My name is Wayne. I am a CHRISTIAN. I identify myself as a Christian FIRST. I do not identify myself as an American first, or as a Calvinist first, or even as a Southern Baptist first. I live in (and love) The United States of America. I agree with 4 of the 5 "points" of Calvinism. And I attend a church which is associated with the Southern Baptist Convention. But, while I follow these (and other) beliefs, I identify myself as belonging to my Lord Jesus Christ.
So, just what makes one a Christian? Does it take years of learning and experience? Does one have to "get right" before they "get GOD"? NO!!! We are saved by the grace of GOD, through our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. I tend to agree (for the most part) with what the great C.H. Spurgeon said: "Calvinism IS the Gospel." He wasn't saying that John Calvin dies for our sins, but that his doctrine was the Gospel in a nutshell. And out of the 5 points of Calvinism, I do agree with 4. I will begin with point number 1:
1) Total Depravity. We are born with a sinful nature called the flesh. We are born into a fallen world.
"Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned"--Romans 5:12
"Therefore, as through one man's offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life."--Romans 5:18 (NKJV)
When Adam decided he just couldn't keep his grubby paws off of that fruit, he did more than just bring about his own eventual physical demise. He brought sin into the world, and the curse of death to all men. It wasn't until he brought sin upon us that we humans began to die. GOD told Adam in Genesis 2:17, "in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."
"And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others."--Ephesians 2:1 (NKJV)
We were dead. We could not bring ourselves up out of death. But, praise GOD, He brought us up out of death to live victoriously in our Lord Jesus Christ! And much more than that. When we were enemies of GOD, He still saw fit to save us.
Romans 5:6-9--"For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him."
He didn't say, "I just can't wait until those people learn how to live according to the Law. Once they do, I'll send my Son." He said, "Those people need a Savior. Therefore, I shall send my Son." While we were still spitting in His face!
Romans 5:10--"For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life."
Do you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? If not, then give your old life to Him, and let Him give you His eternal life!! You don't have to come up with some flowery, long, eloquent prayer. Just talk to GOD, as if you were talking to a friend. Because you are!!
May GOD establish and keep you. Amen.