Are You A Christian?

Written by Frank Jamerson.

The word Christian is very loosely used in our society. Webster, who defines words are they are commonly used,  says: “a person professing belief in Jesus as the Christ, or in the religion based on the teachings of Jesus...a decent, respectable person.” None of this is what the Bible teaches about a Christian.

A person may believe in Christ  and not be a Christian. James said, “demons also believe  and tremble” (Jas. 2:19). Agrippa believed in Christ when Paul preached to him, but he was “almost persuaded to become a Christian” (Acts 26:27,28). Simply believing in Christ does not make one a Christian.

A person may be religious and not be a Christian. When Paul was in Athens and saw all the idols, he said, “I perceive that in all things you are very religious” (Acts 17:22). There many religions that do not believe that Jesus is the Christ, and many who do believe that, who do not believe what God’s word says man must do to be a Christian.

People may be good and not be Christians. Cornelius was “a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people and prayed to God always” (Acts 10:2), but he was lost. He needed to hear “words by which you and all your household will be saved” (Acts 11:14). A Christian must be good, but not all good people are Christians.

A person may be baptized and still not be a Christian. In Acts 19, we read about twelve men who had been baptized, but for the wrong purpose. They had been baptized with John’s baptism, which was “a baptism of repentance, saying to to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus” (Acts 19:3). Although the act of John’s baptism was the same as the baptism in the name of Christ—immersion, it was for a different purpose. They were looking forward to the coming of Christ, when they should have been looking backward to Him. Many today have been baptized looking backward to remission of sins (baptism because of remission of sins), when they should be looking forward. Jesus did not say “he who believes and is saved shall be baptized.” He said “he who believes and is baptized shall be saved” (Mk. 16:16).

When the church in Corinth was divided because of wearing the name of different preachers, Paul asked them, “was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” (1 Cor. 1:13). If Paul crucified and baptism in his name would have made them of Paul, what does it take to make one of Christ?

A Christian is not one who simply believes, or is religious, or good, or baptized, but one who has believed on the crucified Lord (Rom. 10:9,10) and been baptized into His death, in order to be raised to walk a new life (Rom. 6:3,4). The apostle Peter wrote, “Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in

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