If people have to ask if you’re a Christian or not, you’re probably not.~ Unkown
The Church (all of God’s followers as a whole) has got a problem: nominal Christianity. This problem is a problem that we ourselves have created and allowed to spread, infecting the United States, the internet, and social media. Now, following Christ is no different than following a certain celebrity on Instagram.
Jesus was a radical dude; moreover, I think a lot of people today would agree with that statement. Regardless of what you believe about Jesus, it is undeniable that He loved people unconditionally. The way He cared for people was extraordinary. Because of His remarkable love for people, He humbled himself and willingly died on the cross for all people. Now, our sins have been paid for, because of this we must repent and we must submit our lives to Christ as a living sacrifice. We do all of this in gratitude, not because we want to just be a “good person.”
Although, more commonly than ever, I am seeing people that are calling themselves Christians but are not displaying the two greatest signs of being a Christian: repentance and submission to Jesus. Let’s break these down and figure out how we can apply them to our own lives!
What Is Repentance?
If you have grown up going to church, I hope you’ve heard this word! For the most part, when people hear this word, they always think about it in a religious contexts. But what does it even mean….? More importantly what does it look like to repent?
Repentance is something that can so dangerously turn into something you become legalistic over. The dictionary definition of repentance is “to turn from out of remorse.” As Christians, once we have realized the sacrifice Jesus has made for us, we confess and turn from our sin. We repent. It means we leave behind our old sinful pleasures and corruptness. Does it mean that we become perfect? HECK NO, but it means we strive to be more like Jesus each and every day.
What Is Submission?
Submission in a sense is similar to repentance, however, submission means that Jesus is receiving every part of your life. When you submit your life to Christ, you are saying that you realize your life is a gift from God and that your life is not your own. Your life was given to you by God to glorify himself. Submission looks like you saying to God, “Here I am. Send me!” It means pursuing what Christ wants for your life, not just what you want for your life. That is what true submission looks like in the Christian life; it should be a very clear and defined marker.
Why Nominal Christian Isn’t A Thing
With the simple nature of the Gospel, there is no option to be lukewarm. Jesus even said it Himself; moreover, He told His disciples to drop everything they were doing to follow Him. He called for this immediately. The same goes for us today. Following Christ require us to sacrifice everything, and if we’re not willing to sacrifice everything, the question we need to ask ourselves is “Is Jesus really worth it?” Time and time again you will find the answer to be yes.
REPENTANCE and SUBMISSION. These are the marks of a person who is walking with Christ.