ARE YOU A N.T. CHRISTIAN?
What is a Christian? I am sure this question has not only been asked a million times, but there would almost be as many different answers to the question as well.
The Oxford Dictionary describes a Christian as someone who believes in Jesus, and His teachings, or someone that belongs to a Christian denomination. Many people believe that one is a Christian because “that is what their parents were, or what their parents weren’t e.g. a Muslim or a Bhuddist. Sadly some people believe they are a Christian because they were christened (or baptized as a baby). Equally sadly, is the fact the some people even in the church world think a person is a Christian, because they know all the right “Christian clichés”, and attend a church service on a regular or semi regular basis, or just because you attended and graduated from a Theological Seminary (Cemetery) and have a degree and can “preach” and be called a “reverend”. The term is used for the first time in the Bible in Acts 11:36 NKJV And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch, I am sure the teaching of Paul & Barnabas had a life changing effect of the Believers there .
A good definition of the word Christian is A LITTLE CHRIST, someone who showed the lifestyle and behaviour of Jesus. To be a Christian IS ALL ABOUT CHARACTER, AND GODLY LIFESTYLE. To me the greatest testimony of what is a Christian are the words of the religious leaders of the day when they said in Acts 4:13 NKJV “They realized that they (the disciples)had been with Jesus”. I sure would love people to say of me, that daily when I come out from my time of prayer, that there was something different about me, they could see “I have been with Jesus”.
The writer of the Book of Hebrews clearly indicates that it is ALL ABOUT CHARACTER when he writes in 12:14 NKJV Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord The MESSAGE says Work at getting along with each other and with God. Otherwise you’ll never get so much as a glimpse of God. The write clearly indicates that CHARACTER IS BOTH HORIZONTAL AS WELL AS VERTICAL. The way we respond to people around us IS AS IMPORTANT as our response to God.
It is not possible for us either because of our natural birth or our human trying can ever be a Christian, it all starts the day we are born again, when God plants the seed (the divine sperma) into the womb of our heart and spiritual conception takes place and God’s DNA is activated in our life. When we are born physically it came with a sinful nature, and unless it is dealt with and “rendered powerless” we will never exhibit the character of Christ. I sadly know little about gardening, but common sense tells me that if I want a good harvest, then I must not only prepare the soil, but look after it, and do everything I can to assist the growth of for example the fruit Paul speaks of But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. in Gal. 5:22-25 NKJV
The AMP N.T. says But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness,
Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge].
And those who belong to Christ Jesus (the Messiah) have crucified the flesh (the godless human nature) with its passions and appetites and desires.
If we live by the [Holy] Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. [If by the Holy Spirit we have our life in God, let us go forward walking in line, our conduct controlled by the Spirit.
The MESSAGE says But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way. Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good—crucified.
Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives
This 9 fold fruit is the CHRISTIAN DNA in us, and Paul says there is no law against its growth and development. Please note our part in the development, we have to CRUCIFY THE FLESH, this is the DAILY surrender of our life to the Lord, learning to say NOT MY WILL BUT THINE BE DONE. It is also one thing to be born again and have the Holy Spirit in us, but we must determine to daily WALK in the Spirit, letting the Spirit be PRESIDENT constantly in our lives.
I decided to list these three translations for you to get a broad picture of what is a Christian, I trust is encourages and challenges you as it does me.