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Treasured Social Butterfly
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Re: What Does It Mean To Be A Christian, Really?

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Message 111 of 112



I didn't read your full post and I'm not going to, and here's why: it is not my job to judge. (God alone is the judge of a person's Christianity, you understand.) We are all flawed whether or not we call ourselves Christians, and a person can walk, talk and think like a Christian without actually being one. 

 

Therefore, I politely decline your invitation.

 

 

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A CHRISTIAN, REALLY?

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Message 112 of 112

I've always been perplexed by those who espouse the values of Christianity, claim they are a Christian, yet behave in a contrary manner often in a hateful manner.  I'm curious if others see the same hypocrisy.  My understanding of Christianity is well stated in this information below:

 

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A CHRISTIAN, REALLY?   To be a disciple of Jesus, a person must be called by Jesus.

 

The term “Christian” was first applied to followers of Jesus in Antioch. Before that, followers of Jesus were called disciples. Today, the term Christian is more predominantly used than disciple, but in the New Testament the two terms were synonymous. The New Testament story tells us that disciples were people who were called by Jesus to follow him. Let’s see how the Bible describes a follower of Jesus.

 

While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. (Matt. 4:18–22)

 

To be a follower of Jesus sounds like a very active pursuit, and it is. Yet, before someone is an active disciple, that person is a passive sinner. That is, the action begins with Jesus’ action, first of calling and then of justifying the sinner, turning him or her into a new person. Jesus’ historical death and resurrection provides salvation for people dead in sin. Dead people cannot get up and walk; so first Jesus must give them new life through the Holy Spirit, enabling them to begin following.

A disciple of Jesus lives the new life they have been given.

 

Once called, disciples of Jesus are given the gift of faith. Disciples can now believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for their sin; they can repent of their sin and begin walking a new life in gratitude for their salvation. This is where being a disciple of Christ is active. Like the first disciples who left their fishing nets and followed Jesus, disciples of Jesus are called to a new life of following Christ.

 

The apostle Paul puts it like this:

 

For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. (2 Cor. 5:14–15).

 

Following Jesus means putting aside all immorality and striving to obey God out of gratitude for salvation. Unfortunately, Paul also describes the Christian life as kind of a war within—between the new self, born of the Holy Spirit, and the old self, born of sin (Rom. 7:13–25). One only has to read through the epistles of the New Testament to see how much the apostles are constantly correcting, teaching, reminding, and commanding people to forsake sin and walk according to the salvation Jesus freely gave them (1 Cor. 16:13; Eph. 4:17–5:15; Col. 3:5–11). In this life, disciples are a work in progress. They are still in need of correction, proper teaching, and being reminded of who Christ really is, what the Word of God really says, and what following Christ really means.

 

A disciple is anchored to God's Word.

 

It is easy to make up your own version of what it means to be a Christian that is not grounded in what Jesus really calls people to be. The problem remains that many people who give themselves the title Christian misunderstand what that really means, while people who truly are followers of Christ continue to sin. Being a Christian is not about being morally good or being of a certain race or ethnicity. It is not about how many relief organizations are founded by that name, and it should not be defined by the people who claim to be Christians but act in ways the Bible condemns.

 

Because a person sins or makes up his or her own version of Christianity does not mean the Bible is wrong or that Jesus is not worth following. Jesus remains the only way to salvation regardless of what people do and say. This is why we need good teachers: teachers who are experts in the Bible and trustworthy. We need people to be reading the Bible themselves and praying constantly for the strength and ability to live for Christ.

 

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A CHRISTIAN, REALLY?

 

To the Christians reading this, is this a good overview of what it means to be a Christian?  Do you have anything you'd like to add?

 

Do you think there are some who have co-oped the term and are CINO's (Christians in name only)?

 

Thank you for your anticipated honest responses within the TOS.


"FAKE 45 #illegitimate" read a sign at the Woman's March in Washington DC, January 21, 2017.
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