To be a Christian we must understand, believe and obey the gospel preached by Jesus Christ and his apostles as recorded in the Bible.
We must recognise that in the sight of God we are all dead in trespasses and sins.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
If we die without remission of sins we remain dead forever.
Proverbs 21:16 The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.
Psalms 49:20 Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.
We must believe that Christ died to redeem us from our sins.
John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.
Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
We must believe the Gospel and be baptised into Christ.
Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved...
If we believe the Gospel and are baptised into Christ our sins are remitted and we will be raised from the dead when Christ returns.
John 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation (condemnation).
If we have obeyed the commandments of Christ in our lives we will be rewarded with eternal life in the kingdom of God. If we have not obeyed the commandments of Christ we will be condemned to die again (this is called in Revelation the second death).
After baptism into Christ we must live a new life.
Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
The commandments of Christ consist firstly of loving God and secondly of loving our fellow man in the same way that we love ourselves.
Mark 12:29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. 31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
Romans 13:9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Galatians 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
James 2:8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
Our neighbour includes our enemy.
Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
When we are baptised into Christ we become part of a body of believers and each have our part to play in the edification of the body.
1 Corinthians 12:12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
A Christian’s ‘church’ is not a building but a body of believers which is what the word ‘ecclesia’ which is translated ‘church’ means.
Colossians 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church (ecclesia): who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
We are to meet regularly to break bread and drink wine in remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice and take the opportunity to examine our lives in the light of his example.
1 Corinthians 11:23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. 27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
At Christ’s return we will be judged on how we have shown the love of God to others.
Matthew 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Matthew 25:45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
A Christian is not subject to a ‘priesthood’ devised by men. A Christian has direct access to God through Jesus Christ.
Matthew 23:8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. 9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. 10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. 11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.
1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
A Christian follows the example of the first century believers.
Acts 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized... 42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
I hope you have found this helpful.
May God bless you,