To be a Christian means that you are a follower of Christ and a disciple of Christ (Mark 1:17; Matthew 28:18-20). There are two things that Jesus (and the men he personally discipled) taught.

1. First, a follower of Christ knows what God requires of them in order to spend eternity with Him

Being a follower of Christ means that you understand that you cannot earn your way to God no matter how good you are (Matt. 5:20). It means that you understand your works cannot get you into heaven whether they be religious rituals (baptism, confession of sins, prayer, etc.) or good things we do for God or others (Rom. 3:20). Rather, salvation is a gift given by God’s grace to all those who trust that they cannot earn their salvation, but believe that Jesus died on their behalf to pay their sin debt by dying (and then later raising to live) in their place (Eph. 2:8-9; Heb. 9:28 Acts. 4:12: Rom 6:23). Jesus rejected the Pharisees and ministered to sinners, not because he had low moral standards for his followers, but because the Pharisees thought they were good enough to earn their way to heaven while the sinners knew they were not good enough (Mark 2:17).

2. Second, a follower of Christ understands that Jesus expects them to become like Him

Being a follower of Christ means that the gospel calls you to live a life that is progressively more like Christ’s life as heHe is not just our savior, but also our Lord (Tit. 2:11-12; Rom. 10:9). This is not because you are trying to earn God’s favor but because you are trying to please the one who has saved you by reciprocating His love (I john 4:19)!