So Are You A Christian?
So are you a Christian then or is something missing? Knowing of Jesus and knowing Jesus are two different things. How do you know him? That is what I hope this article will help you discover through God’s word.
My intent with this article is to help us all understand where we stand as Christians. This is not intended to be any judgement of you by any means. All judgement is reserved for God and him alone. However, this is a topic God has put on my heart and while for years I may have thought I was a Christian, it has become more obvious to me lately that I was falling short of where I thought I was with our Lord. My hope is to help others recognize where they are missing the mark so they too may grow closer to our wise King.
Have You Really Accepted Jesus Into Your Heart?
The simple truth is you must love Jesus to be a Christian. That’s is all there is to it. The word is clear on this. But while it is simple, it is not an easy by any means. After all, Jesus left us around 2000 years ago so how can we really know him well enough to love him. We just need to learn about him through the Gospels and teachings of the apostles. So reading the word is a great place to start discovering him. Through reading, here are a few critical things we will learn.
Jesus Is The Way To Salvation
First it starts with the fact that you have to know Jesus is your only path to salvation.
“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” ~ Acts 4:12
Only through his name can you be saved through the grace of God. There is no amount of good deeds or anything else for that matter that can earn us salvation and eternal life other that through Jesus who was crucified because of our sins and resurrected.
You Must Truly Believe In Him With All Your Heart
Knowing Jesus is just the first step, you have to believe in him as your Lord and Savior to achieve salvation in his name.
“They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”” ~ Acts 16:31
So what is the difference you ask? Knowing and believing are two different things. Knowing is about knowledge. I know what the Bible says and what it all says about Jesus. I know Jesus existed, died on the cross, and was resurrected. But do you truly believe in him and love him in your heart? If he is not in your heart, can you truly say you believe he is who he says he is?
“for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” ~ Romans 10:10
So you have to love him truly to believe in him. Doing so and confessing this love results in you receiving righteousness and salvation through him. This is by far the toughest and most critical peace of the puzzle. It is not something that you can just make happen. Love for some can take a lot of time and relationship building. Only you can really know if you truly love our Lord or not.
Trust me, this is very important. For the longest time, I believed I had a relationship with our Lord. I just never truly let him in my heart as he should have been. He was more of an addition rather than submitting my life to him. Like I said its not that easy for many of us. However, It was through a very rough stretch where I no longer had control that I gave up and truly turned my life over to God. I had to let go of my pride and control and put my life in the hands of the Lord. That has made such a difference in my relationship with God. Unfortunately, this continues to be a stumbling block for many “Christians”.
You Will Be A New Person In Him
It is through our belief, love, and submission in our hearts to our Lord Jesus that we truly become Christians and achieve righteousness in his name. However, this is not the end of it. Should you truly let our Lord into your heart, you will experience a rebirth as the old you dies away and a new being in Christ replaces it..
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” ~ 2nd Corinthians 5:17
While you probably did not have Jesus appear before you and strike you blind, like he did with Saul/Paul, this is definitely a life changing event. I would expect that this is an event that you will always be remembered. If you don’t, then you will want to pray and contemplate your relationship with Christ. Maybe you are someone that has grown up as a true Christian their whole life.
Are You Being Called To The Holy Life?
So hopefully you have your heart right with our Lord and Savior. This is where the fun begins. We are now being called to the Holy life as intended by God from the beginning. So what exactly does than mean? It means we follow God’s will for us and not our own and we delight in the pursuit.
“who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity,” ~ 2 Timothy 1:9
If you are not being called or driven to pursue a better more righteous life through God’s word then you may want to go back and rethink where Jesus resides in your heart. If you truly love Christ our savior and living God, you will pursue him. Not only will you pursue him relentlessly, but the pursuit will fill you with joy and love. You will make every effort to be closer to him and please him. If you are not feeling this drive or passion then are you a Christian truly in your heart?
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age,” ~ Titus 2:11-12
Again are you accepting the instructions of God to deny all that is ungodly and worldly? We, as believers in Christ, are called to live righteously and Godly lives like Jesus showed us. Are you a Christian then if you are not motivated to follow these instructions from God and to learn more of his ways? This should not be taken to mean you can’t stumble and fail from time to time but you should be driven to get back up and continue your pursuit.
So Are You A Christian And Follower Of Christ?
It is my belief, that these are the true indicators of being a Christian. I’m sure many will insist that you need to be baptized and many other traditions too. While these may be important, they are not necessarily needed before you can be considered a true Christian. They should be pursued as part of your holy calling and pursuit of perfection in Jesus. Truthfully only you and God can know where you stand in your relationship together. Let that be your true guide.
To conclude, becoming a true Christian is a heart and life changing event. Our worldly selves die while our new Godly forms take over. Our love and passion for our Lord and Savior Jesus becomes a Holy calling to pursue him where ever he may lead us in life. This is not to say we still won’t stumble and fall short of his perfection but if we submit to God’s will and righteousness, we should continue to grow closer to the perfection that is Jesus. While the step may seem simple, it is hardly easy. For some it may be impossible. So ask yourself honestly now, are you a Christian?