Becoming a Christian Is Not...
Taking Whichever Route You Want
"Enter through the narrow gate that opens the way to heaven. The road that leads to hell is a very easy road and the gate to hell is very wide. Many people enter that gate. But the gate that opens the way to true life is very small and the road to true life is very difficult (hard). Only a few people find that road."
Acts 8:26-39 Philip teaches a man from Ethiopia
After reading this passage, take note of how religious the Ethiopian already is. If being religious or dedicated was enough, there would not be any need for God to send Philip to him. Being religious may be good; but it is not a step to salvation.
"Paul looked at the Jewish council meeting and said, ‘Brothers, I have lived my life in a good way before God. I have always done what I thought was right."
Paul was honest. He always did what he thought was right. However, look back at Acts 9:1-19 and you’ll see that Paul at one time thought he was best serving God by killing and persecuting followers of Jesus! We can respect Paul’s honesty; but we must also recognize that he was honestly wrong!
Acts 10:1-6 - The Conversion of Cornelius
Very few of us (certainly not me) can live up to the moral standards set by Cornelius. (Refer especially to verse two). But if leading a good moral life was enough to become a Christian, he would not have needed to send for Peter for further instruction.
Being a Believer
"You believe there is one God. Good! But the demons believe, too! And they shake with fear."
It is good to be a believer in God. However, even demons believe in God! If we only believe, we have only reached the level of the demon. I think, though, that James is saying that we may not even be reaching that level since demons understand and respect God so much that they "shake with fear."