It is not hard to become a Christian. You hear the Gospel of Jesus and when you believe the Gospel, you have faith in Christ (Romans 10:14-17). Then when you have met the conditions (faith; Romans 10:9-10; repentance; Acts 2:38; confession: Romans 10:9-10, & baptism; Acts 2:38; 1 Peter 3:21), then you are saved, God has saved you because you have identified with Christ through his death (that’s what immersion is for, cf., Romans 6:1-6). That’s the easy part, knowing what to do, but, it can be more difficult for some people to come to the point of belief, or repentance. It can be difficult to let go of what we already know and keep ourselves living in the that way which the Bible describes as sinful and worldly and idolatry.
Once I am saved, when I have become a Christian, well things are new. The Bible even calls it a new life (Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 4:16). I am not who I was. I have a brand new life, I start over. If I simply keep living the way I had before, then I am not different just a little older. But with salvation in Christ, with the Holy Spirit in my life, with God’s Word the Bible leading me, then I am being transformed, renewed (Rom. 12:2) into the likeness of Christ.
At least one time, when there was a huge crowd of people, Jesus taught them. In Matthew 5, he was on a mountain in Galilee and began to teach the crowds. He began with the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-16).
Each “Beatitude” begins with “Blessed are…” meaning, “joyful are those who….”
This is what it is like to live in Christ, to be a Christian, to have life.
- It is a joyful thing to realize you are poor in your spirit and you need God. It is joyful because God’s kingdom is in us; Mt. 5:3
- It is a joyful thing to mourn that you are a sinner, because God’s salvation will bring you comfort; Mt. 5:4
- It is a joyful thing to be meek. Gentle in character but firm in conviction; you will “inherit the earth,” fill it with joy; Mt. 5:5
- It is a joyful thing to hunger and thirst for righteousness, because you will have; Mt. 5:6
- It is a joyful thing to be merciful, you’ll get mercy back and from God; Mt. 5:7
- It is a joyful thing to have a pure heart, you are going to get to see God because of it; Mt. 5:8
- It is joyful when you are a peacemaker, that’s what the children of God do; Mt. 5:9
- It is a joyful thing when people persecute you because of your righteousness, it means you are in the kingdom and people who hate God hate Christ in you and will try to insult and stop you; Mt. 5:10-13
This is spiritual of course. It plays out here in the material world with the sense that God’s kingdom is expressed in and through your life.
This is the character of those who are saved. Not one or another of the Beatitudes, but all of them together. It’s like the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). It’s not one or two things, it’s all of them at once that make up the produce of your life.
Why am I blessed? I am blessed because I have salvation, I have God in my life and Christ is leading me by the means of his Spirit. I have heaven and a great reward, now and in the future (John 10:10, “life abundant”).
Boy am I blessed!