The answer to our question depends on who you ask. Many people in the
religious world give conflicting answers to this question. Why?
Unfortunately, many must go to their creeds or doctrinal teachings to
locate the answer. We will endeavor to answer it by consulting the
Bible—God’s answer book.

One who is born again. “Since you have purified your souls in obeying
the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one
another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of
corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives
and abides forever.” {1 Peter 1:22,23} Christians must be spiritually
born to enter God’s family. Under Moses’ law, those who were born of
Jewish parents were automatically children of God. Yet, our Lord taught
that unless one is “born again” he cannot enter God’s kingdom {John 3:3-5}.

One who wears Christ’s name. “And when he had found him, he brought him
to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the
church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first
called Christians in Antioch.” {Acts 11:26} Members of God’s family wear
Christ’s name. Those who obey the gospel of Christ confess their belief
in Christ’s Deity—He is the Master of our souls. Why would one who
belongs to Christ wear any other name?

One who is growing spiritually. “But solid food belongs to those who are
of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses
exercised to discern both good and evil.” {Hebrews 5:14} Believers must
continue to grow and mature spiritually. Peter told us we “must grow in
the grace and knowledge of the Lord.” {2 Peter 3:18} We desire God’s
word to help us grow into more “perfect” people {Matthew 5:6; 1 Peter
2:2}. God expects us to bear spiritual fruit by growing in our desire
and ability to teach others the gospel. Sadly, many of God’s children
remain spiritual infants because they lack desire for real spiritual
food that can lead them to maturity.

One who has the proper character. “Let your light so shine before men,
that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
{Matthew 5:16} “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one
another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this
all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one
another.” {John 13:34,35} God’s people march to the beat of a different
drum. They have different goals, are spiritual-minded, and seek to
influence the world for the cause of Christ. Christians are people with
godly character. Read very carefully the words of Peter in 2 Peter
1:5-11—the things God’s people must add to their faith. God expects His
children to be different in an ungodly world {Romans 12:1,2}. We must be
holy as our Father in heaven is holy {1 Peter 1:15,16}.

The world may have difficulty accepting or understanding this answer.
Sadly, their definition of a Christian may not be the same as God’s. Men
may think they have the correct answer, but God views the matter
differently. If one wishes to be a Christian, he must look to the One
who defined Christianity.

By Keith Greer via -Knollwood Messenger (December 2005)

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