Why Are You a Christian?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, June 24, 2016 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

This post is specifically for those who are born again believers and those who claim to be Christian. If you do not subscribe to be a follower of Jesus Christ, then this post is not directed at you. It may, however, help you see why many by the name seem to have problems living the life they claim to have.

Why are we Christians? Why is it that we call ourselves by the name of Jesus Christ? There may be some of you reading this that do not actually have an answer for that. It is a question I need to ask myself as well. Why do I call upon the name of Jesus? Why do I associate myself with that name? Especially in a culture that is becoming increasingly hostile towards it.

Many may say, “I was born a Christian. I was raised as one. I was baptized when I was a kid. I said a prayer.” Many others will say, “I trust in Jesus for my salvation from my sins and when I sin, I look unto him for mercy and grace.” Other still may say, “I really don’t know. I just am one.” A while back I wrote a post called “Christian in Name Only”. Unfortunately many people who call themselves Christian are so in name only.

The very word “Christian” means “little Christ.” The phrase “to follow Christ” is actually closer to “to mimic Christ.” The whole point of being a Christian is to be like Jesus. When Jesus said repeatedly, “Come and follow me,” he did not say, “Just come by at your convenience.” He meant we were to drop everything we were doing, do not return to it, and come after him. In Bible times, a disciple’s goal was to be so close to his rabbi that he could boast how must dust from the rabbi’s feet he got on his feet. How many of us seriously want to be like Christ? It is easy to say, but in reality it is “the most dangerous prayer any human being could every pray” (to quote Paul Washer, 2:32).

Jesus repeatedly said, “If you are to be my disciple, you must deny yourself, take up your cross daily and follow me.” In reality, most of us want to follow Christ but want to retain ourselves in the process. If you really want to follow Christ as he said here, this is what it means, and again I will quote Paul Washer from the same video linked above: “I don’t care if you have to dethrone me. I don’t care if you have to tear apart my ministry. I don’t if you have to destroy it. I don’t care what happens. Make me like Jesus Christ.”

How many of us are willing to say that? To be willing to throw down all we are and all we do, even Kingdom work, to be more like Christ? I tell you what. That is a tough one. The whole purpose of Christianity is to be in process of being conformed into the image of Christ. How often do we spend time in prayer? That question was more directed at me than anyone else. I am putting thoughts together to start a series about prayer and I will be flat out honest: that is perhaps one of my weakest areas in my Christian walk. I have head knowledge some only dream they could have, but I see others with a prayer life that I know I don’t have. Why? Part of it is that deep down, I still want some control over some areas of my life. Because in some areas, I don’t want Christ to rule over it. That is my sinful, selfish, self-pleasing self that needs to be removed from the throne of my life and replaced by Jesus Christ.

Why do we claim to be Christians? Do we even believe what we claim to believe? I deal with many people who claim to be Christians but they completely disregard the Bible, they hardly go to church or fellowship with other believers, they speak as the world speaks, they act as the world acts, and I’m sitting there watching it and thinking, “Why bother with the title Christian?” Why do we even bother calling ourselves by a name we don’t live after?

Let me give several reasons. One is that people want to feel good about after life. They know and admit God is real and they want to be in heaven, not hell. That’s not a bad reason to want to be a Christian. But many treat the cross as a “get out of hell free” card and completely disregard what Jesus did on it. Romans 5:20-21 greatly states that “where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.” Many people take that verse and say, “We have been forgiven. We can sin as many times as we want.” Really? How often does Paul continually reiterate that we need to die to our sin? Jesus will readily accept us as we are. He told the woman caught in the very act of adultery, “neither do I condemn you.” But too many people stop there. Jesus also said one more thing: “Go and sin no more.” There were times where Jesus said to repent and he said if they did not, their situation would be worse than it was before. Jesus will take us as we are, but he will not leave us as we are. If are going to claim the name of Jesus, but refuse to allow him to work in us and get our sin out from us, then we are illegitimate children and we never were his to begin with. We must be watchful of the false conversion.

Another reason for claiming to be a Christian however is for the purpose of deceit. Wolves in sheep clothing are not to help build the body of Christ but to cause and create confusion and/or destruction. They look like sheep, but they cannot act like sheep. I saw a great post a while back saying, “When a sheep righteously attacks a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and the other sheep complain, it is because of near-sightedness.” A wolf is different than a goat. A wolf has a purpose to deceive, destroy, and eat the sheep. A goat looks like a sheep, thinks he’s a sheep, but is not one. Jesus also had a warning about those in Matthew 25.

But there are others, and let us examine ourselves to see if we fit in this last category. The true believers, the ones that can authentically call themselves by the name of Jesus, are the ones who have recognized their sin. They know their short-comings. They know they were in rebellion against God and recognize that they truly deserve death, death of every kind. They know that apart from God’s grace and his mercy, they have no hope, so they turn to him and lean on him and depend upon him. Many accuse Christians of needing Jesus as a crutch. That is far from the truth. Jesus is no crutch. He is life-support. With a crutch, you can get by on your own. But without Jesus, we are dead. We need to stop treating Christ as a crutch and treat him as the very means for how we live. When we learn that, then true Christianity, walking in the power of Christianity, it all works. We cannot imitate Christ. We need Christ in us to imitate himself in and through us. That is what Christianity is all about. We get out of the way, and let him be God.

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