Quick ask yourself this question: “Why am I a Christian?” How long did it take you to think of the answer? And, no, “Because my parents are Christians” is not a correct answer. Atheists and Agnostics can write you a novel on the spot about why they believe the way they do; however, many Christians struggle with this answer. Many reasons abound as to why this fundamental question must be answered definitively and with much confidence. The first and most important reason, I believe, would be the fact that knowing why you believe in Christianity is the preventing of doubt and fear from bubbling up inside of us. If we cannot define our identity, then can we really know who we are?
Identity is a fundamental aspect of psychosocial and interpersonal development. A key developmental stage outlined by Erikson is “Identity versus Role Confusion.” Basically, if we do not feel a satisfaction with who we are and why we are that way, we feel confused about where we stand. The detriment of role confusion is paralleled in the Word. Hebrews 13:9, “Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them.” As we see, we need to be established in our thoughts.
The second reason of importance for firm identity in Christ involves the issue of being a good witness. Meek people out there hungering for the Word typically have questions for the Christian and if believers cannot adequately describe why and how they chose Christianity, the questioner is likely to have little confidence going forward with the more difficult inquiries.
God is very clear about his desire for the Christian in these situations. 1 Timothy 3:7, “Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.” While this passage is directed toward the bishop in the church, I think it is very pertinent to the discussion at hand. The devil is waiting to trap the ignorant and unsure Christian. 1 Peter 5:8 describes the devil, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” And devour he will if we do not have the knowledge to resist him.
Therefore, we see the importance of identity and the knowledge which comes with knowing who we are. Well, I bet you are asking that very question, who are we? Well, I would not be a good Christian if I did not tell you (pun intended). The first issue which needs to be addressed is how we can even be Christians in the first place. We need to know where we come from before we can go forward.
Well, it all starts with Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and He basically sums up the Christian belief in one verse. John 14:6, “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” In this one verse we see what separates Christians from every body else, we believe in Jesus Christ and through Him we have access to the Father, God.
In actuality, this one verse puts to rest about half of the arguments used against Christianity. “What makes Christianity so different from all the other religions?” Well, Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father. “All you religions worship the same god?” I don’t think so. Does allah require belief in Jesus Christ? Can nobody go to brahma, but through Jesus Christ? God forbid! Only the Christian God Almighty requires belief in His Son Jesus Christ to be able to have access to him. Even with the ammunition and power which John 14:6 gives us, we have only scratched the surface of what makes us Christians and what sets us apart from the rest of humanity. Continued in Part 2…