What Is A Christian?
A Christian is someone who has...
received the Lord Jesus as Savior (John 1:12),
trusts Him alone for the forgiveness of sin (Acts 4:12),
has put no trust in his own efforts (Isaiah 64:6) to please God, and
repented from his/her sins (Mark 1:15).
Experientially, the life of a Christian does not consist only of theological knowledge. It is theology that defines who Jesus is and what He has done, but it is not the end of all things.
We are Christians who believe the above points, yes, but we also have a living and open relationship with the Lord Jesus. We experience Him through His indwelling Spirit.
As Christians, we seek to...
- do the will of the Lord,
- follow in His footsteps, and
- honor and glorify God in all we do.
It is not necessary as a Christian to perform good works IN ORDER to please God because, first of all, our good deeds are but filthy rags to God (Isaiah 64:6) and, most important, we are made righteous in the eyes of God by the finished work of Jesus on the cross (Romans 5).
This is one of the areas where the cults error. They confuse good works with the forgiveness of sins. They combine the two and teach that God will not accept us if we are not trying to be good. Because they have a wrong view of who Jesus is, they have a wrong view of salvation.
A common objection to this doctrine of justification by faith is that if Christians believe in God as stated above, then they do not need to do anything good; they could then go out and sin all they wanted. This objection is answered in Romans 6:
- We are not saved for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification (1 Thessalonians 4:7). We do not use the grace of God to sin.
- A Christian is called to be Holy (1 Peter 1:16).
- A Christian is called to do good works (Ephesians 2:10); it is just that these works are not combined with our faith to merit the forgiveness of our sins. They are, instead, a natural result of our saved condition; we do good works because we are Christians, not to become Christians.
Additionally, being a Christian means that you are serving the true Jesus, not a false one. In order for a person to follow Jesus, they must first accurately understand who He is. If someone called their pet iguana Jesus, even though they had great faith in Jesus the iguana, their faith is useless. Faith is only as good as the object in which it is placed.
The Mormon Jesus is the brother of the devil begotten through sexual intercourse from a god and goddess who used to be people on another planet (Mormon Doctrine, by Bruce McConkie, p. 321).
The Jehovah's Witness Jesus is Michael the archangel who became a man, died on a torture stake, did not rise from the dead in the same body he died in, and then went back to being an angel (Aid to Bible Understanding, p. 1152; New Heavens and a New Earth, p. 30).
The New Age Jesus is a man in tune with the divine consciousness.
In opposition to this, the Jesus of Christianity is BOTH God and Man.