Imagine that you are a late night television host with a camera crew and a microphone walking the streets of NYC, LA, or even the town where you live. You are doing one of those street interviews where you ask a seemingly simple question and the answers are . . . well interesting. Here is your question, “What is a Christian?”
Can you hear the answers? What will the average person say? What might their answers say about the reputation we, who claim to be Christians, have? Maybe I should try this in Birmingham, Alabama.
This brings me to the real reason or theme of today’s post. Are you, am I, a Christian? To answer this question, we should let the Bible define a Christian and see if we measure up. First understand the word “Christian” simply means a follower of Christ.
- Mat 28:18-20, “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” – A Christian is one who accepts only the authority of Jesus Christ.
- Jam 5:20, “whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. ” – A Christian is one who seeks to bring others to salvation in Christ.
- Jam 1:27, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. ” - A Christian is one who serves others and keeps his life clean (unspotted from the world).
- Eph 4:1, “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,” – A Christian walks worthy of the name (of Christ) he wears.
- Gal 5:22ff – The fruit of a Christian’s life exposes the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
- 1Jn 4:7-10, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” – A Christian exemplifies the love of God and Christ.
- Phi 1:21, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” – A Christian’s life is centered on Christ.
- Gal 3;26-27, “for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. ” – A Christian is one who is God’s child; one who put on Christ.
As you examine yourself with the scripture, where do you find yourself? Are you a Christian? Are you completely following Christ?