What is a Christian?
A Christian is someone who has received the gift of forgiveness and new life through faith in Jesus Christ. They then seek to love and serve God in their lives.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10
To go a bit deeper, God has revealed himself, and how we can know and please him, through the Bible.
We cannot serve God properly using our own ideas; nor are we trying to make up something new. Rather, we take the Bible as our authority for both faith and life. And we constantly test all that we believe, say and do under the authority of Jesus Christ, as revealed in the Bible.
The Bible reveals that although humans are gloriously made in the image of God, we have all turned away from God - we have done and thought things which are wrong and hurtful and have failed in many ways to be the people God desires us to be. This is called 'sin'. Furthermore, we have no way within ourselves of putting the wrongs right or of avoiding the penalty for offending our perfect and holy God.
However, God has made a way for us to be forgiven and brought back into relationship with himself. A Christian believes that the death of Jesus Christ on the cross has paid the penalty that we rightfully deserve, and his resurrection offers us hope for eternal life.
This acceptance of God's mercy is what it means that we are saved by faith; there is nothing we could have done or can do so we trust that God has done it through his son Jesus Christ.
Once we have become Christians, we see what the Bible says are not just ideas in our heads but ideals to live by. The whole of our life must be changed when we come into contact with God. This affects our understanding of our relationship not only to God but also to this world he has created, the animals and plants in it and all other people.
There is much more that could be said. We are a church who value the phrase "honest answers to honest questions." If you would like to find out more about the Bible, Jesus or Christianity, we'd love to hear from you.
You may also find this short video from Christianity Explored useful.