Recently, I tried watching a movie called “Dial-a-Prayer” about a troubled young woman who is sentenced to community service by working in a prayer call centre. I say “tried” because I could only stomach about 1/2 hour of it before I turned it off in disgust and frustration. I am sick and tired of the media portraying Christians as insincere, money-grubbing, Southern-style Bible thumping losers who don’t really believe in what they are saying!!
I am well aware that there are people who call themselves “Christian” but whose words and deeds show that they are anything but a Christian. These people leave a real bad taste in my mouth.
So, how can one person tell if another person is truly a Christian? As Joyce Meyers says, it’s not by how many Jesus pins and bumper stickers they display.
First, one must understand the meaning of the word ‘Christian’. It is derived from the Greek word ‘Christianos’ meaning ‘followers of Christ’. And the word ‘Christ’ comes from the Greek word, ‘Christos’, meaning ‘anointed’ (in this case, by God). So a Christian is a person who follows the teachings of Jesus Christ, the one who was anointed by God.
Act 10:38 … how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, and He went about doing good, and healing all those who were oppressed by the Devil, for God was with Him.
God anointed Jesus with God’s own holy spirit power so that Jesus could carry out some very important work
Luk 4:18, 19 “The Spirit of the Lord is on Me; because of this He has anointed Me to proclaim the Gospel to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim deliverance to the captives, and new sight to the blind, to set at liberty those having been crushed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
Joh 17:26 And I made known to them Your name, and will make it known, so that the love with which You have loved Me may be in them, and I in them.
Jesus was sent to proclaim good news (forgiveness of sins and salvation through faith in him), to heal, to deliver, to bring freedom, and to teach about God’s great grace, mercy and love.
As a follower of Jesus Christ, ‘a Christian’, we should be following his example. We should be teaching what he taught – the grace of salvation through faith in Jesus. We should be doing what he did – healing the sick, delivering the captives, helping the poor, etc. And we should be doing all of these things in the manner in which Jesus did – with mercy, compassion and love – all without judgement. (I am working on this)
You can’t rightly call yourself a Christian if you are not doing these things, or if you are doing them, but not in love. The true spiritual state of a person is evident in their words and deeds.
Luk 6:44 For every tree is known by its own fruit.
1Jn 2:3 And by this we may be certain that we have knowledge of him, if we keep his laws.
1Jn 2:4 The man who says, I have knowledge of him, and does not keep his laws, is false, and there is nothing true in him:
1Jn 2:5 But in every man who keeps his word, the love of God is made complete. By this we may be certain that we are in him:
1Jn 2:6 He who says that he is living in him, will do as he did.
So, who is a Jesus-following Christian? A person who desires to fulfill the following qualifications:
Luk 10:27 And answering, he said, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind, and [love] your neighbor as yourself.
1Jn 4:15 Whoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwells in him and he in God.
1Jn 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God has in us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
It’s about time we lived up to the name!