View Full Version : What does it mean to be a Christian?

02-03-02, 08:22 PM
This is a Christian Fellowship board so I'd make the guess that most people posting here would consider themselves Christians. Yet it seems that being a Christian means different things to diferent people.

To some and I am one of them it means being saved by the blood of Jesus and giving myself to as totally as I can with His help. To other people it seems to mean trying to live a good life, going to church, etc. What does Being a Christian mean to you?

02-03-02, 11:40 PM
I think to answer what it means to be a Christian, I should talk about what the Christian life is all about.
The Christian life is about life in Christ.
And this life is a life that God intends for us to be a life of faith and dependence of Him.
And it is a life that only Jesus Christ can live through us.
Yes, we cannot live the Christian life ourselves, only Jesus Christ can live it through us by our abiding and depending on Him (John 15:1-8)
The Christian life is intended to be a life of faith from start to finish. It was entered into by faith when we received our salvation by believing Christ has saved us. And it is to continue to be one of faith in God.
It is not one based on our striving, and strength: It is instead, one of resting and depending on God as the source of strength.
We as Christians already have the complete righteousness of Christ in us--
But we need to let it flow in us, and that can only happen when we allow Christ to live His life through us. And that can only happen when we put our faith in Him.

Jesus Christ gave His life FOR us, in order to give His life TO us, in order to live His life THROUGH us.

I found an interesting excerpt from a book entitled "The Saving Life of Christ," by Major Ian Thomas:

"There are few things quite so boring as being religious, but there is nothing quite so exciting as being a Christian.
Most folks have never discovered the difference between the one and the other, so that there are those who sincerely try to live a life they do not have, substituting religion for God, Christianity for Christ, and their own noble endeavors for the energy, joy and power of the Holy Spirit. In absence of reality, they can on grasp at ritual, stubbornly defending the latter in the absence of the former, lest they be found with neither!
They are lamps without oil, cars without gas, and pens without ink, baffled at their own impotence in the absence of all that alone can make man functional; for man was so engineered by God that the presence of the Creator within the creature is indispensable to His humanity. Christ gave Himself for us to give Himself to us! His presence puts God back into man! He came that we might have life--God's life!
There are those who have a life they never live. They have come to Christ and thanked Him only for what He did, but do not live in the power of who He is. Between the Jesus who 'was' and the Jesus who 'will be' they live in a spiritual vacuum, trying with no little zeal to live for Christ a life that only He can live in and through them, perpetually begging for what in Him they already have."

Breni Sue
02-05-02, 04:23 AM
Just so you know, Ann, I haven't forgotten about this thread. But this is such a deep and personal issue for me, and I will need some time to really think about this. :)

02-05-02, 09:36 AM
I think on the most basic level a Christian is someone who has admitted their need for a savior, believed that Jesus died to pray the price for their sin, and accepted Him into their life to be master of it.

Now, on a deeper level, I think "Disciple" instead of "Christian." Jesus referred to his followers as disciples, Christian wasn't used until the Church in Acts. A disciple is someone who follows the teachings of their teacher. So, someone who truly lives the Christian life. God has called us to be disciples - surrendered disciples of Him. To me, that means striving to always in EVERY situation to do God's will. To see God is everything. I'm doing a study right now called, How Now Shall We Live, and it talks about Christianity as a worldview - a belief system that affects every area of your life. That's how I see the Christian life - it should be in every area. From church on Sunday, to seeing God in a sunset, or a charitable act. To living for Him in the grocery store, in school, in traffic. It's an all-consuming caling. There is not one area of your life that should not be affected by your relationship with Jesus.

Breni Sue
02-07-02, 01:08 AM
What does it mean to be a Christian?

I have heard many folks tell me that they are Christians simply because they read the bible or go to church every Sunday. But it is so, so much more than that. Christianity is not a religion, it is a relationship - with Jesus. When we accept Him, we are asking Him to live in our hearts - to change us into the person He intended for us to be. Our lives belong to Him, we surrender our human wants and desires in order to do His will. And I know that for me, that can be difficult. Because His will is not always my own, so it is hard for me to just let go and say "OK God, you know what's best."

Being a Christian also means loving others the way Christ has loved us, even if they do not love us back. Watching out for our fellow man, and to catch them when they stumble or fall. Doing loving acts of kindness without expecting a reward in return. Telling them "I love you" even when we are angry with them. Because through Jesus, we have been taught this -
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love - 1Corinthians 13:13.

Being a Christian is not about belonging to a denomination, it is about belonging to Christ and His family. I see too many folks define their beliefs by what their Church believes, even if it is in contradiction with what God is saying to them. In order to be Christians, we must 1st and foremost open our hearts to His Word and let Him speak to us.

A relationship with Christ is like any other relationship - it takes commitment and work. And yet in many other ways, it is unlike any relationship we can ever have. God knows us inside and out. He knows our innermost thoughts, our fears, dreams, etc... He also suffered through all the same trials that we face today. Everything that we experience in this life He has also experienced - pain, rejection, loss of loved ones, betrayal... - and then some. And because of these things, He understands us better than anyone ever could. And that is why we must surrender ourselves to Him and allow Him to work inside us. He has been there, He knows what is best for us. How to comfort us, how to encourage us, how to lead us away from temptation. All these things we can do if we give our lives to Him - I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me - Phillippians 4:13 .

This is what being a Christian means to me.