Bluewater Bay Community Church

Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen

Being Christian

by Erik Momsen

There are times that we wonder what we are.  Am I a true believer?  Am I acceptable to God?  The pastors wonder, "Are my people really saved?"  We need to ask these questions quite often lest we fall into complacency or works driven religion.

We call ourselves Christians, but this word needs to be defined often.  For some Muslim groups this word is equivalent to Crusader.  For other Muslim groups it means "follower of the Messiah".  In many parts of the west it only distinguishes them from the other nations of the world.

The word "Christian" is only used three times in the New Testament.
"And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch.  So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people.  And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch." (Acts 11:26)
"Then Agrippa said to Paul, 'You almost persuade me to become a Christian.'" Acts 26:28
"Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf." (1 Peter 4:16) (NKJ)

The word "Christian" at its root means "Belonging to Christ".  It does also have the connotation of "following".
The idea of "belonging" to Christ is very helpful as it taps into a very old desire of God to have a people
"I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God." (Exodus 6:7)
"But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for possession, so that you might speak of the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;" (1 Peter 2:9)

NOT YOUR OWN

Paul, having a great battle in trying to correct the moral behaviour of the Corinthian believers, focuses on what God has done for them.  Despite their greed, adultery, lust, gluttony ... he reminds them:
 - It is Christ's work - not ours.
 - We are His possession - He is eager over us.
 - His work is completed - now we live in it.

11 "And such were some of you. But you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."
 - washed = sins removed by His blood.
 - sanctified = being made holy by the continual work of the Spirit.
 - justified = the charge of sinner removed.
 - they were gross sinners, but God did all these things.

12. "All things are lawful to me, but not all things profit. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any."
 - I am not judged but not all things strengthen me.
 - It's possible, as abeliever, that I can come under the power of a sin.

"Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God: one you had not received mercy but now you have received mercy.  Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul." (1 Peter 2:10, 11)
 - Peter is talking to believers - people possessed by God - warning them about the battle over their minds and actions.

19. "Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit in you, whom you have of God?  And you are not your own,"
20. "for you are bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's." (1 Corinthians 6)
 - Being a Christian is firstly about who we belong to.
 - It is about the work that Jesus did on the cross.
 - Very many give up or never want to start because they guess their sins are too many to defeat.
 - 99 % of the work is on His side and we belong to Him.

He bought us - we belong to Him
and our hope is in Him holding on to us

Date Added: 2008-07-02

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