1 John 5:12 (ESV)
Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of
God does not have life.
So, do you know what it means to be a Christian? Let’s take a look at the person who is not a Christian. You see, if being a Christian is about going to church, reciting hymns, being baptized, and behaving yourself once a week, then not being a Christian sounds easy. Just don’t go to church, sing hymns, be baptized, or behave…but that doesn’t sound right, does it?
But if a Christian is someone who depends entirely on Christ’s work on the cross, is transformed by the grace of God, loves other believers, shares the gospel, hungers after God’s word, and finds satisfaction in Christ alone, then an unbeliever would be someone whose qualities demonstrate they’re not a believer. This means Christians are different from the rest of the world, but how does the world look compared to this?
The “world” is characterized by sin: that is, a diverting from God’s original design. Each person is born with a sinful nature that produces a sinful life: this means lying, lusting, stealing, pride, murder, and other evils all stem from this. As Paul tells us in Romans one, “They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless”. (Rom. 1:29b-31 ESV)
The unbeliever has no interest in Jesus Christ or the gospel, however there’s more: people who aren’t Christians by nature can still pretend to be Christians (though God knows their hearts), though this will only last for a time. People like this can often deceive themselves because they have never truly heard or understood what the gospel demands: denying yourself, and giving up everything for Christ. They fool themselves by thinking they are saved. This is why examining yourself is so important!
Self-centered “Christianity” is what is hidden in today’s church, and you should not let yourself fall into this trap. If you believe Jesus Christ wants you to have expensive clothes, a large house, big shiny rims, and lots of success, clearly you don’t believe the gospel. As Jesus said, “not everyone who says to me ‘lord, lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. (Matt. 7)” You submit to the Lordship of Jesus, knowing that there’s a penalty for your sin, and only Christ can grant eternal life. Without Christ, you do not have life as John explained it. Repent and cling to Christ!