Why You Should Become a Christian: Conclusion

I hope that you have found this little series to be helpful.  I have outlined the reasons that I have chosen to be a Christian and to remain in the faith.  I have shared much of my own personal intellectual and emotional journey.

The reasons given are not persuasive arguments for everyone. I pray that if you are a person who does not find them convincing that you will at least be motivated to explore other arguments and approaches.

Some places to look on the internet are: www.str.org, www.ligonier.org, www.carm.org, and www.4truth.net.  

Some helpful books include The Reason for God by Timothy Keller, Reasons to Believe by R. C. Sproul, Reasonable Faith by William Lane Craig, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses by Richard Bauckham, and I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist by Norman Geisler and Frank Turek.  These men differ on many theological issues, but their arguments for God’s existence and the truth of the Bible are sound.  

Some other names to research include Greg Bahnsen, Cornelius Van Til, Alvin Plantinga, John Frame, and Craig Blomberg. 

The ultimate aim of this blog is to point others to Christ as the great Lord and Savior. He is the one Person who has walked the earth who is worthy of true worship and lavish praise. May His glory be over all the earth.


Why You Should Become a Christian: Christianity Has Changed My Life

I was raised in a Baptist church in a small, West Tennessee town. Many times, I have heard the testimony of a person who has been radically and completely delivered from the awful, evil sins they once committed.

I have often questioned the miraculous deliverances purported in these testimonies, especially when the speaker implies that my life must assuredly be changed in the same dramatic way if I truly repent of my sins and come to Christ.

I do not intend to discuss a long, rambling account of my personal sins and the way I have tried to set them aside. I have found in my own experience that my besetting sins have persisted after I became a Christian, even though I am better than I once was.

The difference in my life I want to discuss is not a dramatic reversal of my behavior. The Holy Spirit has helped me to get better over time, but I have not been made perfect, and I have not been radically and instantly delivered from sin.

The change in my life that I want to focus on is the freedom I have found in God’s forgiveness. I have found freedom and power to change in the knowledge that my sins are forgiven because of Christ. I have the encouragement I need to get up when I fall down.

Jerry Bridges describes this well: 
Gradually over time, and from a deep sense of need, I came to realize that the gospel is for believers, too. When I finally realized this, every morning I would pray over a Scripture such as Isaiah 53:6," All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all," and then say, "Lord, I have gone astray. I have turned to my own way, but you have laid all my sin on Christ and because of that I approach you and feel accepted by you.
[Christians] stand before God today as righteous as we ever will be, even in heaven, because he has clothed us with the righteousness of his Son. Therefore, I don't have to perform to be accepted by God. Now I am free to obey him and serve him because I am already accepted in Christ (see Rom. 8:1). My driving motivation now is not guilt but gratitude.

To use an expression of the late Jack Miller, we must "preach the gospel to ourselves every day." For me that means I keep going back to Scriptures such as Isaiah 53:6, Galatians 2:20, and Romans 8:1. 

It means I frequently repeat the words from an old hymn, "My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness." The success of our struggle with sin begins with our believing deep down in our hearts that regardless of our failures and our struggle, we have died to sin's guilt. We must believe that however often we fail; there is no condemnation for us (Rom. 8:1).

I find freedom from my sin in Christ’s power. I do not find a perfect freedom. These are always sins that I am prone to commit. If I fail, those are the ways I am going to fail at most of the time.

Am I worried about losing my salvation or making it null and void because of a “habit” or “continuing in sin?” Sometimes I do doubt, but in the end I know that I am forgiven in Christ. I repent of my sin and enjoy Christ’s forgiveness.

Will I earn rewards for the good things I have done on earth? Yes, God will graciously reward the results of His power because He sees my ‘good works’ through the lens of Christ’s righteousness credited to me.

He will reward the works He has brought about. But the rewards I earn will not be for me. They will be cast at the feet of Jesus in His honor.

Our next post will conclude our little series about why you should become a Christian.


Why You Should Become a Christian: Christianity Leads to Joy

Psychology, the way people think, has always been a fascination of mine. Great care must be used by a Christian in this area, but the concepts can often be redeemed. One of the most fascinating areas of psychology is temperament theory.

Temperament theory can be traced back to Hippocrates. It is undeniably imperfect, and some have even rejected the theories altogether.

Many of us are very reserved in temperament.  We were just made to be calm and quiet.  
It might surprise those who know very little about people like us that we want to be happy. Not just happy-go-lucky, smile all the time, laugh at everything type happy, but truly happy.

We want to be happy in the sense of being “blessed” or “delighted.” It might help to remind of the old adage, “Still waters run deep.”

John Piper has been a great help to me in many ways. His teaching has reinforced much of what I have learned about the way my heart works.

God made us to live a moral life, and we should not be surprised that moral living gives us joy. God forgives us of our sins in Christ, and we should not be surprised that the love he has shown for us results in joy.

This joy is at a profound level that can even motivate us to give our lives over to suffering and death on Christ’s behalf. The idea is not that our happiness is the greatest good; it is that we are made for God’s glory.  Living for His glory gives us joy.

I have not found a worldview or religion that can come close to Christianity in providing joy. This joy has led to great positive changes in my life, and I will describe those changes in the next post.

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