Are you a Christian? Has anyone ever asked you this question or, have you ever pondered it yourself? No doubt this is not on the list of top ten questions people get asked. So, you might not have given this any thought in the past. Nevertheless, are you a Christian? If your answer to this question is yes allow me to pose another question. How did you become a Christian? For some, this question might be stranger than the first. The reason being, many believe they are Christians by default or proxy. Some believe they are a Christian by being an American citizen. The reasoning is as follows, America was founded upon Christian principles hence if I am born in the United States, I am a Christian. Yes, this country was founded on Christian principles but that does not make its citizens automatic Christians anymore then sleeping in a garage makes you a car. Some believe they are Christians because they adhere to some moral standard. If one is a providing father, loving mother, or benevolent neighbor then the individual is perceived to be a Christian. This assessment is also flawed.
What about the Jewish or Muslim individual who portrays the same moral characteristics? I submit that neither Jews or Muslims would call themselves Christians based on this criteria. Furthermore, some believe they are Christians by default because they do not profess Judaism, Mohammadism, Atheism or Hinduism or some other non-Christian religion. Others aver that their Christianity was handed down in the same manner as their family name. If the above-mentioned reasons do not constitute a Christian what does? How can I know whether I am a Christian or how to become one! The answer to this all-important question can only be found in one place, The Bible. We would not know what a Christian is if it were not for the Bible. So, who can call themselves a Christian according to the Bible?
Christians are followers of Christ. The term Christian means follower of Christ. It is not so much a title as it is a description of an individual, an individual who follows Christ. When the apostle Paul was preaching Christ before one of the governors of his day, the response from this ruler was definitive. Then Agrippa said to Paul, You almost persuade me to become a Christian, Acts 26:28. King Agrippa knew Paul was a follower of Christ, he also knew that he was not a follower of Christ. Upon hearing the conversion account of Paul, Agrippa was almost persuaded to become a follower of Christ. From Agrippa’s statement, we can unequivocally conclude that only those who believed in Christ and followed His ways like the apostle Paul were called Christians. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven, Matthew 7:21.
Christians are the Household of God. Consider the words of the apostle Peter. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter. For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God, 1Peter 4:16-17. (Emphases MS) Peter is a Christian and he refers to himself and other Christians as the House of God. What is another term the Bible uses for the House of God? These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly; but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth, 1 Timothy 3:14-15. (Emphases MS) The house of God is the Church of God or the Church that belongs to Christ (Cf. Matthew 16:18, Romans 16:16). Christians are the Church of Christ; The Church of Christ is Christians. One cannot be a Christian outside of being in the Church of Christ and one cannot be the Church of Christ outside of being Christians.
Christians are those who have been saved. In the above exhortation given by Peter (1Peter 4:17) the apostle makes a distinction between the Church and those who do not obey the gospel of God. Peter made this distinction because entrance into the Church of Christ is predicated upon obeying the Gospel of Christ. Praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved, Acts 2:47. (Emphases MS) Christians are the Church, The Church is comprised of saved individuals therefore, Christians are those who have been saved. The logical purity of this statement is further bolstered by the plethora of verses that indicate the same. Those who were added to the Church were those who received a remission of sins (Cf. Acts 2:38, 47). Those who were called Christians are those who had their sins washed away in Baptism (Cf. Acts 10:47-48 & Acts 11:26).
So, I ask the question again. Are you a Christian? Are you following in the ways and commandments of Christ? Are you a Member of the Body of Christ? Have you been immersed/Baptized into Christ for salvation from sin (Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16, 1 Peter 3:21, Galatians 3:27)? If you are unsure about your answer, I want to help you reach a level of certainty that will allow you to boldly proclaim, I am a Christian. Feel free to contact me to that end.