Are you a DIY Christian?

Are you a DIYer? If you know what DIY means , that’s a good indication you might be one or know someone who is! DIY = Do It Yourself, as opposed to having someone else do it, usually a professional, someone who gets paid for the job. In general, the less money you have in your budget for projects and maintenance , the more DIY tasks you do. Sometimes they turn out well, and sometimes….you wish you’d hired a professional!

I am a DIYer and so is my husband. I use the term broadly here to mean that we rarely pay professionals for a job that we can do ourselves. For example, I cook most of our meals, we rarely eat out. I teach our kids at home. My husband fixes anything and everything including all of our vehicles and appliances and builds things and even machines tools and parts out of metal when something breaks. Many Americans are proud of their DIY abilities and projects and they like being in control of the outcome.

But there is one very important thing that no one can DIY, and you can’t pay someone else to do for you and that is BE A CHRISTIAN.

What do I mean by DIY Christian? Well, what is the definition of a Christian? At the bare minimum , it means “a follower of Jesus Christ”. And most Christians would say that they believe that being a Christian means that they are ‘saved’ and will go to heaven when they die. But the Bible says that we must be ‘born again’ and no one can do that by themselves. So it should be clear that there can be no actual DIY Christians, but people still try.

Some DIY Christians are actually unsaved people who have been taught that they should be a good person by the world’s standards or they want to look religious or enjoy feeling religious or spiritual, so they read the Bible as a book of instructions. They do not really know anything about God or heaven or Jesus or judgment or salvation, but they have some vague notions based on what they’ve heard or seen. They might even be regular church-goers or have Christian parents or friends or a believing spouse. They might ‘believe in’ something, but their beliefs are not correct. They have faith ‘in faith’. Someone told these DIYers that reading the Bible would get them to heaven, so they read it and try to do what it says. But sadly, they don’t know they are not going to heaven by their own efforts. These people are often the hardest to convince that they need Jesus.

Some DIY Christians are true believers but got set on the wrong path after they received the gospel. The admitted they were sinners in need of forgiveness. They asked Jesus to be their savior. They are sincerely doing what they think they should do. Some went to legalistic churches and the only thing they were taught is that God will judge them, and they are scared, so they are trying hard to please an angry God by following the rules of their religion.

Others went to liberal churches that do not teach about sin or holiness at all and they think they are saved based on how they felt after an inspiring sermon and emotional music. They decided ‘to become a Christian’ and they feel quite confident that they are going to heaven. They read the book of Acts and the Sermon on the Mount and enjoy doing good deeds and community involvement, but they do not read or believe the whole Bible. They avoid the parts they don’t like. They are often very involved in their churches and devoted followers of their leaders. Even if they profess faith in Christ, their faith is in themselves and their good works and what they have been taught about Jesus, which may not include the whole Gospel of the sinless life, sacrificial death, and miraculous resurrection of Jesus.

Both the legalists and the liberals are DOING many good things: attempting to follow the ten commandments, giving to charity, being nice to people who are different from them, reading spiritual books, listening to Christian music, trying not to sin, going to church. They may even be trying hard to love God and love their neighbor as themselves. In effect, they are trying to EARN their way into heaven, not trusting on the finished work of the cross! They are not trusting in the blood of Christ! They do not understand that Jesus already did the work for them. They are trusting in themselves, thus they are DIYers.

That is the difference . It’s not what you DO, it’s what YOU BELIEVE! Believe what? Believe that you are a hopeless sinner deserving God’s judgment. Believe that Jesus is the Son of God, sent to earth by the Father, from heaven, to save the world from their sins, without which no one can be saved and all would be condemned to judgment. All of those good DIY things should be the RESULT of your gratitude for believing what Jesus already did for you and done through God’s power and in His will. You do not say to yourself, “I will do these good deeds and God will accept me.” You don’t work your way into heaven. You might be thinking why do I have to believe? Can’t I just obey the rules? No, it’s impossible to obey the rules 100%. So instead you say to God, “I cannot do enough good deeds to save myself! Please save me!”

He made Him sin who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21

You must accept that you cannot save yourself. And you must believe that you are saved by what Jesus did, not your believing Jesus was a real person or a good person or teacher or prophet. Your belief is in fact the PROOF of your salvation, not the cause. Let me say it again. You are saved by what Jesus did, you believe it by faith, given to you by God. If you don’t have that kind of faith, ASK for it!

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV

You must believe that Jesus DIED FOR YOUR SINS and was RESURRECTED after three days. He is now seated at the right hand of God until he returns again to judge the world. That day could be coming soon. But those who believe will not be judged for their sins! Jesus already paid for them by willingly giving his own life as a substitute for the sins of the world. He sacrificed himself for us! Without him we would be going to hell, separated from God in eternal damnation. Do you see that JESUS did what you cannot do? He literally died for you. And even more importantly, he rose again! He defeated the power of death over YOU! Your physical body will die, but your spirit will live and when Jesus comes into his kingdom you will also be resurrected and spend eternity with Jesus because he has redeemed you.

We fallen humans are prone to being DIY Christians or following after other religions that tell us how to save ourselves with a list of dos and don’ts. We know God is real and our guilt convicts us of our sins, so we are afraid. We get busy working to get rid of that uncomfortable guilt. It’s a never-ending problem because we keep failing. So we keep trying. But instead of trusting Jesus to forgive us, we think we are in charge of the final outcome! But only our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ can transform us and save us. It can be a daily battle to not try to take over the job of following Jesus. Some days our pride wins. But if we humbly submit to the Lord’s will for our lives, he is faithful to help us. The more we surrender, the more God shows His power in our lives! We want to make God love us, but He already proved that He does. For God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 You can rest in his promises! Even when you fail, you are saved by Jesus.

What are some signs that you might be slipping into DIY mode? Feeling anxious about your salvation even though you’ve truly believed the gospel. Lack of peace in troubled times, lack of peace with other people, fear that you aren’t a good enough Christian, trouble praying, no desire to read the Bible or worship God, resentment over too many restrictions, giving in to temptation more easily than before, doubting God’s promises. All of these show that you are relying on yourself and not God. Take it all to God! He will never leave you. Ask Him to strengthen your faith and return to trusting Him.

24 Then Jesus said unto His disciples, “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it, and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it.26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

The above verse may sound like Jesus is asking you to do some type of work. But actually taking up your cross means that you are surrendering to his authority in your life. Jesus was saying, pick up your cross, let’s go get crucified together! You are giving up control over your own life and choosing His will. You carry that cross with you daily as you daily deny your selfish desires because you were crucified with Christ and now you live by faith in Him. You are no longer a DIY Christian.

Photo by Bidvine on Pexels.com

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