christ?
2) Have I seriously grasped why He came to this earth?
3) Have I been living knowing Christ is real, or more like an idea?
NOTES:

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