cJoshua1:5

What makes you a Christian?

Posted by cjoshua15 on June 22, 2006

http://www.wikipedia.com defines Christian as such:

A Christian is a follower of Jesus Christ, believing him to be the Son of God and the savior of human souls from sin and death. Christians believe that Jesus lived a life befitting that of the creator of the universe, free of sin, and at the end of his earthly life was crucified. 

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5 Responses to “What makes you a Christian?”

  1. Deanna said

    But doesn’t being a Christian mean something much deeper than just believing? Even the demons and satan himself believe. In the New Testament almost every mention of followers means imitators or to imitate.
    The belief is key, it is the belief that compels us to press in closer, to imitate. But without the imitation belief alone isn’t much different than an acknowlegement is it? I think far too often we (and wikipedia too) stop way too short in defining what a christian is.

  2. cami said

    EXACTLY!

    Do we define ourselves by a specific dictionary enclosed statement? Or do we define ourselves by the life defining guidance of our Savior? The scripture that says He knew us before He formed us gives me the feeling that there is no other definition for my salvation and existance except for the grace God gives me, His firm guidance in the Bible, my relationship with Him, and the utlimate sacrifice of His Son for my sins. Do we individually define Christian for ourself?

  3. jipmeister said

    Do we define ourselves by a specific dictionary enclosed statement?
    I think all too often we do. I think it’s a product of the “1-2-3 pray after me” approach to evangelism.

    Or do we define ourselves by the life defining guidance of our Savior?
    I think it goes further than the life defining guidance of our Savior – Our salvation, Our Redemption, that New Creature kind of life, all are evidenced by what we do with that life defining guidance. Jesus offeres that guidance it’s what we do with it that defines christianity. Does that guidance lead us to repentance, does it lead us obedience? If not then it is merely an empty belief or acknowlegement.

    To be a follower is to be an imitator – to be an imitator is to be changed, to BE what you are following.

    The best “picture” of this is in looking at the difference in the people who followed Jesus.
    There were always crowds following him from one place to another, from one miracle to another, from one moutntaintop to another. But at the end of the day they went on their way unchanged. It was the disciples and those who pressed in closer, pursuing a deeper understanding of the miracles and teaching and of the man himself, who were ultimately changed, who ultimately became the imitators, the true followers.

    Do we individually define Christian for ourself?
    Probably more often than we’d like to admit.

    “We’re passionate about what we don’t want to become
    but oddly passive about what we should be.” – John Cruickshank

  4. cami said

    Nicodemus was a character we studied in VBS and to think he went beyond his social definition and status to pursue the Christ that was redefining life and a new status. Albeit he had to go at night so as not to get caught.

    Do we as Christians hide our desire to be defined as Christians because of fear of being caught being a Christian?

  5. jipmeister said

    I doubt many of us would have to experience the same consequences as Nicodemus might have had to endure. I don’t know if it’s so much that we hide our desire to be defined as a Christian as it might more often be that we are not in danger of being caught being one. That all comes from exactly what we have been talking about…the question is really has our life been changed by Jesus?
    The thing about Nicodemus that strikes me is that he was no peasant, no common man. He was a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin. This was status, I’m guessing he probably had an “assistant” or some kind of flunky he could have sent to Jesus. He could have had his questions delivered to Jesus and awaited the answers and not risked getting too close personally. Yet he chose to seek out Jesus for himself and to question Jesus himself.
    Maybe this brings the question of do we seek Jesus for ourself or do we all to often try to ride on the spiritual coat tails of others? No one else can pursue Jesus or follow Jesus for us, we must each do that for ourselves. Nicodemus was already convinced that Jesus was “a teacher come from God”, are we convinced enough to seek him and allow him to change us?
    The other thing that struck me about this passage was that Nicodemus initially came to see Jesus secretly from that encounter he was changed enough to have the courage to speak up before the council when they were trying to figure out a way to get rid of Jesus. He didn’t come right out and share his belief or his “testimony” but he was changed enough by that initial encounter to be compelled to speak up. Later Nicodemus was the one who went with Joseph of Aramethia (sp) to request for a proper burial for Jesus. That took much courage. So the thing that is important about this is that he continued growing in that belief perhaps at a different pace than others but there was forward progress…growth is what we need to look for in our own life.
    So i think the better question might be has there been some significant forward progress in my relationship with Jesus since that first “meeting” ?
    Even Paul after that blinding moment on the Damascus Road did not run to the nearest synagogue to preach his first sermon…he spent time…I think it was about 2 years…getting to know Jesus, growing in that relationship, growing in his knowledge and understanding….

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