Many would fail to answer the question, ‘What does it mean to be a Christian?’. They try to complicate the answer yet it is straight forward; ‘being a Christian is working at living a Christ like life’. This is an ongoing life commitment. In fact, the word Christians comes from the name of Christ. It was in Antioch where disciples were first called so, because they taught many people in church for the whole year (Acts 11:26).
Being a Christian is a voluntary decision which a person choses with its consequences. Just as the name says, Christians will be fighting a number of life-long battles that Christ Himself fought. Out of many battles to fight, Christians are called to defend the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is often referred to as apologetics, a doctrine of Christianity. God not only wants every Christian to know WHAT he believes, but WHY he believes it. All believers must be able to give a good answer for their faith and hope (I Pet. 3:15).
This calls for defending the gospel against false Christianity. Some religions are very close to the truth yet they still are not. Christians ought to be careful of such religions and the Bible does declare that in the world there will be false prophets, false teachers, wolves in sheep’s clothing, and such who creep into Bible-believing Christianity (2 Pet. 2:1, Matt. 7:15). Jude 3 commands us to “contend earnestly for the Faith once delivered to the saints”. We are to be watchmen on the wall (Ezek. 33).
Christianity is not a philosophy. Christians follow a clear road map that is demonstrated by Christ. All that Jesus did, a Christian must do and even exceedingly beyond what Christ did. Examples of what a Christian should do include:
- Praying and fasting
- Visiting widows in their sorrow
- Giving tithes and offerings
- Giving alms to the needy and doing charity work
- Keeping God’s or Jesus’ commandments.
Christians are also called not to do or partake is some things. Examples include the following:
- No loving the world and its pleasures
- Not doing things as the world does, that is conforming to the standards of this present world
- Not to rob the next person
- Not to charge for praying for healing over the sick
However, Christians should not abuse their right to be Christians. In fact, I call it a privilege because even though being a Christian is a voluntary decision, but the window period to accept it is limited and multitudes in hell cry for a chance to receive it. Jesus tells the story of Lazarus and the rich man. There also countless real testimonies of visions of heaven and hell.
Being a Christian is possible and easy when you are with the leader in your heart. Jesus Christ Himself lives with us, in our hearts and He still talks to us in many ways. All it takes is for the believer is to make an effort to listen, obey and trust Jesus.