I believe in God. I’m a Christian.
I heard this today while watching The Good Wife. Well it was actually playing in the background while I was playing this terribly addicting game called, AB Pop! It irked me so much that I stopped, got up from the comforts of the couch and grabbed my laptop to write.
Being a Christian does not merely mean I believe in God. One can believe in God and not be a Christian. In fact this ideology that at least one God exists is called Theism. The religious affiliations that fall beneath the umbrella of theism include Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Druze, Sikhism, and Hinduism.
To simply say, “I believe in God” and assume that makes you a Christian breaks my heart. Why? Christianity is so much more.
It’s a relationship with our Creator. The one who knitted you inside your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13), created you for a specific purpose in the specific time you’re on earth. You see, we were meant to live in the heavenly realm as pure, clean, and perfect people. But something happened. Sin entered the human life (Genesis 3).
Because of that sin we were separated from God. Meaning we didn’t have a direct relationship with Him any longer. Our God is a God who loves, but he’s also a just God…. seeking what’s right amidst all the mess.
The only way we could have a personal relationship with God was to send His one and only Son down to earth to rescue us from the dominion of darkness and bring us into the light (Colossians 3:3). By believing that Jesus was God in flesh walking on this earth, that He walked a sinless life here as an example to us, that He died and was raised to life, you are then a Christ-follower, or Christian (Romans 8).
We then choose to be baptized out of obedience to Christ. Even Jesus was baptized. God’s response to Jesus being baptized was astounding.
And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:16-17)
God spoke and told everyone that Jesus was his son, and He was pleased. I can’t help but imagine when my own children choose to be baptized and I see them come bursting forth from the water. The overwhelming joy I will experience, but really, they will be set on a much more difficult journey than they had ever experienced.
You see, people think that once we become Christians, it’s like a finished package. We surrender our lives once and then life is hunky-dory. In all reality, that’s when the battle really starts.
We’ll be tempted. We’ll win some of those temptations. Other times we’ll fail. People will watch us and say, “Oh that’s so Christian of her.” Or maybe they’ll say, “I can’t believe such a good girl could do something so wrong/bad/disgusting/trivial.”
The difference is–we have grace now. We can come to the thrown after being that disgusting individual and ask for forgiveness from God. We go to God directly because of the gift of the Holy Spirt so that Jesus can intercede for us. God doesn’t have to forgive us, but He does. There’s always a fresh start with our God.
The best part? If we continue to deepen our relationship with Christ and allow Him to do a work in us that is far more than we’d ever expect, then we will live lives that are truly transforming and affect the people around us.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
I do believe in God and I am a Christian. I am not a Christian just because I believe in God.
**If you have any questions about salvation, where you’re going after you pass away, or don’t understand this relationship with Jesus thing, please contact me.