Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What is a Christian Anyway?

Most of the regular readers of Soul Strokes are probably Christians. At one time in their life they have come to the recognition of their need for a savior, of their need for Jesus. Yet some who have stumbled onto this site by chance may have no clear idea what a Christian is at all.

There are a lot of misconceptions out there about what it means to be "saved" or "born again." Those terms, while legitimate descriptions of the true believer, have often become labels for a stereotype, a warped picture that some people have of followers of Christ that makes them appear as uptight, Bible-thumping fanatics who are constantly finding fault with others. The real picture of a Christian, though, is an imperfect person who has come to the understanding that he has way too many faults to ever be accepted by a perfect God. But along with that realization of "sin" has come another understanding: This same awesome and perfect God has provided a way we can come to Him and live eternally through the sacrifice of his Son for us. All we have to do is accept God's free gift of life.

If those last two statements sound confusing, perhaps the illustration below will help some. And if that brings up some other questions or maybe even the desire to find out how you, too, can, be a part of this Christian way of life, feel free to write to me directly at soul.strokes@yahoo.com.


A Mother Dies that her Boy may Live

When the California gold fever broke out, a man went there, leaving his wife in New England with his boy. As soon as he got on and was successful he was to send for them. It was a long time before he succeeded, but at last he got money enough to send for them. The wife's heart leaped for joy. She took her boy to New York, got on board a Pacific steamer, and sailed away to San Francisco.

They had not been long at sea before the cry of "Fire! fire!" rang through the ship, and rapidly it gained on them. There was a powder magazine on board, and the captain knew the moment the fire reached the powder, every man, woman, and child must perish. They got out the life-boats, but they were too small! In a minute they were overcrowded. The last one was just pushing away, when the mother pled with them to take her and her boy. "No," they said, "we have got as many as we can hold." She entreated them so earnestly, that at last they said they would take one more.

Do you think she leaped into that boat and left her boy to die? No! She seized her boy, gave him one last hug, kissed him, and dropped him over into the boat. "My boy," she said, "if you live to see your father, tell him that I died in your place."

That is a faint type of what Christ has done for us. He laid down his life for us. He died that we might live. Now will you not love Him?
What would you say of that young man if he should speak contemptuously of such a mother! She went down to a watery grave to save her son. Well, shall we speak contemptuously of such a Saviour? May God make us loyal to Christ!

My friends, you will need Him one day. You will need Him when you come to cross the swellings of Jordan. You will need Him when you stand at the bar of God. May God forbid that when death draws nigh it should find you making light of the
precious blood of Christ!

from Moody's Anecdotes and Illustrations by Dwight L. Moody



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