A bunch of Bible fanatics? Another religious group? Good people? How people define the church is not nearly as important as how God does. How does the Bible define a Christian?
- Wears the proper name. Disciples were called Christians first at Antioch (Acts 11:28). This is a biblical name. This is also a fulfillment of prophecy which stated the people of God would be called by a new name (Isaiah 62:2). It’s a name associated with Jesus.
- Obeyed the Gospel and been added to the church. Just believing in God doesn’t make one a Christian. A Christian is one who obeys the teachings of Jesus (Romans 6:16-18). Acting upon that teaching is also extremely important. Also, God adds people to the church and are not voted on by humans (Acts 2:47).
- Indebted to others. Paul is the prime example. He persecuted Christians and consented to the stoning of Stephen. But Christ gave him a second chance and people converted him (Romans 1:14-16). If we believe it is because we have been taught by those who care enough to do so despite their circumstances (Acts 11:19-21). We should feel that indebtedness and pass the truth along (Acts 20:20 & 27).
- Not a quitter. Sometimes people let little things get under their skin. Sometimes people mistakenly say the wrong things. Sometimes people don’t like the decisions made in the church or don’t think they or their children get enough attention. People use all these kinds of excuses to quit the church. But what we see in the New Testament is that people were willing to die to be part of the church (Acts 20:24). Am I given attention as much as I am desiring attention? Am I serving myself and my emotions or am I serving the Lord?
- Has a supreme purpose. We seek the kingdom and strive for the future life with God. All of life is defined by that purpose. (Acts 11:23, Matthew 6:33 Philippians 3:13)
- Dies to sin and lives to God. How can we, who appreciate the death of Christ for the forgiveness of our sins, continue to live in sin (Romans 6:1-2)? We either die to the flesh or we die to God eternally (Romans 6:6, 12:1).
Are you a Christian in terms of the Bible definition? If not, you can do that by obeying God’s plan to add you to the church.
Based on a lesson by Robert Moss.
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