So I was listening to a bit of Not a fan. by Kyle Idleman yesterday while driving (No. I wasn’t driving. My dad was. I have not yet learned that skill.). Well, right at the beginning Mr. Idleman made a major point that I thought I’d like to talk about. A point that I hadn’t really thought about, but it struck me at how true it was.
You see, to become Christians, we’re told to believe in Christ. Believe that Christ is who he says he is. Believe that he died on a cross. Believe that he rose again in three days.
Believe that Christ’s death paid for your sins.
I took that step of faith around six years old. Now who knows when I really believed. Not everyone knows the exact moment when they believed. I just know that at one time I didn’t and at one time I did. I was later taught the ABC method to becoming a Christian. Do you know what that is?
- A-Admit that you are a sinner.
- B-Believe that Christ died and rose again. That the Bible is absolutely true.
- C-Confess your sins to God and you will be forgiven.
That was great and all. Especially for such a young kid like me at that time. I’m not saying that any of this is bad. But those are not the only things that make us a Christian. There’s another part, one that is even bigger than believing Jesus, and that’s following Him.
Believing and following Christ go hand in hand with being a Christian.
But we separate them, because the reality is that many people who believe in Jesus (who say they’re Christians), don’t actually follow him. When really the meaning of being a Christian is not just believing, it’s following.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me.
You must follow him, if you’re to be his follower, a Christian.
Now that’s hard.
It’s one thing to just believe in Christ. It takes faith; it is not that easy. But it is a lot easier than actually following Christ. Following Christ takes more sacrifice. It costs more.
And that is what turns people away. They, we, don’t want to sacrifice anything. We don’t want to do anything that costs us anything.
But that verse above says that you must give up your own way. Another version says, “you must deny yourself”. You have to give up your own desires and take on God’s desires as your own. But when you love Jesus, taking on his desires is what you want to do.
Then you must take up your cross. Your cross. Just like Jesus took up his cross and sacrificed so much for us. He sacrificed even his own life so that we might live in Heaven for eternity. Now we must take up our own crosses.
We may not want to, but if we’re to be true Christians, we need to do more than just believe in him. We need to follow him.