Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What Is A Christian?

"Defining the word Christian"


     Many people call themselves a Christian or say the believe in God. But what makes a true Christian, a true follower of Jesus? This may not seem like an important question but it is because if the definition is misunderstood it is the difference between eternity with Jesus or damnation in Hell.
   First lets see what a Christian is NOT! A “Christian” is not a person who has said a prayer, or walked down an aisle, or been raised in a Christian family, or a member of a church. It is not a person that goes to church every time the doors open, tithe's, does good works, been baptized, even walk and talk like a "Christian" (Titus 3:5). While each of these things can be a part of the Christian experience, they are not what “makes” a Christian. Each of of these things are fruit of being saved by God's grace, they are things that are done because we are a changed person and want to do them out of love for Jesus and not out of obligation! Just simply doing and saying these things doesn't make a person Christian. Unfortunately over time, the word “Christian” has lost a great deal of its significance and is often used of someone who is religious or has high moral values but who may or may not be a true follower of Jesus Christ.
   The word “Christian” is used three times in the New Testament (Acts 11:26; 26:28; 1 Peter 4:16). Followers of Jesus Christ were first called “Christians” in Antioch (Acts 11:26) because their behavior, activity, and speech were like Christ. The word “Christian” literally means, “belonging to the party of Christ” or a “follower of Christ.” A true Christian is one who understand the gospel message (1 Corin. 15:1), has repented of their sins, and trust that Jesus has fully payed their debt of sin, that is was nothing they did or deserve but a gracious gift from God.  From:"What is a Christian" Q&A
  John 1:12 tells us, “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” Titus 3:5 says, “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.” So, a Christian is someone who has been born again by God (John 3:3; John 3:7; 1 Peter 1:23) and has put faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2:8 tells us that it is “,by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.”
     So what defines a Christian? 
1) A Christian is a new creation(2 Corinthians 5:17). Becoming an entirely new creature as a result of being “in Christ.”
2) A Christian is redeemed (1 Peter 1:18-19). The word “redeemed” refers to a purchase being made, a price being paid.
3) A Christian has been justified (Romans 5:1). To “justify” means to “declare righteous.” All those who receive Jesus as Savior are “declared righteous” by God
4) A Christian has been promised eternal life (John 3:16). Eternal life is a promise of eternity (forever) in heaven with God. God promises, “Believe and you will have eternal life.”
5) A Christian has been guaranteed glorification. “And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified” (Romans 8:30). Glorification refers to a Christian receiving a perfect resurrection body in heaven.
6) A Christian has been promised that we can not be separated from God's love (Romans 8:38-39), we can not be removed from His hand (John 10:28-29), And God is both willing and able to guarantee and maintain our salvation (Jude 24-25).
    A Christian lives by faith in that which we can't see and that in trusting that Jesus has already paid the price for our debt of sin. We are supposed to die to self daily (Gal. 2:20). Being crucified with Christ means that our old nature has been nailed to the cross and has been replaced by a new nature which is Christ’s (1 Corinthians 5:17). He who loved us and died for us now lives in us and the life we live is by faith in Him. It means sacrificing our own desires, ambitions, and glories and replacing them with those of Christ. We can only do this by His power through the faith that He gives us by His grace. Part of the Christian life is praying and trusting God's power of perseverance until the end.

I heard this quote one time but I don't have any idea who said it though.
 "Sitting in a church building makes one as much of a Christian as sitting in a garage makes one an automobile."





References: Matthew Henry Commentaries, MacArthur Study Bible, Smith's Bible Dictionary
By:Clint Baker

21 comments:

  1. so true! thanks for all the research you put into this sadly misunderstood statement.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I misunderstood it for years, believing I was doing and saying the right things!

      Delete
  2. AMEN BROTHER BAKER! I agree 100% with your doctrine! Don't we have an awesome Saviour!

    Lisa

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wonderful post. Thank you, Clint. God bless. ♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just letting Gods Word speak for itself!

      Delete
  4. Yep, there is a big difference between heart knowledge and head knowledge as a big difference in religion and relationship.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jesus said the same thing many times to the Pharisees!

      Delete
  5. I'm visiting from the UBP... saying hello! I hope this article clarifies the misinterpretations from other people...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It might for some but sadly not all! Thank you stopping by, please come back!

      Delete
  6. popped by from 5 minute friday - such clear truth! thanks for sharing!

    blessings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Clear truth always comes from the scriptures! Its when we start using scripture for our own agenda that it starts to become muddy!

      Delete
  7. Lovely blog! I've awarded you the Versatile Bloggers Award. Come by the Little Shack to pick it up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank is such an awesome award, thank you so much!

      Delete
  8. Thanks for using The Redeemed Gardener for the glory of God: to reach the lost and to encourage those who have trusted in Christ alone for their righteousness.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Beautiful post my friend. Hugs and thank you for joining in the fun at the Thursday Favorite Things hop xo

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hello, Well done! I am so glad you shared this well written and much needed post. Where we live there are so many people who believe they are Christian because their grandmother was and they go to her church. I appreciate you sharing this post with Home and Garden Thursday - your blog will be featured in tonight's post!
    God Bless,
    Kathy

    ReplyDelete
  11. There is such a difference between relationship and religion. We are in agreement on all of what you wrote! I Praise God for this post! TY!

    ReplyDelete