2/2/14: What Makes Me A Christian? (1)
What makes me a Christian? Over the next few months the 12:13 class will be exploring the mystery of the new birth — election, the gospel, conversion, justification, adoption, sanctification, and glorification. Some weighty topics! The goal is to help these Middle School students better understand salvation and sanctification so that they can make a biblically informed evaluation of their own relationship with God.
On Sunday I introduced the new series by contrasting external words, looks, and actions with the internal change of heart that marks true saving faith. I defined a Christian as “A new creation made alive by the mercy of God through Jesus Christ.” We talked about the Sower (God)…the Soil (hearts made dead by indwelling sin)…and the life-giving Seed, Jesus Christ, who turns hearts of stone to hearts of flesh (John 12:24, Ezekiel 36:26). We even simulated a Christian “Assembly Line” to reinforce the point that the Christian life is not about what we do but about who we have become in Christ. I trust none of these students will be content to be an artificial plant!
To illustrate the life that is found in the good news of Jesus Christ, I planted a pebble in one cup (marked by the spoon) and two beans in another. If all goes as planned, within a week or two we will see a green, growing testimony to the hidden power contained in those simple seeds.
I encourage you to review the notes with your student and use the discussion questions below to help him or her process these things more fully. It is an honor to partner with you and your family in these exciting, life-changing years!
FOR DISCUSSION WITH PARENTS
- Why is it so important to understand that a Christian is not someone who looks or acts a certain way, but someone who has been made alive by God through Jesus?
- Would you describe the soil of my heart as soft or hard at this point in my life?
- Is the seed of the gospel growing in me?