A CHRISTIAN IS…

 

People speak of being Christians, but exactly what is meant when one says they are one? Maybe to over simplify it, a Christian is a Christ-like person. But if we will examine the New Testament Scriptures we will find a more detailed description of what a Christian is. This will help us to have a better understanding of what we are endeavoring to become.

 

A CHRISTIAN IS A CHILD OF GOD – The first characteristic that we see from the Scriptures is that the true Christian is a child of God. Believers have, according to John, the power to become the sons of God (John 1:12; 1 John 3:1, 2). The thought here is that one, whether male or female, who becomes a Christian is a child of God. God is pictured within the New Testament as being the Father of the righteous (Matthew 6:9). In view of this, we should seek daily to live like a child of God.

 

A CHRISTIAN IS A HEIR OF GOD – The second characteristic that we see is that the true New Testament Christian is an heir of God. According to the Apostle Paul, we are heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ (Romans 8:16, 17). Since we are joint heirs with Christ, we must share in His  sufferings, and when we do so we will also share in all of his glory. 

 

As children and heirs of God we are above servants. We are no longer bond-servants as were the Jews (Galatians 4:6, 7). As children and heirs of God all blessing that come from God for His children are ours (1 Corinthians 3:22, 23; Ephesians 1:3).

 

ROYAL PRIESTS – The third characteristic that we see is that Christians are royal priests. We are, according to the Apostle Peter, a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9). According to the Apostle John, we are kings and priests unto God (Revelation 1:6). As kings and priests we are to offer our bodies as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1). This is in stark contrast to the bloody sacrifices offered under the Jewish system.

 

INTERCESSORS – The fourth characteristic that we note is that the Christian serves in the  capacity of being an intercessor. Along with supplications (prayers on our own behalf), thanksgivings, and other prayers, we are to offer up prayers of intercession on behalf of all men (1 Timothy 2:1, 2). As Christians we are to offer up prayers on behalf of our fellow Christians (Ephesians 6:18, 19).

 

SOLDIERS – The fifth characteristic that we see is that as Christians we are seen by God as being soldiers. We may not always look at ourselves in this way, but that does not change the fact that we are soldiers in the “army of God.” As soldiers we are to endure the hardships that are associated with being such (2 Timothy 2:3). As soldiers we must war a good warfare (1 Timothy 1:18). As soldiers of the Lord we must put on the whole armor of God in order to be protected as we go forth into battle (Ephesians 6:13-17).

 

TEMPLEThe sixth characteristic that we note is that Christians serve as the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16). As the temple the Spirit dwells in us through the written word of God that has been given by the Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). As the dwelling place of the Spirit we need to keep ourselves holy and undefiled (1 Corinthians 3:17).

 

INSTRUMENT – The seventh characteristic that we see is that as Christians we are to yield our bodies to God as instruments of righteousness (Romans 6:13). Each of us, as Christians, are vessels or instruments in the hand of God (2 Timothy 2:20, 21).

 

NEW CREATURES – The eighth and final characteristic that we note is that we are to be new creatures in God’s kingdom. Our entire life has been changed by our putting on Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). In view of this change we recognize the fact that we are to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4).

 

Let us all seek to fulfill these characteristic in our lives as we not only profess to be Christians, but we live like we are.

 

 

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