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A Church Member But Not a Christian?
February 28, 2022, 11:00 AM

Do you know that a person may be a member of a local congregation, have been baptized, and still not be in a saving relationship with God?  "How is that possible?" you might ask.  Many times, it is due to a misunderstanding of salvation.  Some people think that baptism is all that is necessary to be saved. Although baptism is important and was commanded by the Lord Jesus Christ, there is something that must occur prior to water baptism.  At other times, some people feel that if I simply join, visit, or periodically attend a local congregation, they are in right relationship with God.  This is a serious misunderstanding!  Although the Holy Spirit places us in the universal church and should lead us to unite with a local congregation, this alone does not put in right relationship with God.

What is it then?  What is needed to be in right relationship with God?  To understand this, we must go to the basics of the Gospel itself.  The Gospel is the Good News concerning Jesus Christ!  Yet, we can only understand the Good News when we understand and respond to the bad news! 

Here is the bad news!  Without Christ, we are under the God’s wrath (judgement, anger) of God.   The Bible states that “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men” (Romans 1:18).   Furthermore, our sins have separated us from God (Isaiah 59:2).  Not only that, outside of Christ we are spiritually dead in our trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1), and living in disobedience according to the world’s ideas, influence of the devil, and the desires of our nature.  All of this is deserving of death, because “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).   


What are we to do then?   Here is where the Good News comes in!  God has provided the only solution for dealing with this negative and serious situation: His Son, Jesus Christ!  On the Cross, Jesus had (1) the wrath of God poured out on Him; (2) He fixed it so we would have an opportunity to no longer be separated from God; (3) He paid the sin debt, through His death; (4) He shed His blood to cover our sins and to have them removed; and (5) He provided spiritual life where there was previous spiritual death. 

The question remains: How do I take advantage of this opportunity that God provided through Jesus Christ? You can take advantage of it by accepting by faith what Christ did on the Cross.  (When we say, “by faith”, we do not mean simply believing that Jesus exists or believing that Jesus really died).   We trust that He paid it all in full, even though we did not deserve it, could not work for it, and could not pay for it! It was an act of His grace, His favor!  “By faith” means that we also turn to Christ AND turn from our sins! We live a life of continued growth and obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ.  The Holy Spirit that is now within us begins to help us to be more like Jesus Christ, living a life of obedience and increasing holiness before God!


Now what?  After we have accepted by faith God’s gift of grace, we live to glorify God every day, every situation, and in every way!  We also commit to what has been gifted to us by God to build up our local church congregation! It means using our influence to encourage others to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior too!

If you are not certain that you are in right relationship with God, being now by (1) thinking about and accepting what Christ accomplished on the Cross for you and me; (2) ask Him to be your Lord (in charge of your life) and Savior! He must be BOTH, not only Savior!  Turn to Christ and turn from your life of sin; (3) commit to a local church congregation for continued spiritual growth and to be a blessing to them in their spiritual journey and work.   


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