I am a disciple of Jesus, a Christ follower, a believer, born again, saved, baptized by water and Spirit, renewed, atoned for, redeemed, restored, bought with a price, whatever the faith the New Testament authors ascribe this faith to; I am that.
Words mean something. Words have the power of life and death. Words can build up or tear down. Words can imply the right thing or wrong thing.
That is why it is hard to only say, I am a Christian, because it doesn’t capture what I want it to in today’s society. In my heart, since I was a child, I call myself a Christian because I know what it means. However, for others, it isn’t enough.
There are so many assumptions I make with so little words that I want to lay them out for you.
When I say, I am a Christian, what I mean is all those descriptors listed above, and more. Here is the beginning.
I believe God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit in name, created the reality we live in. I believe it was good and still has elements and facets of this goodness even after sin was committed in this reality. Sin is the act of going against God, and this is what Adam and Eve, the first of human creation, did. They made the choice to believe a lie, instead of the truth, and gave into temptation that their God given goodness was not enough and that they had to take it for themselves.
God made a choice to withhold judgement of his fallen creatures and instead opted for punishment, so that the process of redemption could be shown. The punishment for our sin is death, which might seem severe, but we forget that what God has given us is a chance to exist.
He could have eliminated the creating of the human race and opted to create something else. Instead, he allowed humans to flourish.
Your life is a gift, and even though the end result is death, there is a chance to use this life to find out what you were given this gift of life for.
If you make a choice, that is contrary to God’s perfect nature, someday you will be judged, that was planned long ago when Adam and Even sinned and God decided to wait. The Bible says that at the end of it all, there is judgement for all according to what they have done.
When I placed my faith in Jesus years ago as a child, and it took root and bore the fruit of the Spirit over time it has shown the work of “Christ in me, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).
"He could have eliminated the creating of the human race and opted to create something else. Instead, he allowed humans to flourish."
When I reach the end of it all, I will stand before God and Jesus will have taken my place as the transgressor and I will then give an account for the actions I made with the second gift of life, my born again life.
I know on that day, I will say, “I did all that I could, I could have done more, I fall at your mercy and grace and I am thankful for all the work done on my behalf and all I have is gratitude for this life you have given me and will give me in eternity.”
So on my birthday, think of your God given life and what you are doing with it. You can be great, you can better, you can be healed, you can be freed, you can be comforted, you can be joyful you can have hope if you walk the path that millions have walked before us.
If you don’t understand how to reconcile this life and the pain you have, please ask me. If you can’t reconcile how God can be loving and yet allow you to choose sin and allow sin to win the day, just ask me. I have many answers; one big one is found in the book I wrote for my parents, myself and mostly for my late sister Hannah Zeller. “The Last Day of Regret,” is my answer to these tough questions.
In Truth & Love,
Matthew J. Diaz