Click on the Above Short Video to Understand What a Real Christian Is --This Is Very Important
If after watching the above video you feel that you are ready to become a Christian, click on How to Become A Christian to be taken to our webpage and video which will assist you it correctly becoming a true believer.
What is a Christian? You need to understand that if you answer this question
it's more than just a matter of life or death—it is a matter of eternal life or
You see, hundreds of millions on planet earth mistakenly believe that they are Christians. By following their religious traditions they believe they're purchasing a ticket into heaven. Anyone who imagines that God let's people into heaven based upon some sort of merit system will wake up after death and realize that they are going to spend eternity separated from the one true God.
Why? Because they haven't taken the time to learn the real answer to this very
important question. God wants us to care enough about Him to become a REAL
Christian -- not just a fake or "token" believer. This is why it's essential to know what
a Christian really is, if you really want to be inside of God's family.
Remember, there is a spiritual war going on inside of your head (see: War In Your Heart). Satan doesn't want you to know the truth. He will lull your mind and ensnare you into any other form of religion that he can in order that you will think you are good enough to make the cut and gain entrance into God's Kingdom. There are so many conflicting opinions about what a Christian is that you really owe it to yourself to know exactly what God really requires.
Let me ask you seven questions that will be your starting point to help you understand what a Christian really is (and isn't). The correct answer might surprise you.
1. Is a Christian one who lives a good life? Yes or No?
2. Is a Christian one who believes in God? Yes or No?
3. Is a Christian one who goes to church? Yes or No?
4. Is a Christian one who believes in the Bible? Yes or No?
5. Is a Christian one who has had a personal encounter with God? Yes or No?
6. Is a Christian one who believes in Jesus Christ? Yes or No?
7. Is a Christian one who has been born again? Yes or No?
Okay, so what's the correct answer? Well, it all depends...
Most people are confused by these questions. I've found that even true Christians have a difficult time sorting this out because we often confuse what a Christian DOES with what he IS. And those are two different things.
You see, it is possible for Christians to do all of these things. In fact, I would hope that every Christian lives a good life, believes in God, goes to church and believes in the Bible. Every Christian should do these things. But doing all of these first four things doesn't make anyone into a Christian.
Ask yourself, is it possible to live a good life and not be a Christian? YES. Is it possible to believe in God and not be a Christian? YES. Is it possible to go to church and believe in the Bible and still not be a Christian? ABSOLUTELY. So just because someone does these things doesn't make him into a true Christian believer.
Unfortunately, millions of people do some or all of these things and
they therefore believe God will reward them for this activity with a ticket
to heaven. After
all, they go to church and read the Bible and attempt to do the right
things, plus, most of them probably don't lie (much), steal or murder. So
they feel that compared to the big sinners in this world, that they are basically good people and they hope they're on
the road to heaven. Unfortunately, they are not on the right road!
Let me emphasis this point because it is so important. You are not a Christian because of what you do. Neither are you a Christian because of what you do not do. Now it's true that a Christian's behavior will likely reflect his beliefs if he is truly a believer. But his behavior, in and of itself, does not prove that he is a true believer.
In Question 5 we ask, if someone has a personal encounter with God would that make him a Christian. Of course it is possible to have a dramatic personal encounter with God and be a Christian. But it is just as likely that someone can have an encounter and NOT be a Christian.
Many people have what they call deep spiritual experiences that bring them a sense of enlightenment and that experience sometimes even changes their whole life. I've met many who have had an encounter with some god, or what they thought was god, and it had a "profound impact" upon their psyche. But you always want to ask "which god" they've encountered.
For years I lived near a thriving New Age community and many of those people had spiritual encounters with some sort of god or deity or spirit and it is obvious (even to them) that such an experience would not qualify them to be called a Christian. So no experience proves that some is a Christianity.
In Question 6 we ask about believing in Jesus Christ. Certainly all Christians believe in Jesus, but is it possible for someone to believe in Christ and not be a Christian? IT IS. The question of course has to be, which Jesus do they believe in? If you look carefully you'll discover that there are a lot of different teachings floating around about who Jesus is. Some say he is just "a god" not "the God" (like the Jehovah Witnesses). Some say (like the Mormons) that he's the brother of Satan. Others say that he was just one of many incarnations of "the Christ."
I could go on and on but I hope you get the point. Mere believe in Jesus Christ doesn't save you, as there are so many false ideas about who he really was. (If you want to know exactly who Jesus from Nazareth was and is, let me suggest that you take a look at my book "The Liberator." The entire book is all right here on this website for free and I believe it will answer many of your questions about who Jesus really was).
Is Being "Born Again" The Definition?
Question 7 is a little tougher. Most believers will tell you that if someone has been born again, they are a Christian. Many believers see this as being like a definition of what a true Christian is. I've even had non Christians ask me if I was a "born againer" as they put it, because they recognized that people who have had that experience were somehow different from other religious groups within Christianity.
Now Jesus did say that we must be born again—born spiritually from above—in order to inherit the Kingdom of God. It is something which every true believer must experience. We must be born again to enter the Kingdom of God. But let's make a distinction here. Many have had what we might call a "born again" experience with Christ, but often these people are now living far from God and have little or no desire to follow the Lord. So having a born again encounter with the Lord is certainly not a decisive definition that someone has become a Christian.
We can understand this better when we think of physical birth. When babies are born into this world, they are sometimes born dead. Unfortunately this sad fact happens so often I've seen birth certificates which had two boxes on them for the nurse to check: "Live Birth" or "Still Birth."
In a similar way, a person can have a spiritual or emotional encounter with God that can often be quite dramatic. But we must not confuse an experience with one truly becoming a Christian. Experiences don't make Christians. Experiences are simply that—experiences. If all you have is an experience, you may have nothing more than a memory of what you "thought happened."
I know of people who walked down the aisle when an evangelist spoke, cried a bucket of tears and prayed the sinner's prayer. But somehow, it just "didn't take." And they walked out of that church no different than when they walked in.
Now of course many actually do become Christians in this way and it "takes" right from the start. But the act of "making a decision" does not necessarily make you into a true believer. If you've had a past spiritual encounter in your life, it's important that you know beyond a shadow of the doubt that you have definitely become a real Christian.
So Who Are The Christians?
This is an important question, and so we must draw our answer directly from the Source of God's Word which provides the real fresh light. God tells us what's necessary to have a relationship with Christ and spend eternity with him. You see, the Bible defines both what a Christian is—and also what a non believer is.
Today, the term "Christian" is the primary word the world uses to describe a true believer in Christ. (It's also a term used to describe ALL of those who follow any Christian schism, so the term's meaning has definitely been deluded in our world). In the New Testament believers were called by many different names: disciples, believers, followers of the way, children of the light, believers in Christ, those who are "in Christ", and many other labels.
The actual term "Christian" is only found three times in the New Testament
and it was probably coined by those outside of the church trying to put a
label on us. In Acts, we're told that "the disciples were first called
Christians in Antioch." (Acts 11:26). And that title stuck.
King Agrippa used the term with the Apostle Paul when he said: "In a short time you will persuade me to become a Christian." And finally, the Apostle Peter said, "if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but in that name let him glorify God." (1 Peter 4:16). So we want to be Christians from the Bible's point of view.
What Is A Non-Christian?
There are two verses in
the New Testament which clearly define what it
means both to be a Christian and also what a non Christian is (although in
this passage the term
"Christian" is not actually used, the clarification is still
evident). Look at the
words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 8:9b you'll find a simple, biblical
definition of the NON Christian. The passage says, "But if anyone does not
have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him." This passage is
extremely important, because it declares that a man is not a believer if he
does not have the spirit of Christ living within his heart.
It doesn't say anything about whether he goes to church or has made a decision nor does it give a list of what he must believe, or even what he does. It simply declares that the absence of the Spirit of Christ in his life shows that he doesn't belong to God. A man in this condition, has a clear position: he is OUTSIDE the ownership of God. He doesn't belong to Christ. And his fate is obvious if he remains in that condition.
Think about this for a moment. No matter what your experience has been with Christ or Christians or churches or anything else, do you have Christ now in your heart? If you can't answer that question positively, then I hope you will take some serious moments to challenge yourself about your spiritual condition. Because if you do not have the Lord actively living inside of your heart and life... YOU ARE NOT A CHRISTIAN! And if that is your spiritual condition, you will need to take steps to change your situation if you want eternal life (and who doesn't?).
Let me emphasize that if you do not have Christ in your heart you can stop guessing about your eternal destiny. If you don't have Christ, you will not enter heaven. There are many passages in the Bible which make this very plain. If you don't have Christ living in your heart, you're not a believer, and you definitely want to take the right steps to change your eternal spiritual destiny.
The Bible Definition of a Christian
Now the very next verse—Romans 8:10—clarifies what a Christian is. It says:
"If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit
is alive because of righteousness." (NASB).The opposite of not belonging to
God, is belonging to him. The opposite of not having Christ in your life, is
HAVING Christ in your heart and your life. And we are told that your spirit
is ALIVE because of righteousness (which would actually be Christ's righteousness
because none of us have any righteousness).
There is an interesting "clarification" given in this passage, which is: "though the body is dead because of sin." What the Apostle Paul is saying here is that a man can have Christ in his life, even though he is still trapped inside of a body that is spiritually dead because of the power sin has over it.
This is one of the mysteries of belief. To have Christ in your life means that you have his spirit living within your sinful body and heart. When you become a Christian, you'll have in essence, two natures inside of your heart. With Christ living inside of your life the spirit will be alive inside of you because of the righteousness of Christ. And your spirit will then be attuned to overcome the sinful nature which you've been born with.
When Jesus dwells in your heart, you'll have a different view of life. If you listen to the Lord, you'll be able to see things through his eyes. Now you won't be perfect. This passage actually clarifies that. You'll be imperfect, because you're still residing inside of a body that is dead because of the power of sin. But you will have the power of Christ flowing through your heart and into your life and his presence will give you a greater sense of and responsiveness to righteousness.
So THIS is the ultimate definition of what a true Christian really is. Anyone who has the spirit of Christ dwelling in his heart belongs to God and is a believer. Anyone who does not have Christ in his heart, isn't a Christian and is outside of the life of God.
This is very black and white. You're either in darkness or you're in the light. If you have Christ you will be in the light. If you don't have Christ you will be in the darkness. That's pretty plain and simple. And it's difficult to fake.
For this reason, a true Christian who has the Spirit working in his heart
can often discern when someone is or is not a genuine believer. The Bible
says that if someone claims to be in the light but his deeds are evil, he's
a liar. When a Christian sees those signs in someone who is professing to be
a believer, he should have some doubts about that person's true spiritual
condition (and should pray for him).
Having Christ is the RESULT of becoming born again. Having him is the result of repenting and changing your opinion about your sins. But again, having a new birth or a decisive moment such as a conversion experience is not the "proof" of a man's spiritual condition.
Just remember, in the physical world birth does not prove life (because you can be born dead). In the same way, only spiritual life proves spiritual life. Is Christ living in your heart or is he not? If he is, you'll know it and it is likely that those around you will know it too.
Other Passages About Christ In You
There are other Bible passages which also clarify the importance of having Christ in your heart. "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me."
(Galatians 2:20 NASB).
One of the clearest expressions of this is found in Colossians, where Paul says: "to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." (Colossians 1:27 NASB).
I hope that this message has caught your attention and caused you to want to know for sure that you are indeed a true Christian. There are several articles that I would suggest that you go to which will help you nail down how to become a believer in Christ. Be sure and check out some of the following articles: How to Repent of Your Sins and Coming Under Conviction of Your Sin.
If up until this point in your life you have just assumed that you are a Christian, now is the time for you to nail down your own commitment to Christ. You can eliminate any doubts that you have about your standing with God. Use this article to spur yourself towards following through and finding out exactly what you need to do to become a believer. Click on How to Become A Christian right now.