Ligon Duncan on the Non-Negotiables of the Gospel

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  • Tuesday, May 29, 2007

    Excerpts from "What is a Biblical Christian?"

    Just had a friend send me a few excerpts he drew from a work by Albert N. Martin which distinguishes Christianity from others. Worth the read.

    1. According to the Bible, a Christian is a person who has faced realistically the problem of his own personal sin. One of the many things which distinguishes the Christian faith from the other religions of the world is that Christianity is essentially and fundamentally a sinner's religion.

    2. A biblical Christian is one who has seriously considered the one divine remedy for sin.

    A unique feature of the Christian faith is that it is not a religious self-help scheme where you patch yourself up with the aid of God. Just as surely as it is a unique tenet of the Christian faith that Christ is the only Savior for sinners, so it is also a unique tenet of the Christian faith that all of our true help comes down from above and meets us where we are. We cannot pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps; God in mercy breaks in upon the human situation and does something which we could never do for ourselves.

    3. A biblical Christian is one who has wholeheartedly complied with the terms for obtaining God's provision for sin. The divine terms are two: repent and believe.
    What is repentance? The definition of the Shorter Catechism is an excellent one:
    "Repentance unto life is a saving grace, whereby a sinner, out of a true sense of his sin, and apprehension (that is, laying hold) of the mercy of God in Christ, does, with grief and hatred of his sin, turn from it unto God, with full purpose of, and endeavor after, new obedience."

    4. A biblical Christian is a person who manifests in his life that his claims to repentance and faith are real.

    True faith makes you willing to be counted as a fool and crazy—willing to be considered outdated—because you believe that there are eternal, unchangeable moral and ethical standards.

    Jesus I my cross have taken
    All to leave and follow thee.

    A true Christian follows Jesus. How many of us are true, biblical Christians? I leave you to answer in the deep chambers of your own mind and heart.

    But remember, answer with an answer that you will be prepared to live with for eternity. Be content with no answer but one that will find you comfortable in death, and safe in the day of judgment.

    For more, see What Is A Biblical Christian?

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