When We Come To Christ

When we come to Christ, does God require us to give up the cultural identity and heritage we were born into?
The following is an excerpt from the book, “Bible Prophecy, Bible Versions, Spiritual Formation,” by author / speaker Jocelyn Andersen. Her informative, challenging, and often provocative radio commentaries can be heard on Sharecropper Christian Radio www.ShareCropperRadio.com Her latest book, Woman Submit! Christians and Domestic Violence, is available where ever books are sold. She invites you to Visit www.WomanSubmit.com for details. Her book, Bible Prophecy, Bible Versions, Spiritual Formation, is available FREE for Download at www.Lulu.com/JocelynAndersen Visit www.HungryHeartsMinistries.com for information concerning all her books. Permission is given to copy, distribute and transmit this work for non-commercial use only. All other uses must have written permission from the author.

When We Come To Christ
When we come to Christ, does God require us to give up the cultural identity and heritage we were born into? Absolutely not! But everyone who does come to Christ should be willing to give up everything that will hinder the development of his or her new identity in, and service to, Jesus. When we surrender our lives to Christ, we no longer belong to ourselves but to the God of Heaven and the Father of our Lord (as in master) Jesus Christ who purchased us with his own blood. We are not our own—for we have been bought with a great price (1 Corinthians 6.20).

In the book of Genesis, we see Abraham being instructed to leave his country, his kindred, and his Father’s house to go to an unknown land that God would show him. That could not have been easy for Abraham. He lived in a culture where family ties and responsibilities meant a great deal, but, none-theless, he was obedient to his God in this command. Abraham was neither asked nor required to adopt the ways and trappings of another cultural Identity when he chose to follow God. But he was required to allow God to develop his life and lifestyle into something completely new. When we come to Christ, the scriptures say old things are passed away... and all things are become new. We become a completely new creation and are instructed to walk in newness of life. At some point in time most of our ancestors followed an old way. When following the old way, if a new God or spirit were introduced, wasn’t the proper worship of, or way of relating to that entity sought and adhered to? Why then, would we not be willing to do the same for our Redeemer and Creator, the great God of the universe, the one True God, Christ Jesus? In Acts chapter 19.17-19, we see people entering their new life in Christ with a healthy fear of God. We witness them enthusiastically bringing items which were used in “curious arts” i.e., occult (demon worship—“old ways”) and burning them.

These new followers of Christ had no desire to retain anything of the old ways—ways that had never been able to bring life. We would be wise to follow their example as we examine and carefully evaluate some of the things we allow ourselves to come into contact with and become influenced by (via our old life and activities, associations, possessions, and various forms of media we allow ourselves to be exposed to). The cultural situation we were born into constitutes a large part of who we are, but being a New Creation in Christ supersedes even that. Absolutely everything in the life of a Christian is superseded by the new identity now possessed in Christ—regardless of what earthly culture one is born into. Whether we are black, white, Jew, Gentile, Native American, Asian…, the list can go on and on, if we love tradition and the ways of our earthly culture more than Jesus, if we choose to identify with our earthly culture more than with Jesus... He tells us we are not worthy of him. If we love this world and the things it contains (including the cultural heritage we were born into) more than Jesus… The love of the Father is not in us.

Just as Joshua challenged the children of Israel before they crossed over into the Promised Land, the Spirit of God challenges us today to, “Choose you this day...” Do you love your Savior enough to examine the things you may have held dear, even sacred, your entire life? Would you like to be able to say, along with Peter, “Behold, we have forsaken all and followed thee…?” Are you willing to give up everything for Jesus? He gave up everything for you.
This has been an excerpt from the book, “Bible Prophecy, Bible Versions, Spiritual Formation,” by author / speaker Jocelyn Andersen. Her informative, challenging and often provocative radio commentaries can be heard on Sharecropper Christian Radio www.ShareCropperRadio.com Her latest book, Woman Submit! Christians and Domestic Violence, is available where ever books are sold. She invites you to Visit www.WomanSubmit.com for details. Her book, Bible Prophecy, Bible Versions, Spiritual Formation, is available FREE for Download at www.Lulu.com/JocelynAndersen Visit www.HungryHeartsMinistries.com for information concerning all her books. Permission is given to copy, distribute and transmit this work for non-commercial use only. All other uses must have written permission from the author.

Jesus said by our words, we will be justified, or by our words, we will be condemned. That is a frightening thought for most of us. During the course of a lifetime we speak many words, and we do not always choose our words wisely. The wisest choice of words we can ever make is to confess with our mouth that Jesus Christ is the risen Son of God. If we come to God on those terms, with a truly repentant heart, we are promised eternal life. A broken and contrite heart, he will not despise.

Here is what it all boils down to. Our God is merciful and loving. He does not unnecessarily complicate things. We read in Romans 10. 9, 10, and 13, that if we confess with our mouth, words, that Jesus is the Son of God, and believe in our hearts that God raised him from the dead, and call on God to save us according to those terms, We, Will, Be, Saved. Is it well with your soul?