Jesus is at the heart of our faith. You are not a Christian because you believe in God, in the existence of a divine being, but because you believe in Jesus. ; in who He is and in what you came to the earth to do. Many would say that they believe in God and consider themselves Christians, not so. The early church suffered atrociously at the hands of people who themselves believed in God, (also at the hands of people who worshipped a plethora of divinities) but the dividing line was the Person of Christ, it still is. When the apostle Paul was breathing fire against those of ‘the way’ it was not because of their faith in God but because they dared consider Jesus as their Messiah; he himself (Paul) was a devoted zealous believer in God and it was the radical encounter with the risen Christ that turned him into the apostle of Christ that he became.
Believe in Jesus, that He is God, that was sent by God the Father to the earth, that He died on the cross, that on the cross He carried your punishment and your sins, and became your substitute. That is how we become reconciled to God, by receiving the work of Jesus who became our substitute and took upon himself the things that separated us from God, consequently, we can receive forgiveness. So the Person of Christ is really at the centre of our faith. It begins and ends with Him. Everything Christian begins with and ends with Christ Jesus. ‘author and the finisher of our faith’, He is God and the reconciler of man with God, that is what makes you a Christian, faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross and in His resurrection.
Churchgoing, praying to saints, observing holy days, fasting do not make us Christians, faith in Christ Jesus only does, ‘believe and confess’; power to become sons of God. When Jesus was on the earth, at a crucial time in His life He turned to his disciples and asked ‘who do men say that I the son of man am?’; then He threw the question at them ‘who do you say that I am’. Peter’s response to that demonstrated that He had received revelation from God, and we all need to receive that revelation in order to be saved. The revelation we need is not that Jesus was a good Person who walked the earth 2000 years ago, but that He was the Son of God. Yes Jesus did walk the earth 2000 years ago and the destiny of all men now hinges on the nature and mission of that one Man Christ Jesus and their response to Him. What will yours be?