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What is a Christian?

Jul 12, 2009

Passage:Luke 10:25-28

Preacher: Loren Miller

Category: Sunday Evening

Keywords: christian

Summary:

What is a Christian? We will be looking at what exactly is a christian, how do you become one and what do you do then?

Detail:

We are finishing up our series “Back to Basics”…what is prayer, it is not just a few minutes before a meal or before bed, but it is a lifestyle of sincere communication with God. What is the church? It isn’t just a building or an hour on Sunday, no it is not an event, the church is the body of Christ, you me us, his hands and feet, helping bring the kingdom of God to this place, not in the future when things get “better”, no to realize the kingdom of God now. And that brings us to our last question, what is a Christian? Now, I have since realize what an incredibly ambitious question this is especially since we have just a few minutes to flesh it out. And so bearing all that in mind I went to the one place I knew would provide me with the answer, that’s right you are all thinking it with me “Google” I don’t know how or why but you can keep your Britannica or Merriam-Webster the only reference I need is a word that has no meaning but is synonymous for answers, Google. And according to Google there are millions of people with the answer to my question, now let bring up the intelligence quotient here, my query, yes I feel smarter now. So of course this search is ordered by accuracy right so the top result has to be the best one and so I click on it and it takes me to this page got questions.org or something and my first questions was what do the milk people think about your title as my eyes looked down over the electronic results: it actually wasn’t as bad as I was anticipating, there was even a button on the bottom of the page that suggested clicking on it if I had accepted Christ after reading the article, I am a little curious and well you know so I click…congratulations came screaming up at me with exclamations all around it…yeah, did I just win something? There has to be something more, it can’t just be a read this web page and click the button if it sounds cool? I think a lot of people would nod their heard after reading that page, but I look around this world and something in me says there is more…go deeper…don’t settle for a nice paragraph. What is a Christian after we take all the nicey nice stuff away from it, doesn’t everyone in the world know that you should be nice to people, isn’t that a human trait as much as breathing is? There has got to be more. I searched a little farther down on the Google results and came across a video and I said to myself Aha, here it is. This will shed some light on the subject for me for us, who better to answer this question than Obama and McCain:

 

Now this is not about politics, republican, democrat, but let’s put aside their party affiliations for a second and look at what they said.

 

Obama: JC died for my sins and I am redeemed through Him

McCain: Saved and forgiven, not just as an American but this is a world wide thing

Obama: He goes on to talk about what that means in his life, getting himself out of the way, the obligation of his faith being more than words but deeds, caring for the least of these, acting justly, loving mercifully, walking humbly and applying it on a daily basis without regard to our ever-present faltering.

 

Wow, I don’t know about you but I was pretty shocked, I have a pretty jaded view when it comes to politics of any party. I remember watching this debate in the fall but when I saw it again in the results of my Google search. Well said Mr. President. And for a few moments of the presidential race, republican and democrat come together, isn’t that like the kingdom of God, loving our enemies? 

 

And lets flesh out a definition here, this is about the basics of our faith and it starts with one word…believe… to accept as true, to be confident about. And this is where we start to break down, right here at the beginning of it, at the basic element of belief because for many of us belief, believing has lost its meaning, its definition and has become just a word, some vibration from the back of our throat, an electrical impulse deep inside our head, it is no longer connected with the action that gives it life. Of don’t feel bad for this word it has plenty of company, thanks…giving is synonymous with shopping, eating and football. Holy..days have their own mascots, the word love has lost its sacrificial nature and is now stuffed down our gluttonous, selfish throats…I love my new car, I love ice cream, I love doing this or that…all of this really cheapens, distorts the real meaning, For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, so who ever believe in him will have a whole and lasting life. Let’s reclaim this word to believe, what is the difference to believe something or to know something. I would argue that to believe in something requires a response not necessarily a physical response but some action is needed. You have probably heard that verse from James, don’t just hear the message of Christ but be doers of the word. To believe is to do. Say that with me. To believe is to do, turn to your neighbor and tell them. This is good; I’m not a huge fan of tattoos but could get behind writing this permanently on you.

 

If belief is to do, then what are we to do?

 

Luke 10: 25-28       John 15:1-17

 

 

 

 

 

After the Scholar answers his own question Jesus says…that’s it exactly, great answer! Oh yeah the last little part of that verse, but the part that the whole verse hinges upon, GO DO IT! live it, love God with everything. Whoa… careful that word is easily meaningless, as well lets get specific love God with your passion, prayer, strength, your intelligence. I know we have some passionate people here, some Strong people, not just physically, Pastor Steve bench pressed 500 pounds, but getting through the toughest things life can throw at you strong. And in Chapel Hill where a PhD is as common as a ged I know we have intelligent people here…love God with it. And don’t just stop there, but Love your neighbor just as much as you love yourself. And some of us need to just start loving ourselves, we beat ourselves up and keep bringing that 20 year old atrocity up out of the past and beat our selves up with it again and again, Love yourself, forgive others as God forgives us, those others include yourself. It is one thing to know about it though and it is another thing to do it.

 

Go live it and bear fruit, and remember that a vine can’t produce grapes if it is not connected to the trunk.

 

Anyone here been in love, no let me rephrase it, anyone here been so head over heals for someone that every thought that went through your mind was about them, granted you were probably in the 8th grade, but you scribbled their name all over the cover of your notebook, you knew their schedule so you might “accidentally” be in the same hallway at the same time, writing love notes and giving gifts to them, Am I starting to sound like a stalker? This is a hypothetical story…ahem…now if you were to randomly start doing these things for someone today, would that preclude you to falling madly in love with them? If did all the service but didn’t have the motive, I’m sure it would be nice and all but it would lack something. Do you get my point here?

 

A Christian is someone who believes in Christ, let’s make it a little stronger, is engulfed with, overflowing, transformed by Christ, to the point that they have to act…like when the lowly Minnesota gophers score a touchdown, I want to give that person next to me a high five.  They can’t help but love God with their lives, like the psalm let me live to praise you, and loving God is loving others, not a task, not a list of rules to keep, not a prayer before a meal, or a building to come to on Sundays. The basics of Christianity start with belief! I want to bring up our new pastor Christi Dye and invite her to tell us a little bit about herself, and what it means for her to be a Christian?