I Just Want To Be A Christian!
Did you ever say that to yourself? Are you tired of the confusion, and all the choice making? When I study the Bible with individuals, I often hear them say that it’s so confusing for them that we have so many choices. Then they very often ask, “How can I know which one is right?” I point them to Jesus who John quoted in John 8:31-32 (KJV) 31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Actually, I’ve never thought of myself as being anything more than just a Christian, a disciple who strives to continue in the Lord’s word – a Christian only! Someone says to me, “I Just Want To Be A Christian! Will someone please tell me how?” Friends, we haven’t made it easy on folks with so many hundreds of variations of answers. Sadly, it’s conceivable that many people have ended their search because of the religious confusion that “addles the brain.”
God is infinite in wisdom, and perfect in all His ways. From eternity He purposed a Purpose that all men should be united in Christ Jesus. This gathering of people were to be His separated or called-out ones (the ecclesia) — the church! (Ephesians 3:9-11). Those of the First Century were taught the Gospel in keeping with the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20: “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
Those who heeded the taught message of the Lord were baptized, and the Lord added them to this “ecclesia” –the church– (Acts 2:38-47). In Acts 11:26 we learn that “…the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” That’s it! That’s what I want to be–JUST A CHRISTIAN!
If God in His wisdom had willed it so, men would have been instructed in the fine art of establishing many kinds of religion – and in how to be different kinds of Christians. This writer is convinced that an inquirer can see from the Bible that it was never, even in the remotest way, in God’s plan for mankind to so divide Christianity. Even though our religious world practices exactly that, we’re convinced that it is a Biblical plea to call ALL men back to the Bible and invite them to just be Christians only, nothing more and nothing less. Why should a man have to put a tag in front of his religious name to explain which “kind” of Christian he is? We should all be able to follow the last phrase of that Great Commission of Jesus, “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:20).
We need to take a look at this very basic need of man spiritually–to be JUST A CHRISTIAN. Our plea should be that of Jesus Himself in the garden in John 17:20-21: “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.”
For years I have believed that this plea was both valid and attainable. I’m told by some that it is not, and in fact that those of us who are working toward this goal are merely deluding ourselves into thinking that we are not a part of religious division. Well, I just don’t believe it! If I do what the Lord says to do to be a Christian, why does it follow that I must choose which “kind” of Christian I want to be? Why can’t He just add me to the church as He did in the First Century? In truth, He can!! Don’t be ashamed of your plea, or your spiritual birthright in Christ. I am not a part of a church other than the one Christ founded and added people to in Acts 2:47. No man other than Christ had or now has the authority to found the church. Remember, “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain” (Psa 127:1). I am just a Christian, just a member of the Lord’s church, the church that He “built” and “purchased” with His own blood (Matt. 16:18; Eph. 5:25-27). I worship with others who share this “like precious faith” (2 Peter 1:1).
The author can be reached for comments at 256-574-2489.