What it means to be a Christian
First, to be a Christian you must have Christ “in you” (2 Corinthians 13:5); this occurs when His Spirit enters your life (Romans 8:9-10). This is where the term “born again” becomes meaningful (John 3:3). There must be a time where you, by faith, receive Christ and in so doing acknowledge that your sins have separated you from God, that Christ alone has paid the penalty for those sins, and that He will forgive your sins when you ask in faith. Believing His promise (John 1:12), we know that upon receiving Christ we are born of the Holy Spirit and become the children of God. Until that point, we are His creation but not His children.
Once you become a follower of Christ by faith, it is vital that you maintain a living and growing relationship with Christ in order to make progress in developing Christian character. God commands us to be holy, even as He is holy. He is committed to work with you and in you to turn you into one who is like Christ. Note though, that even though He is at work, you are not to remain passive in the process, but to strive to holiness, having confidence that God is at work in you.
Don't think that being a Christian makes you perfect, it doesn't. We can however allow Gods light and His character to shine through us, and He will help us slowly to strive to be more like Him.
There are two very important Christian disciplines that will give God the opportunity to bring these changes about. The first is that you continually surrender your life to God, even as a servant would to his master, so that He can lead you to become all that He desires. The next discipline, so very important to Christian growth, is that you devote time to be alone with God. Christianity, unlike any other religion, is a relationship with a person–the living God. As you develop this relationship and learn to rely increasingly on God, the object of your faith, you will continue to grow and mature as a Christian.
Being a healthy and growing Christian is not only vital for your own spiritual well-being, but also for the well-being of the local church. We at PEFC urge you to be certain you are a Christian, to surrender your life to Christ continually and fully, and to spend time daily developing your relationship with Him.