The Gatlinburg Lodge at SmokyMountainViews.com


The Gatlinburg Lodge at SmokyMountainViews.com
The Wears Valley Chalet at SmokyMountainViews.com
The Wears Valley Chalet at SmokyMountainViews.com


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Biblical Christianity: According to the Bible, what is a Christian?

 From "What is a Biblical Christian?" by Albert S. Martin
We have the problem of a bad record -- a record according to which we are guilty.  We have real guilt for real sin committed against the true and the living God....

Has the problem of your own bad record ever become a burning, pressing, personal concern? Have you faced the truth that Almighty God judged you guilty when your father Adam sinned, and holds you guilty for every single word you have spoken contrary to perfect holiness, justice, purity and righteousness?... Has this ever broken in upon you, so that you have awakened to the fact that Almighty God has every right to summon you into his presence and to require you to give an account of every single deed contrary to his law which has brought guilt upon your soul?

But this problem of a bad record is not our only problem. We have an additional problem -- the problem of a bad heart....




This defilement is described in Jeremiah 17:9: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?...

A biblical Christian is a person who has in all seriousness taken to heart his own personal problem of sin.... There are many variables, but Jesus Christ as the Great Physician never brought his healing virtue to anyone who did not know himself to be a sinner. He said, “I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Matthew 9:13).

Are you a biblical Christian -- one who has taken seriously your own problem of sin?...

When the Prodigal Son recognized his sin he did not sit there and think about it, write poetry about it, or send telegrams home to Dad. The Scripture says, “And he arose and came to his father” (v 20). He left those companions who were his friends in sin; he abhorred everything that belonged to that lifestyle and turned his back on it.... He did not write saying, “Dad, things are getting rough down here; my conscience is giving me fits at night. Won’t you send me some money to help me out, or come and pay me a visit and make me feel good?” Not at all! He did not need just to feel good; he needed to become good. So he left the far country.


It is a beautiful stroke in our Lord’s picture when he says, “But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him” (v 20). The Prodigal did not come strutting up to his father, talking about making a decision to come home.

There is a notion today that people can walk up an aisle, pray a little prayer, and do God a favor by making their decision. This has nothing to do with true conversion. True repentance involves recognizing that I have sinned against the God of heaven, who is great and gracious, holy and loving, and that I am not worthy to be called his son. Yet when I am prepared to leave my sin, turn my back upon it and come back meekly, wondering if indeed there can be mercy for me, then -- wonder of wonders! -- the Father meets me, and throws his arms of reconciling love and mercy about me....

But the father did not throw his arms around the Prodigal when he was still in the hog pens and in the arms of harlots. Do I speak to some whose hearts are wedded to the world and who love the world’s ways? Perhaps in your personal life, or in relationship to your parents, or in your social life where you take so lightly the sanctity of the body, you show what you really are....

You live in the hog pens and then go to a house of God on Sunday. Shame on you! Leave your hog pens and your haunts of sin. Leave your patterns and practices of fleshly and carnal indulgence. Repentance is being sorry enough to quit your sin....

What is a biblical Christian? It is not merely one who says, “Oh, yes, I know I am a sinner, with a bad record and a bad heart. I know that God’s provision for sinners is in Christ and in his cross, and that it is adequately and freely offered to all. I know it comes to all who repent and believe.” That is not enough.

Do you repent and believe? And if you profess to repent and believe, can you make that profession stick -- not by a life of perfection, but by a life of purposeful obedience to Jesus Christ?