What characterises a Christian?

What would you say characterises the church? Perhaps it would be bad press, or words like “decline” might be used. What would you then say characterises a Christian? Some might say “self-righteous”, “do-gooders”. If that is the picture that has been presented, even if it has become a caricature, it’s not what the Bible says. As we finished our summer series in the Psalms, we heard from Psalm 32 and Psalm 51 what really characterises a Christian – that we are repentant and rejoicing. For we know how sinful we are, we know how good God is, and we have experienced his re-forming grace. We have received forgiveness of sin and right relationship with God through belief in Jesus Christ. We are restored to the joy of our salvation. It’s a broken-hearted joy, of knowing what we are really like, and seeing what God’s love for us in Jesus Christ is really like. Sunday was of course Valentine’s Day, and the advertisements were everywhere: “Show that special someone you love them by buying this ring for them”…”Show that special someone you love them by getting them roses.” But, can you imagine it being said, “Show that special someone you love them by dying for them”? That is what Jesus has done for you. He who died for our sin and rose for our hope. He our joy, and so we live in response by being repentant and rejoicing. This is what characterises a Christian, this is what characterises Jesus’ church. We are reforming and invite you to be reforming with us, by the good news of Jesus.