True Christian or False Christian?
Romans 9:6: “But it is not as if the word of God had failed. Because not all Israelites descend from Israel.
In his book “From Death to Life: How Salvation Works,” Allen Nelson IV writes, “There is a pandemic in America of false conversion to the Christian faith. Many people claim to be Christians and don’t quite fit the biblical definition of a Christian. They are said to be alive but are actually dead. This spiritual zombie apocalypse is not coming. It has already gone viral and if the tide is not stemmed, the church in America will fall mightily. The alarm bells have been ringing for quite a while and we have no more time to repeat. It’s time to wake up. The urgency of biblical faithfulness has never been greater. Our opportunity is now.
As Nelson so aptly points out “there is a pandemic in America” and I am not talking about COVID-19. The churches in America and the churches in Craig, Colorado are filled with people who believe they really believe. For the human eye it is often very difficult to distinguish between those who are truly children of God and those who simply act as if they are children of God.
In our culture today, the name “Christian” is largely meaningless. For example, in much of the United States (Craig being no different), very few people go to church on Sundays. Think about where you live, what street you live on. How many of your neighbors actually go to church regularly on Sunday mornings? But if you asked your neighbors, they would probably tell you that they are Christians. But the reality is that very few who call themselves Christians are true Christians. And that includes many who sit in pews every Sunday.
So what is a true Christian? The name “Christian” is translated as “one Christ,” and it was first used to describe the followers of Jesus in Antioch, a city in what is now Syria.
There are several things that characterize a true authentic Christian:
1. A true Christian believes in Christ. It means that you believe that Jesus is the Son of God who became man for one reason and one reason only, our salvation. He is the one in whom the Christian believed. It is not simply a mere intellectual assent to the existence of Christ.
Faith, or belief in Christ, has three elements: first, the intellectual content of belief, who Jesus is and what he has done for our salvation. Second, it is heart warming; be moved by Jesus and his sacrifice on our behalf. Third, there is personal commitment. It means giving oneself to Jesus, becoming his, taking up his cross, following him and being his disciple. Matthew 16:24 says, “If anyone wants to come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me. »
2. The authentic Christian follows Christ. It’s a vital part of what it means to be a Christian, and it’s a vital part that’s missing in the church today. Being a Christian means believing in Jesus, but it also means following Jesus and thus becoming more and more like him. James Montgomery Boice said, “A true Christian is one who becomes like Jesus Christ. Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”
3. A genuine Christian testifies of Christ. A person who is truly a Christian cannot stop talking about Jesus. He (Christ) is constantly in their thoughts and constantly on their tongue. Every part of their life is deeply influenced by Him and His Word. Acts 1:8 says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even in the remotest part of the earth.
4. A genuine Christian continues to learn more and more about Christ. Those who are truly saved, those who are truly redeemed, those who are true Christians have a burning desire to learn and know more about Christ. Acts 2:42 says, “They (the Christians) continually devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”
You see, when someone is converted to Christ, they then learn more and more about Christ through diligent study of His Word (the Bible) and sitting under sound teaching and preaching. When this happens, they naturally become more and more like Christ. They identify completely with Him.
So, in light of that, ask yourself, “Am I a real Christian? Do I believe in Christ? Am I really? Am I testifying of Christ? Do I want to know more and more about him? If you are unsure of where you stand in Christ, I want to invite you to go to church at Sovereign Grace Community Church of the Yampa Valley and learn what it really means to be a Christian, based on this what the Bible says, not about our culture. At SGCCYV, we preach and teach the Word of God very simply and are not afraid of unpopular or difficult passages. Don’t be part of the pandemic of unbelief, make sure you’re really really saved.
Tim Adams, Pastor/Elder Sovereign Grace Community Church of the Yampa Valley