“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Have you ever noticed that some people know something you do not about Christianity? That there is this whole inside story that you have yet to figure out or discover? Sometimes, we do not all have the same understanding of what it means to be a Christian. Some think it means a commitment to a set of Christian values or a task that we do for God while others know that there is so much more. They know that it involves a commitment to Jesus Christ, to a person and involves a relationship based on what God has done for us and not based on a set of “rules”.
We are not Christians because we follow certain rituals or have certain values or because we go to church. Sitting in church will not make you a Christian nor will it allow you into heaven. In fact, churches are full of well-intentioned people who are very confused about what it means to know God.
A Christian is one who acknowledges their sin and the need for a Savior and knows that they need forgiveness for their sins. Once their faith is placed in Jesus Christ a desire develops to live a life that is different from that of the world and a choice is made to live a life of values that will glorify and honor God. A desire also develops to spend time in church and in fellowship with other believers because that is how we grow in Christ. These things all come as the result of our transformation in Christ and our personal relationship with Him, not because it is the cause of it.
The question that is raised is not one of “what will I do with my religion?” because Jesus is not a religion. Instead the question should be, “what will I do with Jesus?” Once the distinction is finally made that our life in Him is about following Him, not following a set of values, our life meaning becomes clearer, and the frustrations of a wasted life begin to melt away.
Knowing Jesus means confessing that we are sinners and that we have a need for a Savior in order to enter into the presence of a Holy God. It means acknowledging who Jesus is and what He did for each of us on the cross because of our sins. It is about a relationship with our Heavenly Father, the One who loves us and who gave the life of His only Son so that we may one day spend eternity with Him.
“Father, I love You and thank You for wanting me as Your child. I thank You for sending Your Son to die for my sins so that one day I can stand in Your presence and spend eternity with You. Help my focus to remain on You and loving and sharing You with the world. May I never become wrapped up in rituals or rules but remember that it is all about You and my walk with You.”