The Life of a Christian

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, March 21, 2014 0 comments

What does it mean to be a Christian? The name “Christian” has become somewhat clichéd in American culture and many who call themselves Christians really don’t have a clue of what the name with which they identify actually means. This is something we are all learning more and more but in this post, I want to address what it means to be a Christian. Most people think that Christianity is just another religion. Just a set of beliefs and policies that we follow for the betterment of ourselves and our society. That is what it is treated as by the general world around us. The title “Christian” was actually a mockery when it was first coined. It literally means “little Christ”. It was meant as a derogatory term but it actually accurately describes what we are supposed to be: a “little Christ”. An image of Christ. An imitator of Christ.

To be a Christian requires that you recognize and admit that you are a sinner and to place your hope and your trust on the Savior, Jesus Christ. This can only be done in faith. Not blind faith which is a “just because with no real reason to believe it”, but a confident faith that enables you to move forward as though it is true. All the Old Testament saints could be called Christians, even though Jesus had not died on the cross yet. Why? Because they looked forward to the Savior. They placed their hope, their trust, on the Savior to come. We look backwards to our Savior for what he did on the Cross and we place our hope and our trust in him. It doesn’t take much. The thief on the cross just asked Christ if he would remember him. He leaned on Christ for his hope, his future after death.

Today, however, too many churches treat being a Christian as just saying the “Sinner’s Prayer”. I am not against saying the Sinner’s Prayer, but I am against using the proclamation of saying that prayer as the key evidence that shows that you are a Christian. James 2:18 tells us that faith will be shown and demonstrated by works. If we believe that Jesus died for our sins, if we truly believe that Jesus did that, we will live our lives or strive to live our lives to reflect that belief.

In 1 John 5:2, we are given one evidence we can use to see if we are Christians. If we are born again: if we follow Christ’s commands. It’s simple obedience. Abraham believed and obeyed. It was credited to him as righteousness. God’s commands are not hard, according to 1 John 5:3. But they certainly seem hard. Why? Because we have an enemy.

Jesus warned us that to follow him means more than partaking in his blessings, but also partaking in his suffering. Jesus had moments of popularity, but he wasn’t popular for his messages. He was popular for his miracles. After one sermon in John 6, many left Jesus and quit following him because Jesus did not hold back what it would take to follow him. Jesus is not about winning a popularity contest. He does not care about the opinion of others. He even turned to his disciples and asked if they wanted to leave too. He only cared about the will of his Father. He only did what he saw his Father doing and he only said what he heard his Father sayings. And as a “little Christ” that is what we are supposed to do. We are to only do what God is doing and only say what God is saying. We are to follow Christ no matter what the cost or how others will treat us.

To be a Christian is to rock the boat. Jesus rocked the boat of the world he lived in. He disturbed the peace. What do I mean by that? Jesus came to establish a new Kingdom, a new way of thinking, a new way of living, a new identity. His Kingdom is not of this world. It does not act like this world does. It is not ruled by kings and emperors, but by servants. It is not glorified by the proud and by the media, but by the meek and the humble. God cannot increase his Kingdom by our increase, by our fame. Not that trying to reach out to the masses is wrong, but God’s Kingdom increases the most by us decreasing. When we draw attention away from ourselves and reflect any that comes our way towards Christ. We are to be mirrors of Christ. When people look at us, they should see a reflection of Christ. When we go about our daily lives, we need to keep in constant contact with our source: Christ.

Jesus is not interested in setting us free from the death sentence our sins deserve alone. He wants us to die to our sin. Paul, in Romans 6:1 asks of if we are freed from sin, if we should continue in sin so that grace may abound. NO! We are to die to our sin. We are to not react to it. Not respond to it. To not give it any space. It does not mean we won’t fall. Our sin nature, as a Christian, is beaten, but not yet destroyed. There is a difference between those two. God is in the process of cleansing us and purifying us so that sinful nature is bit by bit weakened and drawn out like drawing poison from a wound. As a Christian we are a work in progress. God is not done with us yet. But let us strive forward and press towards the final goal of being a pure, spotless Bride by laying our lives before the Cross, dying daily to our selfish desires and wishes, but live wholly and purely for the man who died to save our souls from both the Pit of Hell and our own evil. To be a Christian means to no longer live for your own wishes, desires, or dreams, but to lay them all down at the feet of Jesus Christ. And in return, Jesus will give you his wishes, his desires, and his dreams. And they are far better than anything we could ever hope to have.