ARE YOU A CHRISTIAN?
Are you a Christian is another topic, I want us to study carefully to know where we are and where we are to go on our way to the kingdom of God. Going to church does not make you a Christian; or saying a prayer, telling yourself that you are, or trying to be a decent person. You can only be a Christian if Christ is in you.
A Christian, is a person who lives in Christ, and Christ lives in him, he lives inside God, and God lives inside him, he lives in the Mystical body of Christ, in His church, as stated by Paul, and Christ in him, “It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me” Gal. 2: 20, John 1: 5.
A Christian is “another Christ”, to live on earth the glorious adventure of love, being humble and meek like Jesus, doing the same work of Jesus, casting out devils and healing the sick, going about doing good, helping people to go to eternal Heaven, by being like Jesus “the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”, who can teach and preach the gospel of the kingdom with his words and good deeds.
If Christ is in you, which can be tested and proven according to the scriptures. Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you – unless, of course, you fail the test? 2Cor. 13: 5. But a man must examine himself, if we judge ourselves rightly; we would not be judged
1 Cor. 11: 28, 31.
God gives us instructions on how we can and should “test ourselves” in scripture, which can be grouped into five major categories: 1. Gospel Belief and Confession 2. Born Again / Sonship 3. Repentance / Deliverance from sin 4. Good works by grace and 5. The fruit of the Spirit. The first three are starting points, but can also serve as ongoing tests, as we will see. The last two are living proof of “Christ Jesus in us”, or not.
These scriptures should encourage those who are true Christians, and give cause for sober reflection to those who think they are but are not.
Gospel Belief and Confession of Faith. Romans 10: 8 -13. “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart”, that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming; that if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord”, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved... for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”.
We must believe the right Gospel about the right one. Christian life starts with an embracing of the Gospel, but what we believe in is also an ongoing test as well. We are warned in scripture not to drift away from the faith as we go through life; which is a real danger. Do we believe in, and are we following, the simple and scripture defined Gospel of Jesus Christ? 1 John 2: 24.
In Gal. 1:19. Paul said I am amazed that you have so quickly transferred your allegiance from him who called you by the grace of Christ to another “Gospel”! Not that there is another gospel, but there are men who are upsetting your faith with a travesty of the gospel of Christ. Yet I say that if I, or an angel from Heaven, were to preach to you any other gospel than the one you have received, may he be dammed! Revelation 3: 3, Hebrew 2: 1, 10: 23.
Born Again / Sonship. John 3: 3-7. “Jesus declared”, I tell you the truth; no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised of me as I said” “you must be born again”.
Those who believe in the Gospel and follow Jesus will be born again into new, spiritual life. This is result in what is termed” the Spirit of adoption” which is evidenced by the “inner witness” of “Abba, Father”. This is an inner knowing that we are children of God, where we cry out “Daddy! Father!” with love and expectation by deep, spiritual instinct. Romans 8: 9, 15 -16. You cannot, indeed, be a Christian at all unless you have something of his spirit in you… You can say with a full heart, “father, my father”. The Spirit himself endorses our inward conviction that we really are the children of God.
Christians do not habitually remain in sin, as we will see in the following test. Yet we all can stumble, we all can fall into sin. Hopefully, this is not deliberate, but even if it is on occasion God can still use it to encourage us that we are His children. For if and when we sin, the correction / rebuke / chastisement of the Lord will train us into the righteousness of Christ – if we are His. Hebrew 12: 5 – 8.
This is a very clear out test; if you can continue in habitual sin and “get away with it”, no matter what you say you are not a child of God. On the other hand, if we really are His children, this will be proven by the fact that He will not allow us to remain in sin or go far wrong through His active correction in our lives. Revelation 3: 19.
To be continued next time by God’s grace.