Saturday, September 15, 2012

What is a Christian?

Does belief in Christ make you a Christian? Does belief in Kentucky make you a Kentuckian?

To be a Kentuckian, you must live in Kentucky. You must pay taxes in Kentucky. You must have an address in Kentucky. You cannot merely believe that Kentucky is a nice state. You cannot simply agree that Kentucky is a nice place to live. To be a Kentuckian, you must live in Kentucky. Likewise, to be a Christian, you must live in Christ. . . You must follow His teaching. . . You must obey His commandments. You must abide in Him. To be a Christian, Jesus must be an integral part of you. . .

You cannot merely believe in Him, and be of Him. . .If you believe in Christ, you must also believe in His Words. If you believe in His Words, you will follow and obey His words:

John 12:44-48
Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me. (45) And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me. (46) I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. (47) And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. (48) He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

John 14:15
If ye love me, keep my commandments.

. . . I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. . . When do we abide in darkness? When we live with sin in our lives. If we live in sin, we cannot be living in Christ. . . we cannot be Christian. . .We cannot live in Christ and live in sin at the same time.

We fool ourselves, when we are hearers and not doers of God’s word:

James 1:22
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

Poll 100 people. Ask if they consider themselves Christians? The large majority will say ‘yes.’ Ask specifics. . .

Do you tell lies?
Do you take things which aren’t yours?
Do you envy and lust?
Are you sexually active without being married?

. . . be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. . .

There are no excuses or justifications for sin. . .

John 5:25-29
Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. (26) For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; (27) And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. (28) Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, (29) And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

There will be a judgment. There will be those who go to damnation. Jesus did not die upon the cross, as a sacrifice for active sin in our lives. His death was payment for repented of sin. This is a huge distinction. He came not to make a way for active sinners to go to heaven. He came to make a way for former sinners to go to heaven. He made a way for those who have rejected sin to go to heaven. He offers forgiveness to those who ask for forgiveness.

Matthew 7:21-23
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. (22) Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? (23) And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Jesus is telling us that there will be disappointment on judgment day. Some will call Him Lord. Some will consider themselves Christians. Some will think themselves to have done sufficient works for Him to have earned His love, but they will be turned away as unknown to Him, because they continued to do bad things. . . they continued to sin.

Importantly Jesus did not say, “depart from me, ye that WORKED iniquity.”, but rather depart from Me you that ‘work’. . . depart from me those of you who have continued to do bad things. To abide in Jesus is to turn away from sin. To turn away from sin is to follow the words, and commandments of Jesus. . .there is no other way.

Repent and turn away from sin. . .
Obey the teachings and Words of Jesus. . .
Abide in Him and allow Him to abide in you. . .

Then and only then are you a Christian. . .

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