By Krystle Chan

One of the disadvantages of being a so-called “second generation Christian” means that it is easy to fall into the same trap as many others – simply adopting or inheriting your parents’ religion without much thought or reason. Following along as a ritual because it was comfortable and familiar or because it was expected of you and you didn’t want to disappoint your parents or maybe because it was all you’ve ever known. 

It is important for each of us to think deeply about these things, so that we do not fall into the trap, float along or get tossed about. “That we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting” Eph 4:14. We need to have firm conviction.

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” 1 Pet 3:15.

So now we go back to the title of this article – Why am I a Christian?

For me, there are three key reasons:

1. Because of God’s grace, mercy and love for us

2. Because of the blessings found only in Christ

3. Because it is the TRUTH

1.Because of God’s grace, mercy and love for us

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Rom 3:23. We all have sinned. Whether ‘small’ or ‘big’ sins (God makes no distinction) – the fact remains that we are not perfect and we do not deserve God’s love – that is why it is called grace (unmerited favour). No matter what we do, we cannot work to earn our salvation. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” Ephesians 2:8 – 9.

But God gave it to us anyway. He sent Jesus to die for our sins. Not because we deserved it. Not because we loved Him, but because He loved us. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” Rom 5:8

And now, because of the sacrifice of Jesus, we have this hope of salvation, this gift of God. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” Rom 6:23. It is a free gift that we do not deserve. (And who doesn’t like free things?) We would be foolish not to accept it.

2. Because of the blessings found only in Christ

God promises us many blessings as His children. I realise and acknowledge that I have been greatly blessed in my life. And that all of these blessings come from God. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” James 1:17.  I am thankful to God for all His many blessings such as:

The avenue of prayer – As a Christian, we can always go to God in prayer. Phil 4:6 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God”. God tells us in Matt 7:7: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” We need only ask of God. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him” James 1: 5.

Family of God – Being part of the family of God is indeed a tremendous blessing. Christians help one another in times of need as the first century Christians did in Acts 2:42–46:  “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favour with all the people.”

When my brother went to Melbourne to study, he was basically ‘adopted’ by a Christian family there who barely knew him at the time. But they took him in and treated him as their own son. They have never failed to show us amazing kindness and hospitality whenever we visit them in Australia. Throughout my life, I have experienced the love and enjoyed the warm fellowship of various brethren first hand, which serves as a testimony of their discipleship.  “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” John 13:35.

Although God promises us many blessings, it is also important to note that He did not promise us a life free from adversity – As Job aptly says in Job 2:10, “.. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” 

Regardless of whether you are a Christian or not, life is full of hardships and adversity. The difference is that Christians have the assurance that God is with us every step of the way, (“and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” Matt 28:20, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” Heb 13:5), has a hand in it all and will work things out in time, according to His will. (“But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive” Gen 50:20;  “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” Romans 8:28).  With this assurance, we are able to obtain peace and comfort in God.  “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” Phil 4:7.

3. Because it is the TRUTH

This has to be the most important reason – the very foundation of my belief. Faith and conviction that this is, in fact, the truth. If it is not, as Paul said, “we of all men are the most pitiable” 1 Cor 15:19.

Jesus said that He is the way. The ONLY way. (“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” John 14:6.) No matter what major cultural, political or economical shifts may occur, this truth does not change.

As we uncover the harsh realities of life and are sometimes forced to make hard decisions for our faith – some may begin to doubt God and to question him as others did, even in Jesus’ time. For example, when Jesus taught regarding the bread of life in John 6, He said some things that were hard for them to accept and many turned away from Jesus because of these sayings. But how did his apostles respond? What did they say?

“..Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” John 6:68-69. No matter how we feel or how others might perceive us, God’s word is still truth (John 17:17). This is the firm foundation, the rock upon which I rest my faith.

These reasons are the foundation of my faith – the reasons I became a Christian and still am today.