Recently, I began thinking about what makes a Christian, a Christian. I mean who am I? Some of my friends are astounded with me and want to be around me. Others see me as being on some sort of a sugar high and seem to be impatiently waiting for me to come back down to earth. Some Christians are quick to point out my fails some unbelievers can’t wait for me to stumble again so they can laugh at me and pity me. Am I really, a Christian or do I just pretend to be a Christian?
The way I see it is that there are two types of Christians. True Christians and False Christians. Some are going up and some are going down. Unfortunately, the Bible tells us that many, many, more of us will be going South than will be going North. (Matthew 7:13-14 ICB)
Christianity is not a game. My primary concern and it should be yours too, is how will I be judged when that day arrives and I find myself standing naked before God my Father in Heaven. Life or Death, Heaven or Hell?
We know that God, is omnipresent, everywhere and omniscient, all-knowing. God will judge me for every single minute detail in my life. I pray that He will see that I do not live in the world six days of the week and only come to Him in church, on Sundays. I am not a Christian because I go to church once a week and I am not a Christian because I live in the Western world where it is part of our culture.
I know that I am true a Christian because I see and know within myself that Jesus has began to sanctify me. Hour by hour and day by day he works hard to make me holy. It is my desire to be more and more like him and less and less like the world.
I am saved by grace and not by works. I am saved by believing in the promises of the gospel. Grace has been given to me by God my Father and that grace gives me the power to continue to believe and trust in Him.
If I continue to love the world, I will not have God’s love. (Matthew 6: 24 ICB) God has promised to save me for His own glory. He has promised to justify me, transform me and show His power in me so much so that the world will look at me and know I could never have changed on my own. Everyone that knows me, knows that there really is a God.
Some people I know call themselves Christians but go about their everyday, cursing, swearing, gossiping, lying and cheating. When they are seen by non -believers, God is not praised for being in them and for them but blasphemed because of them.
I am not immune from committing any one of these sins and where I need to be especially careful is, if or when I do commit a sin, I must repent immediately and repeatedly. Jesus started his good works in me and has promised to finish his works in me. It is absolutely necessary for the Holy Spirit to be in me and to continually pull me back from Satin’s grip and place me in God’s loving arms.
This protection is not something I receive from a stranger. This is the grace that I can only expect from a true friend. So, how do I find and maintain such a friendship? I must strive to know Jesus, work for my friendship and prove myself continuously.
How do I prove myself to my invisible friend? I read God’s word daily, I pray daily, I seek Jesus everyday, I ask for help and advice, I believe, I trust, I make the time for church. It is not any different than the effort required to build and maintain a good marriage.
It is my belief that if I am not growing in Christ and seeing myself withdraw from the world then, Christ is not in me and I can not claim to be a true Christian. Saved in faith and not by works, being truly saved means to me that I must be born again. I become a new person with new affections and new desires. The old, world values are transitioned away from me and new supernatural values are instilled in me.
I believe I am a true Christian. I will still fall from time to time but with the aid of my Savior, Jesus Christ, the convictions of the Holy Spirit in me and the love of my Creator and Father in Heaven, I will get back up and continue in God’s glory.
Are you really, a Christian or just pretending to be one?
(Matthew 16: 24-26 ICB)
(Philippians 2:14-15 ICB)