Who Is A Christian?
“For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin” (Romans 6:6).
In nowadays many people call themselves Christians. They often say they are Christians without proper understanding what that really means. Whole lands or nations call themselves in this name but are they really Christians from the Biblical point of view?
Lets have a look what Bible has to say about this matter.
Bible says that in the beginning of first century those who followed the teaching and example of Jesus Christ were called Christians first in Antioch (Acts 11:26). In the New Testament word “Christian” is used three times (Acts 11:26,26:28; 1 Peter 4:16).
So examining these verses and Gospel in general we can see that Christian is not the one who attends the church. Christian is not a person whose parents are Christians. Even person who believes in God not always is a Christian.
True Christian is the one who follows Jesus and follow His commandmetns. Jesus said: “Whoever serves me must follow me …” (John 12:26). Whoever wants to be the disciple of Jesus and follow Him must hold to His teaching (John 8:31).
That means that Christian is the one who follows the teaching of Jesus and not the teaching of this world or religious doctrines. True Christian will hear the shepherd’s voice (John 10:27). True Christian will serve God only and everything he do will be done in accordance with the Word of God which is truth (John 17:17). True Christian will add to the truth nothing to make it more comfortable and will take off of it also nothing (Galatians 1:1-12).
When Jesus started His ministry He said:
“The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news” (Mark 1:15). Good news is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. True Christian will follow the teaching of Christ and the teachings of His disciples, and prophets, who wrote down everything what God wanted to be writhen.
But no person can repent and begin to follow Christ other than by hearing the Word of God and accepting it in own heart not as a human word, but as it actually is, the Word of God (Romans 10:17; 1 Thessalonians 2:13). And only by hearing the good news and accepting Christ with full understanding what that means, the person becomes a true, devoted to God Christian. And no one can come to the Christ unless the Father draws them (John 6:44); so seek Him while he may be found (Isaiah 55:6).
True Christian is a person who has repented of previous evil life, which means has changed own thoughts towards God the Father (Acts 3:19, 17:30,26:20), and has accepted Jesus by faith (Romans 10:9,3:25; Acts 16:31; Luke 12:8) in his or her own heart by own decision, and by God’s Spirit is born again “…born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God” (John 1:13, John 3:5-6).
True Christian becomes new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). Christian has received the command - ”forget the former things; do not dwell on the past” (Isaiah 43:18; Galatians 2:20,5:24) but by renewing mind daily (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:23-24; Colossians 3:10) learn to think and act as God commands (John 8:47; John 14:15).
True Christian is the person who remains true to the Lord with all her or his heart (Acts 11:23).
Jesus said: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35). A bit later He said: “If you love me, keep my commands” (John 14:15). “Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me…” (John 14:21).
If we, as Christians, love our Lord Jesus Christ we will do what He commands us to do, and will follow His teaching. True Christian receives the Holy Spirit and understands that all things come through and by Jesus Christ. True Christian produces forth fruit not by own efforts but by the Holy Spirit power. No man can do good on one’s own strength and power (John 15:5).
Person who is in Christ/ has become Christian:
* is delivered from the dominion of darkness and is brought into the kingdom of beloved Son (Colossians 1:13);
* is received redemption through Jesus blood, the forgiveness of sins (Ephesians 1:7);
* is justified freely (Romans 3:24);
* is born of God and made alive (Ephesians 2:5; 1 Corinthians 15:22; 2 Corinthians 1:21-23; 1 John 5:18);
* Is a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17);
* receives the Holy Spirit and is God’s workmanship created for good works (Ephesians 2:10);
* is the child of God and through the sanctifying work of Spirit is reconciled to God (Galatians 3:26-27; Ephesians 2:13);
* is free from any condemnation (Romans 8:1-2; Galatians 2:4);
* receives grace, faith and love (1 Timothy 1:14);
* is blessed with every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3);
* is righteous, holy and redeemed (1 Corinthians 1:30; 1 Peter 1;16; Ephesians 1:4) and must stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong (1 Corinthians 16:13);
* is dead to sin and alive to God (Romans 6:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:23);
* is a doer of the Word (James 1:22,25);
* is an ambassador for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20);
* is a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession (1 Peter 2:9);
* is seated in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 2:6);
* is the light of the world (Matthew 5:14).
That is not all the characteristic of a creature so called Christian. Christians are the temple of the Holy Spirit and now not they live, but Christ lives in them (1 Corinthians 6:19; Galatians 2:20).
True Christians are imitators of God and they walk in the way of love for God is LOVE; they are full with mercy and kindness because they are God’s elect; all things they do for God and to God not because they are good from within themselfes, but because God loves them and gave Himself up for them, and God's Spirit lives in them, and God's love is poured into their hearts by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:2; John 3:16; Galatians 1:4; Romans 8:33; Colossians 3:12).
Christians serve God our Father because “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” (Titus 3:5).
And so, person becomes a Christian only when he or she with full understanding turns to God and follows His teaching only. If a person believes in Jesus Christ and truly repents in heart and asks Him for forgiveness than person receives undeserved grace, forgiveness of sins (Romans 3:24-25; Ephesians 2:8-9).
Christian who is redeemed, justified, made holy and blameless in the eyes of God now is the most free man of all and submits to the God’s calling and must listen what God is saying and must do whatever God tells him to do.
Apostle Paul wrote:
“At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another” (Titus 3:3).
“But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ's triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of Him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing” (2 Corinthians 2:14-15).
Here is some more verses concerning the Christian:
1 John 3:9; Galatians 2:20,5:24; Romans 6:6,8:15; 1 Peter 1:3; Colossians 2:11; John 8:36.