Who I Am
I am a Christian! There are tons of erroneous views concerning what a real Christian is, and to be blunt I am sick of people who aren't Christians defining me through their observations of self-acclaimed Christians who hardly fit the mold the Bible demands. These people accept gross misconceptions of true Christianity based on their total lack of knowledge of what true Christianity is all about. It is similar to space aliens looking over our society, and explaining it from their other worldly point of view. The absurdity of it would be plain to anyone who lives on this planet. To clarify what I mean I will explain what a Biblical Christian really is according to my understanding of the Bible and my personal experience.
1. The beginning of a Christian's life is when that person admits they are a sinner in need of a Savior. This is not some mental gymnastic , but a deep understanding of wickedness that is inherent in all mankind. The reality of their sinfulness brings a person before the throne of God in meekness and humility knowing that they are unworthy to receive the least of all blessings from the hand of God because of their vile condition. It is at this point that real repentance becomes possible. To come in any other way than "Just as I am without one plea, but that the blood of Christ was shed for me" is far outside the realm of spiritual reality.
2. The next step is an act of faith. Faith is possible for two solid reasons that I can think of. First because Romans 1:19-20 makes it clear that God has put the knowledge of Himself in every man. That coupled with the fact that the Bible also tells us that God has given to every man "the measure of faith" fulfills the two things necessary to salvation. The faith necessary to believe, and the proof of God that has been deposited in all mankind from birth. Because of this the Bible declares without apology "The fool has said in his heart; there is no God." Toss in the fact that even the smallest child has a conscience that lets him or her know beyond any doubt that they are doing wrong - without any instruction and we have all we need to think right and get right with God. The Bible talks of some who reject God's word and his salvation as people whose conscience is seared. 1 Timothy 4:2
3. When the person comes before God soiled with their sin and with a broken, contrite and repentant heart by faith, God reveals Himself to them and a miracle suddenly takes place. A cleansing occurs that transcends the puny intellect of the greatest, most revered intellectual being to ever exist on planet earth. A sinful person who previously cared nothing about what God thought and who lived without regard to God in any aspect of his life is suddenly forgiven of every sin he or she has ever committed and that person knows that forgiveness intimately in the innermost recesses of his soul. The foul mouth learns to praise its Creator, the one who despised others loves them and genuinely cares for their welfare and their eternal future. The person who was apathetic about God suddenly becomes, in the eyes of the lost, a zealot, old habits are thoroughly broken, old haunts become distasteful, music changes from worldly to heavenly. Church becomes desirable as a place to fellowship with like-minded individuals, broken homes are reunited in love and harmony, life is bright and beautiful and has purpose, meaning and direction, morals become vitally important, and loving and serving God becomes the hearts most fervent desire!
4. The Bible is no longer just another book to a true Christian. It is water to his soul to refresh and nourish him. He cannot get enough of God's Word in his heart, and studies and meditates on it always. The Holy Spirit begins to teach him those things that he is able to deal with as a new Christian. Then he grows in faith as the truths revealed to him become deeper and deeper, and yet he knows that if he lived a million lifetimes he would never fully and completely understand all there is to know about them. Enjoying time in God's presence brings closeness to God that becomes increasingly more fulfilling as time goes by. It is in knowing God and interacting with God personally that the true Christian draws his strength to deal with all the issues of life. It is in God's holy presence that there is found fullness of joy. It is in God's presence that there is peace that passes all understanding. All the languages in the world, lined end to end with all the most amazing possible combinations of words available, could not adequately express the excitement of one second spent in the presence of God. When He comes into the room with His glory and power and utterly fills the soul of a man or woman or child it's blessing beyond measure! When his voice is in a message it brings conviction, and calls us to repentance and to receive God's great love and mercy. No earthly orator come close to the beauty of the voice of God speaking to our hearts!
This then is what I believe, not because I read it somewhere, not because I heard it in a church sermon, or because I heard someone tell it from their personal experience, nor yet because I read some testimony or testimonies from books. It is what I believe because God took this once time drug pusher and drug addict from a prison cell in February 1974 and transformed his life in such a way that it will never be the same again. It is the peace and true satisfaction that all men wish for but few find because they are looking for it in all the wrong places. It is joy beyond measure! It is everlasting hope in the heart of all who know it.