Read carefully and see if you can pick out God’s definition of a who is a CHRISTian.
It may surprise you because it is not the same as what most of the religions of this world teach.
1 The Credibility of Its Founder
Christ said He came from heaven to fulfill prophecy, to die for our sins, and to bring to His Father all who believe in Him. Logic says that He was either a liar, a lunatic, a legend, or the Lord and Savior of heaven. His first-century followers drew their own conclusions. They said they saw Him walk on water, still a storm, heal crippled limbs, feed 5,000 with a few pieces of bread and fish, lived a blameless sinless life, died a terrible death, arose from the grave and lives again.
During His ministry, when some of Jesus’ followers took issue with His teachings and left, He asked those closest to Him if they too wanted to leave. Peter spoke for the others when he said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” ( John 6:68-69 ) Jesus boldly proclaimed that He was and is the only way to get to heaven which means there is room for only faith in Him and no other name, religion or our works for salvation.
(Titus 3:5, John 14:6)
2 The Reliability of God’s Word
66 books written over a period of about 1,600 years by 40 different scribes, with One Author. The book on which the biblical Christian faith rests tells one story that begins with creation and concludes on the threshold of eternity. The integrity of its historical and geographical record is supported by archeology. The accuracy with which it has been copied and handed down to us has been confirmed by the Dead Sea Scrolls of Qumran. Originating neither in the East nor the West, but in the Middle East–the cradle of civilization–the Bible continues to speak not only with spiritual power but with convincing prophetic accuracy. In it we see that truth does not change from age to age, absolutes remain and the only relevant truth that each generation has are within its pages and no other book. Even with historical evidence of its accuracy it still comes down to faith. Do you believe what God is telling you or not? We have the confirmation that God is its author but even without such confirmation our acceptance is based on faith and not on sight.
(II Tim 3:16, 17, II Pet 1:20, 21)
3 Its Explanations for Life
All religious systems attempt to give meaning to our existence. All attempt to explain our thirst for significance, the problem of pain, and the inevitability of death. All religions attempt to apply the design of the cosmos to our individual lives. It is the Christian faith however, that reflects the caring attention to detail so evident in the species and ecosystems of the natural world. It is Christ who speaks of a Father who takes note of every sparrow that falls, a Father who
numbers even the hairs of our head (Matthew 10:29-31). It is Christ who reveals a God who shows how much He cares for all that He has created. It is Christ who clothed Himself in our humanity to feel what we feel, and then to suffer and die in our place (II Cor 5:21). It is Christ who reveals a God who cares as much about His creation as the design and detail of the natural world indicates.
(Psalms 19:1-6, Romans1:16-25)
4 Its Continuity with The Past
The Christian faith offers continuity with our deepest ancestral roots. Those who
trust Christ are accepting the same Creator and Lord worshiped by Adam, Abraham,
David, Sarah, and Solomon. Jesus didn’t reject the past. He is the God of the
past , present and future (John1:1-14). When He lived among us, He showed us how to live according
to the original plan. When He died, He fulfilled the whole Old Testament sacrificial
system. And when He rose from the dead, the salvation He offered fulfilled God’s
promise to Abraham that through his descendant He would bring restoration to those
placing their faith in His sacrifice for sin. The Christian faith is not new with Christ.
From Genesis to Revelation it is one story. It is His story — and ours (Acts2:22, 1Corinthians15:1-8).
5 Its Foundational Claim
The first Christians were not driven by political or religious dissent. Their primary
issues were not moral or social. They were not well-credentialed theologians or
social philosophers. They were witnesses and the everyday worker. They risked their lives to tell the world that with their own eyes they had seen an innocent man die and then miraculously
walk among them 3 days later (Acts5:17-42). Their argument was very concrete.
Jesus was crucified under the Roman governor Pontius Pilate. His body was
buried and sealed in a borrowed tomb. Guards were posted to prevent grave
tampering. Yet after 3 days the tomb was empty and witnesses were risking their
lives to declare that He was alive.
6 Its Power to Change Lives
Not only were the first disciples dramatically changed, but so was one of their
worst enemies. Paul was transformed from a Christian killer into one of their
chief advocates (Galatians1:11-24). Later he reflected the changes that had
occurred in others as well when the Holy Spirit inspired him to write these words
to the church in Corinth, “Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor
idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves
nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom
of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were
sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ”
(1 Corinthians 6:9-11). These folks at Corinth had placed their faith in Christ and
not in their religious systems and/or self.
7 Its Analysis of Human Nature
The Bible says that society’s real problems are problems of the heart. In an age
of information and technology, failures of character have scandalized institutions
of family, government, science, industry, religion, education, and the arts. In the
most sophisticated society the world has ever known, our national reputation is
marred by problems of racial prejudice, addiction, abuse, divorce, and sexually
transmitted disease. Those are what we consider the big sins. But the little ones,
as we categorize them, like the little white lie are equally offensive to a pure God
who cannot condone any sin. Many want to believe that our problems are rooted in
ignorance, diet, genetics and government. But to our generation and all others,
Jesus said, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries,
fornication’s, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which
defile a man” (Matthew 15:19-20). “There are none good, no not one.” Rom 3:10
8 Its View of Human Achievement
Generation after generation has hoped for the best. We fought wars that would
end all wars. We developed educational theories that would produce enlightened,
nonviolent children. We conceived technologies that would deliver us from the
oppressive slavery of work. Yet we are as close as ever to what the New
Testament describes as an end time marked by wars and rumors of war, earthquakes,
disease, loss of affection, and spiritual deception. (Timothy 3:1-5)
9 Its Impact on Society
A carpenter rabbi from Nazareth changed the world. Calendars and dated
documents bear silent witness to His birth. The rocks cry out that there is a
Creator and the Heavens declare His handiwork. From rooftops, necklaces, and
earrings, the sign of the cross bears visual witness to His death. The
Western world-view, which provided a basis for social morality, scientific
methodology, and a work ethic that fueled industry, had roots in basic
Christian values. Social relief agencies, whether in the West or East, are not
fueled by the values of Hinduism, Buddhism, atheism, or secular agnosticism,
but by the direct or residual values of the Bible.
10 Its Offer of Salvation
Alternative religious views have saviors who remain in the grave. No
other system offers everlasting life as a gift to those who trust One who
has overcome death for them. No other system offers assurance of
forgiveness, eternal life, and adoption into the family of God by calling
on and trusting Someone in the same way a drowning person calls for
and relies on the rescue of a lifeguard (Romans10:9-13). The salvation
Christ offers does not depend on what we have done for Him, what
church we belong to, but on our acceptance of what He has done for us.
Instead of moral and religious effort, this salvation requires a helpless
admission of our sins (Eph 2:8-10). Instead of personal accomplishments of faith,
it requires confession of failure. Unlike all other options of faith, Christ
asks us to follow Him — not to merit salvation but as an expression of
gratitude, love, and confidence in the One who has saved us.
( I Cor 15:3, 4).
Do you know Jesus as your Savior today? He is the CHRISTian faith.
When is the last time you shared with your friend, neighbor, and coworker this marvelous truth?