WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A CHRISTIAN

Grace, mercy, and forgiveness are key elements within God’s plan of salvation.

 

 

So what does it mean to be a Christian?

Theologically speaking, a Christian is someone who has received the Lord Jesus as

Savior (John 1:12), trusts Him alone for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 4:12), has put no

trust in his own efforts (Isaiah 64:6) to please God, and repented from his/her sins

(Mark 1:15).

In the Bible, the word “Christian” only appears three times.  In Acts 11:26, Luke writes

“…The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.”  In Acts 26:28, King Agrippa

tells Paul; “In a short time you will persuade me to become a Christian.”  And, in 1 Peter

4:16: “…but if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not feel ashamed, but in that name

let him glorify God.”  In each case, the Greek word Christianos (khris-tee-an-os’) is used,

which is translated “follower of Christ.”

So, what does it mean to be a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ?   It means you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, by accepting Him as your personal Lord and Savior.  Simply believing in God is not enough.  Being a good person is not enough.  Nor is going to church, being baptized or taking communion, although all of those things are done by Christians.  Let’s look at what the bible says:

  • Visible proof of being a Christian is right behavior. Christianity is a lifestyle.  To be a Christian he or she must allow the Spirit of Christ to go to work in their life and that is how the Christian becomes Christ-like or like Christ.  “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. “ Romans 8:29-30

Since we are followers of Jesus, we should follow His example. He lived with one great purpose; to do His Father’s will.  As Christians, this should be our goal and our purpose as well.  The Christian life is abundant, (read John 10:10).   As Christians, we are to be active and joyful.  Going, doing, giving, witnessing, sharing, helping, and serving are to be significant parts of our daily living.  These things ought to be a significant part of our life as A Breath of Praise Community Church members.  We are called to be God’s ambassadors on earth.

Read 2nd Corinthians 5:14—21 and 1st Timothy 4:7-12.

 

 

Principles For Christian Service

A  Breath of Praise Community Church is obedient to the Word of God.  In doing so we strive to

carry out our mission statement in our living.  To that end, we have adopted and adhere to

five principles. They are as follows:

Discipleship – Service. Discipleship consists of being of service to others.

Students – Self Improvement. By being a Bible student we learn more about God

and His will thus be improving our own conditions as we are transformed into His likeness.

Teachers – As we learn and grow closer to God He wants us to share Him with others.

We do so by teaching, through our living, what we have learned as students. While we

will always be students, we must move to the dual role of student/teacher.

Leaders – Example Setters. Although we realize that none are perfect each of us should

be striving to live a life that pleases God. We recognize that others, some that we are not

aware of look to us for guidance and we must lead by example.

Evangelists – Soul Winners. This takes us back to the Great Commission and our

mission statement. We must reach out to others.

Ask God, through prayer, to lead you to the place within His body where He wants you to serve.  In the book of I Corinthians 12:12-31 the Apostle Paul tells us that there are many members that make up the body of Christ.  Each member has a specific role or duty to perform.  All members are vital to the body and no one member is more important than another.

Through the active participation in one or more ministries, you will find that God can do a

mighty work in, with and through you.  You will grow in Christ through participation in the

worship experience, Sunday School, Bible Study and other forms of Christian development offered here at A Breath of Praise Community Church.  Your personal prayer life and Christian study time will also determine your Christian growth.

We are a church family where all are accepted for who we are, forgiven for what we’ve done and loved because of Christ.  As we move forward in God’s Will we are persuaded that He has already made the way and fought the battles.  We claim the victory but know that the work must be performed by us.  We as a church are committed to rolling up our sleeves and doing a mighty work for the Lord.

God has given us a vision and while we may not be able to see it with our natural sight, we as His people will not be deterred because we walk by faith and not by sight.  For that reason, and because God is with us, our future is bright.

 

 

The Church

God calls believers into fellowship with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.  Believers are told to assemble together to encourage each other (Hebrews 10:25).  Jesus in His instruction to His disciples gives us the purpose of the church in what is known as the Great Commission. There He states:

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  Amen. (Matthew 28:19-20 NKJV)

The responsibility of the church is to spread and share the good news of the Gospel throughout the world.  To that end members of the church have the privilege of serving God and their fellow man.  Some of the basic responsibilities of church members (Christians) are as follows:

Love the church: (Ephesians 5:25) Just as Christ loved believers, the church, believers are to love one another (the church).  There must be love among and between members of the church.  Christ set the example in this area by giving Himself for the church.  We as the church ought to give of our time, talent, and resources to the church.

Worship the Lord. (Psalm 95:6, 96:6, 150) God desires the worship and praise of His people. The church is meeting the place where believers assemble to offer worship and praise to God as one.  Worship and praise of God are both public and private (Matthew 6:6, Luke 4:16).  The church is the physical location where believers can offer uninterrupted worship and praise to God.

Serve the Lord. (Luke 22:21, John 9:4, I Corinthians 10:31, 15:58) God calls all believers into service.  God has placed within each believer a gift that is to be used to bring Him glory.  In service to the church, we are to use those God-given gifts.

Keep God’s commandments. (John 14:21, John 15:10, 14) By adhering to God’s commandments believers show their love for God.  While no one is sinless all believers should always be striving to remain obedient to the Word of God.

Support the ministry. (Proverbs 3:9, Malachi 3:8-12, Luke 6:38, II Corinthians 9:7) Believers provide the financial assistance needed to sustain the operations of the church.  We must give financially as God has prospered us.  By properly giving to the church we give to ourselves. How?  When believers give to God He blesses them in return.

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