Define “Christian” Please

Connecting Points

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Today’s Topic:  Define Christian Please.

Today’s Text:  John 3:3  In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” 

Let me begin with a statement of praise – God is in control no matter how bad it looks.

The rest of this devotional, no matter how long it takes you to absorb it, is critical and essential. Please take the time to take it all in.

This year’s adventure in democracy leading up to an election is bad. It’s horrible. The verbal bashing of another human being that is justified by one’s own pursuit of power is offensive and downright sinful. But God is in control.

One area that particularly insults me is the free use of the word Christian by people describing themselves as the attempt to snuggle up to potential voters. I must be careful, because I would not in any way assume the right or insight to be able to know the true condition of their heart. But there are some facts about being a follower of Christ that are taught clearly in Scripture, and we can use those truths to determine the reality of a person’s statements.

First, no one can claim qualification for entrance into eternal life with God the Father unless they have come through Jesus Christ. John 14:6 – Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Christianity is not one of the ways to heaven, it is the only way. Any reference to revering other religions as equal options is ultimately authored by Satan himself.

Second, it is imperative to know who Jesus is. What value is faith in anything or anyone that is not worthy of faith? Secular culture has minimized Jesus to something only slightly higher than man, when in reality He is God Almighty, equal in every way with the Father. Yet through His incarnation, Jesus became God in the flesh, dwelling on earth as both God and man in their absolute fullness at once. The person who claims to be a Christian and yet denies that Jesus is the One and Only God-Man is not speaking under the influence of the Spirit of God and is under the control of Satan. First John 4:2-3 says, This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,   but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

Third, anyone who uses the word Christian to define their “religious” affiliation must be able to speak clearly and truthfully about the atoning work of Jesus Christ on the cross. They must be able to clearly, and I might add boldly without fear of personal or political ramifications, proclaim these truths and state their unconditional belief in them:

  • All people are guilty of sin before God and deserving of death by nature from the moment of their conception – Psalm 51:5Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Romans 3:23All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 6:23The wages of sin is death…
  • Jesus Christ, who knew no sin and was never guilty of sin, became our sin for us and died on the cross to pay God’s judgment of death on our behalf.  Second Corinthians 5:21God made him (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. Hebrews 9:26 – But now Christ has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. 
  • Jesus rose from the dead to conquer death forever for all who believe on Him. First Corinthians 15:19-22If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.   But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.   For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.   For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. Second Corinthians 4:13-14It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak,   because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. 
  • All who believe in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord will be transformed and no longer live according to the principles of this world. Romans 10:9 – If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Second Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! Colossians 2:8-10 – See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. Colossians 3:1-3 –  Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 

Only if all these things are true in one’s life can they be called a Christian. Please do not be deceived by the improper use of the term “Christian” by so many today. Make sure you know what they believe and that their life and political positions reflect the truth of God’s Word.

Pastor John