Thursday, February 18, 2016

What is a Christian?

What is a Christian?

There's an attack on what it means biblically to be a Christian. All over our country we have people professing to be Christian but their life, what they teach, and what they stand for grossly contradicts scripture. A false Christianity is so prevalent in our country because it costs nothing and allows people to live how they want and "go to Heaven!" The standard has been lowered and tainted of what a Christian is. Just because someone has a title, is apart of a denomination, a faithful church goer, or talks about Jesus doesn't make them a Christian. It's so imperative that we're letting the bible define what a Christian is..not opinions, feelings, or our culture. I'm so passionate about this topic because I was in church all of my life thinking I was a Christian but was lost as ever. My heart is to see people truly saved and on fire for God because at the end of our lives this is the ONLY thing that will matter!!

1. A Christian has been born again

John 3:3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
John :12-13 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Going to church, paying tithes, getting baptized, repeating a prayer doesn't make us a Christian. Jesus said that we MUST be born again. We were born in sin and separated from God. In order to be reconciled to God we must be born again. To be born again is a spiritual rebirth from Heaven. In our natural state before Christ, we are dead spiritually and hostile to the things of God.( Ephesians 2:1, Colossians 2:13) When a person repents of their sins and place their trust in Christ, God regenerates them and makes them alive spiritually. Salvation is all a work of God, not human effort.  (John 3:8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.) Salvation is a supernatural work of God where God gives a person His nature, new desires, affections, loves, and passions. This  covenant was prophesied in the old testaments.{ Ezekiel 36:26–27) Without the evidence of being born again, no person should have any assurance that they are saved or in right standing with God!

2. A Christian is saved by grace

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

It's absolutely nothing that we can do to make ourselves right with God. Good deeds and changing our behavior doesn't make us right with God. Salvation is all of grace. We are saved by grace through faith in Christ alone. Glory to God!

3. A Christian believe God's word

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.

Christianity isn't a buffet where we  pick and choose what we want to believe. God defines the terms and conditions as stated in His word, not us! When we are born again, we are given the mind of Christ. Our worldview must be shaped by God's word and not by our culture, opinions, or feelings. A Christian believes God's word and seeks to conform their life to it. I'm flabbergasted to hear self-proclaimed leaders in the church denounce orthodox beliefs and now take on liberal views. There's no way that anyone can be a child of God, yet support practices and lifestyles that God's word deem as sin. God's word defines what's right and wrong, not our culture. We are to change our lives to accommodate God's word, not change God's word to accommodate our lives!


4. A Christian's life will be radically transformed by the power of God

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

It is the Holy Spirit at work in a believer that changes them and conforms them to the image of Christ. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are able to obey God and live holy. The more we renew our mind in God's word, we are transformed. God's whole purpose of salvation is to change us to look like Christ and to get the glory out of our life. Through trials and circumstances God will prune and change us. Sanctification is a life-long process but the moment a person is born again, they are made alive spiritually and given the very nature of God. To say that a person can be a Christian and never grow, change, and live in a continual state of rebellion against God contradicts everything Christ stood for. Every person who encountered Christ in the bible, their life was radically transformed!

5. A Christian obeys God

John 15:14 You are my friends if you do what I command you.
1 John 2:4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

Christianity isn't following a list of rules or trying to be a good person. When a person has been born of God they are given new desires. They no longer will be comfortable or find pleasure in sin like they did when they were lost. A Christian now loves God,seeks to please Him, and it's not burdensome to obey Him(1 john 5:3) Does this mean that a Christian will be perfect. Absolutely not! (1 John 1:8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.) A Christian will not be perfect..but their direction will be different. Their heart and affections will be set on living for God and no longer pursuing a life of sin. If a Christian fails or sin, they will not twist scriptures to justify it, boast in it, or make excuses to continue in sin..they will be broken, grieved and led to repentance.


6.A Christian will be hated by the world

John 15:18-19 If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

If you're going to be a faithful Christian in a fallen world, you must accept that the world will hate you and you must love those who do. We can't expect the same world that hated and killed our Savior to love and accept us. The world will call you judgmental, harsh, self-righteous, and a bigot for standing on God's word. The world hates Christians because darkness hates the light(John 3:19-21), they hate God's truth(Galatians 4:16), because we expose sin(john 7:7), because satan has blinded the world(2 Corinthians 4:4), and they hate the gospel(1 Corinthians 1:18) The kingdom of God and the world are opposed to each other. We can't try to please both God and the world, you will love one and hate the other. We're called to love the world and engage them with the gospel, but God has called us to separate from the world. (2 Corinthians 6:17) To be a friend of the world is to be an enemy of God. (James 4:4)



7. A Christian will bear the fruit of Christ

Matthew 7:17-20 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

Salvation is a free gift given. We are saved by grace through faith..but our fruit show if our faith is genuine. You will know a person by what flows our of their life. If a person belongs to God, it will reflect in their life.

8. A Christian perseveres to the end

Matthew 24:13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

Salvation isn't verified by a past act, but our present fruitfulness. I meet many people who say they "use to be a Christian" or use to be on fire for a season but are now back in the world. I would encourage that person to examine themselves to see if they where truly born again (2 Corinthians 13:5). A person who is running a race doesn't finish until he completes the race. The Christian life is a race and those who endure to the end will be saved. Throughout the Christian life, there will be trials, hardships, and suffering but we overcome by our faith in Christ.  Peter 1:8-9 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.



If you have read this blog and you're unsure or have doubts if you have been born again, please email me. I would love to talk to you and point you to Christ. Don't allow pride or fear keep you from the most important thing in life!