By Samuel Brooks
In church this morning, the sermon was on ‘Being a True Christian’. So I thought that I would share the key points (including the sections from the Bible that was read) before I end with my overall thoughts.
-A true Christian represents Christ accurately – they aren’t necessarily trying to be “perfect” but are serious about living for God and are attempting to pattern their lives after Christ.
-A Christian doesn’t excuse their sins but confesses them.
-Christians need the word of God to correct their actions and thinking. Through this, we’re able to separate ourselves from spiritual darkness.
1 John 1:5-9 NLT says “God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. If we claim we have no sin, we are fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”
-As Christians, we shouldn’t say “I’m a good Christian…I just don’t obey that part of the Bible.” It’s either you obey the Bible OR you don’t! Also, just because we’re under the New Covenant, doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t study the Old Testament. The OT is just as important as the New Testament! If parts of the Bible were irrelevant or not important to obey, why would those parts be in there in the first place?
-One question that Christians should ask themselves is “Was I free in the Spirit?” We shouldn’t say “I was baptized at “X” age.” Baptism’s great and a part of our salvation but it’s not the ONLY thing that determines and guarentees it. One side comment that I’d like to say is just because you simply believe in God doesn’t mean that you’re saved either…even the devil believes in God! When the word “believe” is used, it means “trust”; do you trust God with everything; even if that means your life?
-Christians ask for and give forgiveness freely.
-A good acronym that was used to describe this whole process was to compare spiritual maintenance to vehicle maintenance; how cars need oil, tires rotated, to be fueled up, etc which is similar to maintaining our spiritual lives by attending church, Bible study groups, reading and studying our Bibles on our own, praying, and so on.
1 John 3:10 NLT says “Now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God” and 1 John 4:1-3 NLT “Do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world. This is how we know if they have the Spirit of God: If a person claiming to be a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ came is a real body, that person has the Spirit of God. But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here.”
Overall, we all fall short when it comes to meeting the standards of what a Christian truly is (including myself)! This is only a small list but provides a good idea of how to truly be a Christian (there’s plenty more listed throughout the Bible). My reason for posting this is because there are so many individuals in the world that claim to be “true Christians” yet don’t live their lives accordingly. I’m not here to judge nor condemn individuals…that’s not the goal of this post! The goal, while being as honest as possible, is to open people’s eyes so they can hopefully make positive changes.