Have you ever had someone come up to you, or had a church leader hand you a questionnaire, asking you to answer, “What is a Christian?” How did you answer this question? When confronted with this very question myself, as part of an email sent by Pastor Scott Boger in mid-December, 2015; I gave the following answer.
A Christian is someone who is committed to following God’s Laws; walking as closely as they can in the footsteps of Jesus. Ultimately, a Christian is someone who seeks an ever-deepening personal relationship with God through his son, Jesus Christ.
I gave the above answer electronically on a, “Baptism Question Sheet,” which had a few other questions on it, as well. Looking back on having actually filled this answer sheet out; I have to say, in all honesty, my answer still stands.
Does this mean I’m a perfect person, or even Christ like in all of my actions? Does this mean I am a true Christian?
“Hell No!” It doesn’t mean this for me anymore than it means anyone else is a Real, or even True Christian either.
Anyone who goes to church and has sat down and red their Bible from cover to cover knows full well that God regularly worked with people who were flawed in some way. God understood that it was impossible for us to follow his lead and laws to the letter; ultimately giving Him cause to send His son, Jesus, to us as a man.
The Bible clearly shows us in the New Testament the tremendous power Jesus wielded and the wisdom he possessed; his blood being shed on the cross his final demonstration of power to all of us. No other man on earth could ever make their death count the way Jesus did; his painful sacrifice at the hands of none-believers being our one true shot at redemption.
In a way; Jesus’s death invoked a kind of magic; your life changing, even hear on earth, for the better simply by acknowledging Jesus’s real life existence and death for your sins. “However,” it’s not just enough that you believe in Jesus’s existence and death for your salvation.
You must seek God through Jesus; using Jesus’s name to develop a personal, ever deepening relationship with God. If you are talking to God, in Jesus name, as you would a friend, or better yet, a significant other; you’ve got a solid handle on what being a Christian is all about. Better still; if you are seeing what you have as God’s will for you to have; actively seeking his permission for the things you want and accepting His judgements when they are not in your favor; you’ve got a good idea as to what being a real Christian means, as well.
Are there rules you should follow? “Yes,” Will you be able to follow them all the time? “No!”
Even those who are seen as the best Christians amongst us fail to be perfect followers of the Lord through His son, Jesus Christ.
It’s not a matter of you being a, “Real Christian,” or even striving to be a, “Christian,” at all. What truly matters, more than any banner you live proudly under hear on earth, is that you have a personal relationship with the Lord through his son Jesus Christ. If you can do that you will be ok.
“Yes,” this means studying The Bible, “Yourself.” It also means doing your best to apply the lessons it teaches you in your own life.
But, developing a relationship with God through his son Jesus requires you taking time to talk “out loud” to the Big Guy directly. This means sharing with him all that is on your mind; doing this with the same intensity of focus that you would give a close personal friend or lover.
Will the Lord answer you back? Well… It won’t be in plain English, “And you’d better hope it stays that way.” But, through flashes of thought, inexplicable urges to do specific things, dreams and sensations that let you know he’s there, “The Lord does speak.”
Is all that I’ve mentioned here easy to do? “No.” In fact; most churches do not follow in Christ’s ways to the letter. This makes it difficult for us as believers because we want to do right by the Lord. But, in most traditional churches, we find ourselves ensnared into subscribing to a doctrine that isn’t always all that accurate. So, it kind of goes without saying, “Many churches will give you their own definitions of what a real Christian is.” But you will need to be the one responsible for educating yourself as to whether or not their views are “truly” accurate.