What Does it Mean to be a Christian?
What it means to be a Christian, at least according to culture, has changed over the years. Many people think that going to church occasionally or simply believing in God makes them a Christian. But the Bible presents a different perspective and definition of a Christian.
A Christian is someone whose behavior and heart reflects Jesus Christ.
Followers of Jesus were first called “Christians” in Antioch. Acts 11:26 says, “…for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.” They were called “Christians” because their speech and behavior were like Christ.
Whether we are playing a game, driving a car, or baking a cake, there are certain rules that must be followed for our safety as well as our success.
The Bible teaches that the Christian life is one of constant growth. When you were born again, you were born into God’s family. It is God’s purpose that you will grow into fill stature and become mature in Christ. It would be against the law of God and nature if you were to remain a baby and thus become a spiritual dwarf. In 2 Peter 3:18, the Bible says that we are to grow. It implies steady development, constant enlargement, increasing wisdom.
For one to grow properly certain rules must be observed for good spiritual health.
- Read your Bible daily. Do not be content to skim through a chapter merely to satisfy your conscience. Hide the Word of God in your heart. It comforts, guides, corrects,encourages – all we need is there.
- Learn the secret of prayer. Prayer is communicating. Every prayer that you pray will be answered. Sometimes that answer may be “Yes” and sometimes “No,” and sometimes it is “Wait,” but nevertheless it will be answered.
- Rely constantly on the Holy Spirit. We know that the Holy Spirit prays for us (Romans 8), and what a comfort that should be to the weakest of us. Stand aside and let Him take over all the choices and decisions of your life.
- Attend church regularly. The visible church is Christ’s organization upon earth. Christians need one another, we need to gather together to worship God and nothing can take the place of church attendance.
- Be a witnessing Christian. We witness in two ways: by life and by word – and the two, where possible, should go hand in hand.
- Let love be the ruling principle of your life. Jesus said to those who followed Him, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35). The greatest demonstration of the fact that we are Christians is that we love one another.
- Be an obedient Christian. Let Christ have first place in all the choices of your life.
- Learn how to meet temptation. Temptation is not sin. It is yielding that is sin. Let Christ through the Holy Spirit do the fighting for you.
- Be a wholesome Christian. Our lives and appearance should commend the Gospel and make it attractive to others.
- Live above your circumstances. Don’t let your circumstances get you down. Learn to live graciously within them, realizing the Lord Himself is with you.
Pray now to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior.
One must be a follower of Jesus Christ to live a Christian life. He wants to come into our lives, to clean out the things that shouldn’t be there and replace them with His love and presence. But what will we do? Like that visitor ringing our doorbell, we can ignore Him, or we can leave Him standing on the porch—or we can invite Him to come into our hearts and lives.