Literature Ministries International
- By Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
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WHAT MAKES US CHRISTIAN?
Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.
1 John 5:1
The New Testament at once shows us the total inadequacy of the common, current version of what constitutes a Christian. The New Testament terms are regeneration, a new creation, being born again. What makes men and women Christians is something that is done to them by God, not something they do themselves: “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.” And then, “Every one that loveth him that begat….” God, according to John, is the one who begets us; it is God’s action, not ours.
Now we need to take time in emphasizing the obvious contrast in each of these subdivisions. How ready we are to think of being a Christian as the result of something we do! I live a good life—therefore I am a Christian; I go to a place of worship—therefore I am a Christian; I do not do certain things—therefore I am a Christian; I believe—therefore I am a Christian. The whole emphasis is upon myself, upon what I do. Whereas here, at the very beginning of the New Testament definition of a Christian, the entire emphasis is not upon man and his activity, but upon God. He who begat, He who produced, He who generates, He who gives life and being. Thus we see we cannot be a Christian at all unless God has done something to us.
But I go beyond that and say that what makes us a Christian is something that makes us like God. “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.” That “of” is an important word; it means “out of God”; this is one who has received something of God Himself.
A Thought to Ponder
We cannot be a Christian at all unless God has done something to us.
From Life in God pp. 12-13.
Today’s devo is taken from Walking with God Day by Day © 2003 by Good News Publishers. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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