The Scripture wisely tells a builder to consider the cost before building. Likewise one ought to sit down and weigh the cost of being and or becoming a Christian. Yes, it is a free gift of love that needs only to be received. Yes, it is received by faith without works. Yes, it is stimulated by love; first God’s for us, then ours for Him. Yet, many become Christians without fully grasping the decision they are making. This is largely due to modern witnessing techniques, which are misleading, and not the fault of the one entering the faith. Nonetheless, one must understand more clearly what it means to become a Christian.
True Christianity involves two things. Yes, two. The first is most widely known and is always used in witnessing. Unfortunately, it sells people on Christianity, but leaves them disillusioned. The second is rarely used when witnessing, but is needed to give balance to the Christian message. To be a true Christian one must accept Christ as both Savior and Lord. Rom 10:9,10. As Savior, Christ as redeemed us from our sin; as Lord, He directs us in our daily living. We enter into Christianity by faith and without works. We live out our Christianity by our works, not to retain our salvation for that is secure in Christ, rather because we our subjects to the Lord and King, Jesus Christ.
James has said it better then I, “What [doth it] profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be [ye] warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what [doth it] profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.”
We are also told to take up our cross daily. What then does that mean? In the simplest form it means: whatever Christ would do in my present circumstance, that is what I must do. Christ is our Lord, right? Then we are obligated to obey Him as such. It means we must surrender our will to Him. In practical terms, whatever Christ would do in my present circumstance is what I must do. Our behavior does not determine whether or not we are members of our families, but it does determine the level to which we love our families and the quality of our inner family relationships. In the same way, we are a part of God’s family. Do we love our families more than ourselves? Do we love God more than ourselves? Do not tell me, show me.