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What Does It Mean To Be A Christian (Real Talk)

The best place to find honest answers about what it means to be a Christian is the Bible, the only source of truth. 

Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock.

Do you hear that?

Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock.

That sound is warning you that your days are numbered.

Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock.

That sound is measuring off how many breaths you have left before you kiss this world goodbye.

Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock.

That’s the sound of your life marching towards death.

Are you ready to face death?

You can’t escape it.

It’s coming someday.

Maybe today.

You live in a world that’s groaning under the pain of violence, evil and destruction.

And you are part of the problem. 

And because of that, you should be scared.

Because someday, God is going to bring all evil to an end. Including you.

And if you don’t know God, your end will never end. You will just move to a new address--hell.

Hell is a place of eternal torment. 

And there’s no escaping the tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock of infinite time.

Eternity can’t be measured. So neither can your punishment. It will be infinite.

That’s a scary thought. One you shouldn’t run from.

Let fear be your friend.

Embrace the fear. 

It might save your life.

It saved mine!

My life was saved when I was 33 years old.

My fate of eternal torment was traded for eternal joy.

The clock of eternal life started ticking the day I became a Christian.

What Is A Christian?

God is the creator of all mankind. All mankind is born polluted with sin and fails to live up to the perfect standard the Holy God requires in order to have a relationship with Him. 

All mankind misses the target of perfect holiness. This is sin and God said that the punishment for sin is death. God is just and cannot overlook sin. Therefore He cannot allow man to sin without consequence. God requires man to pay for his sins with his life.

But God is also merciful. Before creation, he anointed Christ to save mankind from his sins. 

But as a just God, he could not simply waive the punishment for sin. If He did, He would not be upholding His own holy law of justice. 

The Bible says that sinners are under the wrath of God for breaking His holy law, and will suffer eternally in hell as just punishment. 

So God sent Christ to bear the punishment for all those who would believe in Him. This is the good news, that somebody else with a spotless record (Jesus Christ) could pay the penalty for another’s sin.

This is called the gospel.

Christians are people who believe the gospel and trust that Jesus Christ paid for their personal sins when He died on the cross.

What Is The Bibles Definition Of A Christian?

The origin of the word “Christian” was first used in the Bible in the book of Acts written in approximately 63 A.D.

The word Christian appears only three times in the Bible.

  • Acts 11:26 - And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.
  • Acts 26:28  - And Agrippa said to Paul, “In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?”
  • 1 Peter 4:16  - Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.t

The Bible’s definition of a Christian comes from the Greek word “Christianos” which means a follower of Christ.

Christ comes from Greek word “Christos” which means anoint.

Anoint comes from the Greek word “chrio” which means to consecrate, set apart, or dedicate to an office.

Christ was anointed by God to the office of Savior. As the sinless Son of God, He was the only person qualified to save people from their sins. 

The Latin suffix “ian” after the word “Christ” means:

  • From
  • Belonging to (bought with a price)
  • Relating to
  • Like

So a Christian is a person who is from Christ, belongs to Christ, relates to Christ and is like Christ.

When you have a group of Christians, you have what is referred to as Christianity.

Christianity Definition: 

  • the Christian religion
  • Christian beliefs, practices or attitudes
  • a less common word for Christendom (Christians collectively)

Biblical terms for the group of believers known as Christians are:

  • The Bride of Christ
  • The Church
  • Children of God
  • Saints
  • The Elect

Followers of Christ were called Christians to point out the significant fact that they were distinctly different from people of all other religious groups (in Bible times and even now.) 

Instead of the term “Christian,” the Bible more often refers to Christians as saints. 

The term “saint” literally means “set apart.”  Just as Christ was anointed, (set apart or dedicated) so Christians are too. They are set apart by God and dedicated to Him for His service.

Christians are not only distinctly different from the general population, they are distinctly different in their make-up. 

God changes them from what they were before, into something different.

A Christian is a new creation.

  • 2 Corinthians 5:17 - If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

The Christian is a new creation because God has given him a new heart. Man had no role in the creation of the world; God did it all. And in a like manner, God creates a new heart for the believer.

Man’s natural sinful heart is self-reliant, self-centered, and self-protecting. He lives for himself and worships himself. 

But as a new creation, his new heart is filled with new desires. He has a heart that no longer rebels against God and tries to live independently from God. The new heart desires to love and worship God instead of self.

But all these definitions do not even begin to explain what a Christian is in terms of his or her standing before God.

What Does It Mean To Be A Christian?

Christians are people whose standing before God has changed from enemy to friend. 

Christians Are Justified

Christians are people who believe that Jesus is the Son of God and took the punishment for their sins. He paid for their lives with His life. When He died on the cross, His death was credited to their account, so they would not have to pay with their own life. And Christ’s perfect sinless life is credited to their account and they are declared righteous. This is called justification.

Christians Are Forgiven

Christ’s life was sacrificed for their lives and His death satisfied the righteous judgment of God. The sin debt was paid and justice was satisfied. This is called propitiation.

Christians Are Reconciled

Sin separates man from God. Man is a rebel and enemy of God. When a person believes in Christ as Savior, the separating wall of sin between man and God is removed. The believer can now have a personal relationship with God. This is called reconciliation.

Christians Are Adopted

When a person believes in Christ, he is brought into the household of God. His status changes from enemy of God, to child of God. This is called adoption.

Christians Are Transformed

When a person believes in Christ, the Holy Spirit comes to live in that person to teach him God’s ways, give him desires to do God’s will and empower him to do it. The believer's appetites, attitudes and actions start aligning with Christ’s and he becomes more like Jesus everyday. Little by little, he is changed. This is called sanctification.

Christians Are Glorified

When a Christian dies, his soul immediately goes to heaven. At some time in the future, when God’s full plan of salvation is complete, the person’s body will be resurrected and reunited to the soul. The resurrected body will be changed. It will have no presence of sin or ability to sin ever again. The person has a new body that is joined to the new spirit God created at the moment of salvation. This body is flawless and designed to live forever with no sickness or death. This is called glorification.

In summary, Christians are saved from eternal suffering and separation from God, reconciled to God and have a parent/child relationship with Him forever!

How Does A Person Become A Christian?

Nobody can work their way to God.

There is nothing anyone can do to make up for their rebellion and sin.

The only way a person becomes a Christian is to believe in Jesus.

  • Galatians 2:16 - Yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.
  • Ephesians 2:8-9 - For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.

God must give a person a new heart that is able to understand he is a sinner in need of a Savior.

And He must give a person the faith to believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior.

This is called regeneration, also known as being “born again.”

  • John 1:12-13 - But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

If a person is not a born again Christian, they are an unbeliever.

An unbeliever is simply one who does not believe in Christ as their savior.

According to the Bible, the unbeliever is:

  • Dead in trespasses and sin
  • Under the wrath of god
  • Enemy of god
  • Lost
  • Blind
  • Slave to sin
  • Totally unrighteous
  • Wicked
  • Under Satan’s influence
  • In darkness

Prior to salvation, unbelievers are spiritually dead and cannot understand the truths of scripture or see the glory of Christ and His way of salvation. That is why they must be born again, to receive spiritual eyes to see the truth.

The power of sin in the unbeliever is so strong that without God’s help, he is not only unable to believe, but also will never want to believe.

  • 2 Corinthians 5:17 - The god of this age (Satan) has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

  • John 3:19-20 - Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.

Many people have grown up in Christian homes or gone to Christian churches all their lives and assume that makes them Christians.

Others try to escape punishment and earn favor with God by doing good deeds.

Some people think that if God is good and loving, He’ll have to forgive everyone’s sins eventually.

There are thousands of deceptive teachings and misleading beliefs about salvation and how to become a Christian.

But they are all false.

There is only one way!

  • John 14:6
    Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Believing in Jesus is the only way to become a Christian.

What Does It Mean To Believe In Jesus?

A person becomes a Christian when they place their faith in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.

  • Acts 16:31
    Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.

It’s not just a belief that He really was a person who lived long ago, was a good man and died an unjust death. Those are true facts, but that is not the same as trusting in Him to be the Lord and Savior of your life.

From the Bible verse noted above, Jesus’ title includes the words “Lord” and “Christ.”

The term Christ was already defined so the next one to define is “Lord.”

The term Lord is from the Greek word “Kurios” which means master.

It comes from a word that means supremacy. Supreme in authority because of ownership rights; one who is control because everything belongs to him.

Remember! The definition of Christian noted above was they belonged to Jesus.

So a person must believe that Jesus is not just the Christ who saves, but the Lord who rules.

To believe in Jesus a person must believe that God is the owner of everything and has the right to rule over all His creation.

And as the supreme authority, all mankind will be accountable to Him. Every person ever born will one day stand before God for judgment.

God requires perfect holiness or face eternal punishment.

As one who is not perfectly holy, a person must believe that he is a sinner worthy of death, but trusts that Jesus’s death was substituted for his, and that God punished his sins in Christ’s body when Jesus died on the cross.

A person believes their sinner’s debt has been paid for by Jesus!

Mercy and justice have worked together to save the sinner and glorify God.

  • John 5:24 - Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

When a person believes these things, he is saved from the penalty of sin. He will not have to pay the penalty of death for his sins. This is called salvation.

What Is Salvation?

Christ was put to death on the cross to pay for the believer's sins. But he did not stay dead!

  • 1 Corinthians 15:4 - Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, he was buried, he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.

After three days in the grave, Christ rose again. His body was raised from the dead and restored to life. This is called the resurrection.

The resurrection of Christ proves that God’s justice was satisfied. If it were not, Christ would have remained in the grave, and His corpse eventually decompose as all dead things do.

Christ’s resurrection was just the first of many!

Everyone who believes in Christ and is saved has passed from spiritual death to spiritual life.

But their physical body will still experience death. Yet one day that earthly body will be raised again and made like Christ’s resurrected heavenly body. One that can never sin and die again. The new body and soul will live forever in the new earth. This is called eternal life.

  • John 3:16 - For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
  • John 17:3 - And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
  • John 20:31 - But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
  • Romans 10:9 - Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
  • 1 John 5:13 - I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.
  • Revelation 21:1-4 - Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.  I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.  ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Eternal life is possible only because the believer has been united with Christ in His death and resurrection! The Christian is in Christ.

What Does It Mean To Be In Christ?

All mankind can be traced back to Adam, and therefore is considered “in Adam” and born with Adam’s propensity to sin. This means all mankind is inherently sinful and therefore will commit acts of sin that requires death as punishment.

  • Romans 5:12 - Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.

But when a person believes in Christ for salvation, he is immediately taken “out of Adam” and put “into Christ.”

  • 1 Corinthians 15:22 - For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.

Upon placing faith in Jesus, God unites the believer to Christ. This is called being “in Christ.”

And because Christ is alive, the believer in Him is also alive.

  • 1 John 5:11-12 - And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

This union makes a person a Christian.

The believer is united at the moment of belief and is baptized into Christ. This is not a water baptism, but a spiritual one that immerses the believer into Christ.

They become one.

It is an intimate spiritual union known only by Christians that was planned before the world was created.

  • Romans 6:3-4 - Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
  • 1 Corinthians 6:17 - But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.
  • Ephesians 1:4 - Just as God chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. 
  • Ephesians 2:10 - For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
  • 2 Timothy 1:9 - God has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity.

On the legal record, God exchanges the believer’s sinful life for Jesus’ perfect life. God puts sin on Christ’s account, and Christ’s righteousness on the sinner’s account.

Upon salvation, the Father counts the believer's life as one of perfect obedience because he is in Christ who perfectly obeyed on the believer's behalf. This is called imputation.

God counts (imputes) the sins of the believers against Jesus’ record and was just for punishing Him for believers’ sins.

  • 2 Corinthians 5:21 - God made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
  • Ephesians 1:7 - In Him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.

Because believers are united with Christ, they were:

  • Crucified with him - Galatians 2:20
  • Died with him - Romans 6:8
  • Buried with him - Romans 6:3
  • Raised with him - Ephesians 2:5-6
  • Forgiven of all sins (past and future) - Colossians 2:13
  • Enthroned in heaven with him - Ephesians 2:6
  • Blessed with every spiritual blessing - Ephesians 1:3
  • Made new - 2 Corinthians 5:17
  • Given special work - Ephesians 2:10
  • Given a divine nature - 2 Peter 1:4
  • Equipped for godliness - 2 Peter 1:3

The Christian’s union with Christ is the guarantee that his salvation is safe for all eternity.

This union didn’t end with putting Christians in Christ.

Christ is also in His people. 

Why Does Christ Live In Believers?

The apostle Paul reveals the truth of the gospel mystery that Christ becomes one with believers!

A mysterious spiritual union takes place as God the Father, God the Son and God the Spirit dwell in the believer.

  • Ephesians 5:31-32 - “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
  • Galatians 2:20 - I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.
  • John 14:23 - If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.
  • John 17:22-23 - And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me.
  • 1 Corinthians 6:19 - Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?

The triune God dwells in a Christian to teach, guide and provide wisdom.

The presence of God comforts the Christian during suffering and empowers him to persevere.

In times of sorrow or confusion, God provides peace that surpasses understanding.

God convicts of sin, as well as empowers one to say no to temptations.

This divine nature within the believer equips the Christian with everything needed for life and godliness, including the desire to love and worship God.

God works in the believer to do His will and glorify God.

And one of the ways God is glorified is through sharing the gospel with others that brings more people into the family of God.

  • Colossians 1:27 - To them (the Lord’s people) God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

What Does It Mean To Follow Jesus?

At the very beginning of Jesus’ public ministry, He called disciples and said, “Come, follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19)

That first invitation was followed with more and He called twelve disciples. He called them to pass on the gospel to others after He was gone. He knew He was going to die for sinners and would not be around for long.

Jesus was not sent to merely be a teacher or prophet.

Jesus’ mission was to redeem people.

Sinners are slaves of sin and cannot deliver themselves from that slavery. When Christ redeems them, they are released from the power of sin and in the resurrection, they will be delivered from the presence of sin. They will be totally set free.

But their deliverance has a price. Slaves have to be bought out of the slave market. They are only released on payment of a ransom. Christ’s life was sacrificed. His blood (death on the cross) was the payment that delivers sinners and sets them free. This is called redemption.

As a follower of Jesus, a disciple’s mission is to share the news of redemption with others.

The gospel is the good news of redemption and is the only means by which God provides salvation.

Jesus continues to invite others to follow Him still to this day, but this mission comes with conditions.

  • Mark 8:34 - And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

Taking up a cross is not something anyone should take lightly. That is why Jesus said to count the cost, as it will require you to give up everything you own, everyone you love, even your own life.

Denying yourself is costly.

  • Luke 14:25-33 - Large crowds were now traveling with Jesus, and He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not carry his cross and follow Me cannot be My disciple.

    Which of you, wishing to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost to see if he has the resources to complete it? Otherwise, if he lays the foundation and is unable to finish the work, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, ‘This man could not finish what he started to build.’

    Or what king on his way to war with another king will not first sit down and consider whether he can engage with ten thousand men the one coming against him with twenty thousand? And if he is unable, he will send a delegation while the other king is still far off, to ask for terms of peace.

    In the same way, any one of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be My disciple.

Following Jesus requires Christians to follow His examples of serving and suffering.

  • John 13:14-15 - So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example so that you should do as I have done for you.
  • 1 Peter 2:21 - For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.

Serving and suffering are not easy. It requires sacrifice, and our human nature does not like pain and avoids it at all costs. Many Christians will struggle to make these sacrifices all their lives.

Just because a person is saved and becomes a Christian disciple, he is a new creation, but not a perfect one.

Being a Christian does not mean being sinless. Nor does it make following Jesus easy. Christians cannot do it on their own.

Following Jesus is costly, not easy. So Christians must have divine power to follow Jesus day in and day out.

God gave that special power first to the twelve disciples at Pentecost. (Acts 2:4)

And every Christian since has received that same power to enable them to follow Jesus.

A disciple becomes a follower of Jesus at salvation, but it’s a life-long journey of learning and obedience.

Who Is A Follower Of Jesus?

The Bible’s term for a follower of Jesus is “disciple.”

A disciple is a learner or pupil.

To learn, a person:

  • increases in knowledge
  • hears to be informed
  • learns by practice

Jesus calls His followers (his “disciples”) to serve Him, and promises them a reward for doing so!

Every disciple will experience a different journey as they follow Jesus and should not compare their life to anyone else’s.

  • John 10:27 - My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me.
  • Matthew 11:29 - Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
  • John 12:26 - If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.
  • John 21:22 - Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!”

A true follower of Jesus learns from Him through the guidance of the scriptures and the Holy Spirit. Without those, people will come up with their own ideas of what a Christian is and does.

Many people claim to be Christians, but it has become a label for all sorts of people who claim to be religious, yet do not honor Jesus or the truth He proclaimed.

These people SAY they are Christians, but are not, and it gives a bad name to those who really are.

For this reason, many people call themselves followers of Jesus instead of Christians.

A true follower of Jesus obeys Him, imitates Him and resembles Him so that others can see the visible representation of Christ in the Christian’s life.

  • Matthew 5:16 - Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
  • Galatians 5:22-23 - The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
  • John 13:35 - By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
  • 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 - Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Some people could be truly saved but not yet grown much. God begins working in them but He doesn’t prune all the sin away at once.

However, over time, a true follower of Jesus will bear Christ’s mark.

It takes time and it’s not always easy to distinguish the true disciples from the false.

But the most important question is, are you a follower of Jesus?

How Can You Know If You Are A True Christian?

Besides the Bible verses mentioned above, the book of 1 John outlines several ways to test if you are a genuine Christian.

Do you understand the truths of scripture and desire to obey them?

  • 1 John 1:6-7 - If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

Do you acknowledge you are a sinner and confess when you have sinned?  

  • 1 John 1:8-10 - If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

Are you striving to obey God?

  • 1 John 2:3-6 - We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.

Do you love fellow Christians?

  • 1 John 2:9-11 - Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.

Do you believe the doctrine of Christ as taught only in the Bible?

  • 1 John 4:2-3 - Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

Are you sinning less often and turning from evil?

  • 1 John 3:9 - No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.

What Does It Mean To Me To Be A Christian?

To me, being a Christian means freedom.

The Christian meaning of freedom speaks of being free from sin and its consequences.

  • Romans 8:1-2 - There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.

Becoming a Christian has set me free from more than I can say but I’ll list a few things.

Christ set me free from the guilt I experienced. The sins I felt guilty for were paid for by Christ and I’ve been declared “not guilty” in the courtroom of God. When I sin as a Christian, I confess my sins, acknowledge my guilt and thank God for forgiving me.

I’ve been set free from the shame I felt for things that happened to me because of somebody else’s sin. God will judge the offenders.

Knowing this set me free from my past that haunted me in a confusing way. The false guilt, which is really just a sense of shame, is gone and forgiveness is possible.

Christ has set me free from the fear of death. I know I will not go to hell or be punished for my sins. I am bound for heaven and I look forward to going there.

I’ve been set free from the desire to please others. I spent most my life on the treadmill of performing to get others to accept me and approve of me. But God accepts me as I am. He knows all my faults, yet loves me as much as He loves Jesus, who has absolutely no faults.

I’ve been set free from worry. As a Christian, I know the world is under God’s control. He is not only able to do as He pleases, everything He does comes from His perfect wisdom, kindness and goodness. My future is secure because a loving God is in control of it. I don’t need to fear when the world seems to be nothing but chaos and uncertainty.

I’ve been set free from rules that can’t be kept. Many religions require members to do, or not do certain things. They think rule keeping pleases God. I’m not saying I shouldn’t try to obey God. I’m saying many people are in bondage to rules that have nothing to do with God or His approval. God approves of me only because I am in His Son, not because I perfectly obey.

Jesus set me free from the power of sin. I’m no longer a slave to sin. Now I have a choice to sin or not to sin. I don’t have to submit myself to the desires of the flesh. I have the power and ability to choose righteousness.

I am free to be me. To utilize all the gifts, talents and abilities God gave me to do the specific work He has for me. I don’t have to be jealous of others or try to keep up with them. I have the potential to reflect God’s glory in a unique way in my daily living. 

Why Be A Christian?

Human beings were designed to know God and the pleasure of His presence, love and blessings.

Because of sin, we experience pain instead. Pain that leads to a fatal death, yet does not end the pain.

Death for the unbeliever initiates a new pain in hell that far exceeds anything ever experienced on earth and with no hope of ending.

But there is an alternative.

  • John 3:18 - He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Every person ever born has sinned and the judgment is to bear the punishment for their guilt - eternal torment.

Unless they are forgiven!

To forgive means to send forth, to let go of a debt.

It does not mean the debt was not paid, as that would be unjust of a Holy God.

But you could never pay the debt yourself. Nobody can earn forgiveness. You can’t get it by doing good deeds, getting baptized or saying a special prayer.

It is a gift from a merciful God to rebel sinners.

Jesus paid the debt for you so God could cancel the debt against you.

When a person trusts that Christ was the substitute for them and paid their debt for them when He died on the cross, God forgives the sinner! 

  • Romans 5 :8 - God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died in our place."

God cancels your debt. The debt was not overlooked. It was fully paid for by Christ on your behalf. This is called forgiveness.

When you are forgiven, you are made spiritually alive and enjoy the presence of the living Christ in your life. 

This is the good news!

Man is in a helpless state of sin and can do nothing to change it.

God is so merciful and loving that He Himself made a way for mankind to be reconciled to Him forever.

He graciously offers a free gift that costs you nothing to accept, but will cost your soul forever if you reject it.

You don't have to suffer through this life without God.

You don’t have to suffer eternal punishment without God for all eternity.

Salvation is a free gift that can be received only by trusting in Jesus as Lord and Savior.

What Are The Benefits Of Salvation?

  • Set free from guilt
  • Escape eternal punishment
  • Experience God’s unconditional love
  • Have the righteousness of Christ credited to your account
  • The privilege of God's presence
  • Receive God’s wisdom and guidance for successful living
  • Receive all the rewards God promises to His children
  • Spiritually fulfilling relationship with your Creator
  • Eternal joy
  • Assurance of eternal life

Where Will You Spend Eternity?

Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock.

Your life is ticking away.

Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock.

Does that sound scare you?

Don’t think God withholds justice to provide mercy.

God offers mercy only to those who believe in His Son.

But there will be justice to punish all who refuse His mercy.

If you do not know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, you need to trust
him now for salvation.

When you do, at that very moment, you will be united with Christ.

You will be a Christian!

Your eternal life begins the moment you believe.

Eternal torment begins the moment you die.

Decide before your time runs out.

Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock.

Tired of having the same fights over and over again?

triggers toolkit mockup (700 x 700 px)
  • Learn how emotional triggers spark intense reactions that lead to conflicts
  • Discover the three conflict triggers that set you off and why it happens 
  • Identify the predictable patterns so you can stop the negative cycle
Read More
In Laws

How To Deal With Toxic People

If you want to know how to deal with toxic people, including in-laws, then pay careful attention.

The point of this list is to show that loving toxic people doesn't mean tolerating them!

What makes people toxic is that they try to drag you into their victimhood.

The most important thing to understand is you don't have to be the victim of a toxic person.

You can deal with toxic people without feeling guilty.

Who Is A Toxic Person?

  • We all know people who view the world in ways very different than we do and that can lead to disagreements. Sometimes these people are difficult and can be a challenge to be around, but they're different than toxic people.

  • Toxic people are narcissists.

  • Toxic people have only one person in their world, themselves.

  • Toxic people are demanding and try to control how you relate to them.

  • Toxic people's problems are far worse than yours or anybody else's. Their problems become your problems but for reasons known only to them, are unsolvable.

  • Toxic people see themselves as victims and although they will complain to you relentlessly, they will never accept your advice or help. 

  • Toxic people are manipulative, sometimes subtly through gaslighting, other times boldly in your face and outright disruptive.

  • Toxic people will accuse you of misunderstanding them while they misjudge your motives, twist your words and never attempt to understand you.

  • Toxic people are needy and force themselves on you, but will never attend to your needs.


Who Are You In Relation To This Toxic Person?

  • We usually think of our relationship with people according to our roles in their lives. 

  • You are a son or daughter, a brother or sister, an in-law, a friend, a co-worker, etc.

  • But Christians are to view all earthly relationships as secondary.

  • Toxic people's relationships with you can make you feel like you have to help them but it doesn’t mean you can, or always should.

  • Your primary relationship is with God through your Savior, Jesus Christ.

  • You are a child of God and will never be another person's savior.  

  • There is freedom in being a child and not a savior.

  • Realizing God does not expect you to fulfill the toxic person's demands or attempt to solve all their problems will remove the false-guilt toxic people try to force on you.

jesus savior

How Should I Treat This Toxic Person?

  • God calls you to love people and the most loving thing to do for toxic people is to speak truth into their lives.

  • Some people have strongholds and you can teach them to take every thought captive, but you can't force it.

  • If you've tried to help someone and they refuse help and prefer to victimize themselves with their own foolish stubbornness, pride and self-pity, then it's time to let them reap what they sow.

  • God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. Leave them in God's hands.


Withdraw From Toxic People

  • It's easy to fall into the guilt trap of toxic people – but not so easy to escape.

  • It's a dangerous trap, where the toxic person sucks the life out of you as their toxicity rubs off onto you. 

  • As they draw you into their victimhood mentality, you will start to feel like you are their victim. 

  • Being a victim will make you frustrated, angry, pessimistic, and self-centered.

  • You will become like them if you don't get away from them.

  • It is appropriate to withdraw from toxic people.

  • After all, loving them is doing what is in their best interest, and playing a role in perpetuating their self-centeredness does them more harm than good.

Learn From Toxic People

  • Jesus said to get the log out of your eye before attempting to remove the speck from another's eye.

  • Examine your own heart as you consider who the toxic people are in your life. Do you resemble them in any way?

  • I know there are many times I've been self-centered, made demands, held pity parties and lived with a victim mindset.

  • I've confessed my sins – but I'm not a fool.

  • I know if I’m not careful, I'm just as prone as the toxic person to think too much of myself and too little of others.

  • But I also know that God's grace empowers me to fight against making life all about me.

  • I am a child of God and do not want to glory in myself instead of Him.

  • I am more than a conqueror through Christ.

Bottom line: You should LET GO OF GUILT as you LET GO OF TOXIC PEOPLE in your life.

One caveat: Make sure you’ve loved the toxic person in word and deed before you withdraw. And never give up hope that God might lead them to repentance.

And here's one more thing: If you’re married and think you’ve acted like a toxic person, it’s not too late to change. This article is just the tip of the iceberg for how to relate to people.

This program I just released gives you the rest of the story.


Tired of having the same fights over and over again?

triggers toolkit mockup (700 x 700 px)
  • Learn how emotional triggers spark intense reactions that lead to conflicts
  • Discover the three conflict triggers that set you off and why it happens 
  • Identify the predictable patterns so you can stop the negative cycle
Read More
relatives holidays
In Laws

How To Deal With Difficult In-Laws During The Holidays

Everybody has to deal with difficult relatives during the holidays.

What should that look like in Christian marriage?

When most people see the word "relatives" they immediately think of people they are connected to through blood or marriage.

They might think of favorite cousins, funny uncles, or grandparents who send lots of gifts.

However, for some married folks, they think of disappointing or disapproving in-laws.

But, when I hear the word relatives, I think about relationships.

Let me share my thoughts about the word relatives when it applies to family conflicts, especially if you really want to diffuse arguments and prevent misunderstandings during the holidays.

  • My mom always said you can choose your friends but not your relatives, and that is so true!
  • We don't like some of the people we are related to, including those that became relatives through marriage, the in-laws.
  • But that doesn't mean we can't have a good relationship with them.
  • In fact, God puts people in our lives so we can relate to them in the way God relates to us.

BOTTOM LINE:  Through marriage, God has brought many more people into your sphere of influence so you can reflect His character to them.

Here's how you can put all this into action - treat people the way God treats you.

God has compassion for you, even in your weaknesses, faults and sins. You don't deserve His kindness, yet He pours out unconditional love on you for your benefit.

You don't have to like somebody to love them the way God loves. You can care for them in spite of their weaknesses, faults and sins without demanding they meet certain conditions that might make you like them more.

When you start relating to them in ways that benefit them instead of avoiding or condemning them, you will build bridges with them that in time, will improve your relationship with them.

Tired of having the same fights over and over again?

triggers toolkit mockup (700 x 700 px)
  • Learn how emotional triggers spark intense reactions that lead to conflicts
  • Discover the three conflict triggers that set you off and why it happens 
  • Identify the predictable patterns so you can stop the negative cycle
Read More