Because I believe we have become complacent about the answer to the above question, let’s start out with what a Christian is not:
We are not a Christian because we were born into a Christian family
We are not a Christian because we live in a Christian nation (you know, like America use to be called!)
We are not a Christian because our culture accepts Christian beliefs (up to a point).
We are not a Christian because we regularly or irregularly attend church.
We are not a Christian just because we call ourselves Christian.
We are not a Christian because we try to be a good person.
We are not a Christian just because we are religious.
And the clincher: We are not a Christian just because we believe in Jesus!
Therefore, if the above statements don’t describe who a Christian is, then what is a Christian?
A Christian believes Jesus is who He says He is.
First of all the Bible states it quite clearly several times throughout, Jesus is the Son of God (one such verse is Luke 22:70) (FYI Jesus is identified as God’s son, 23 times in the gospels and 18 times in the epistles)
Yes, a Christian believes in the existence of Jesus! AND also the existence of Satan 1 Peter 5:8
God created man and planet Earth. (Check out Genesis 1)
Satan was a heavenly being initially. He was so taken with his own beauty and became obsessed with jealously toward God. The end result of this rebellion got him and his buddies cast out of heaven onto earth. (Eziekiel 28:15-17)
I insert references to Satan here BECAUSE he is the culprit that seeded our world with the concept of sin. And it is due to sin that God sent Jesus (God in bodily form) to provide a way for mankind to be rescued from suffering God’s wrath in payment of their sins. For you see, Jesus lived a perfect life. And since the debt of sin was death (remember God is love but He is also a God of wrath), God cannot leave sin unpunished).
And this is where Jesus enters the earthly narrative. Somebody had to pay the price for disobeying God! Because Jesus was innocent, and because He is God’s son, He could die in everyone’s place who confesses Him. Thus preventing us from paying for our own sin. (John 3:16)
Wrapping up, Jesus is God’s son, who came to earth as a human man, to pay the price for our sins, so we wouldn’t have to. Oh, and by the way, Jesus didn’t stay dead. Nope, He was resurrected (life was restored to Him). 1 Corinthians 15:17-21 He then went to heaven to get things ready for us to welcome those who accept His payment for their sins after their temporary life on earth comes to an end. For you see, eternal life or eternal death is permanent.
But heaven isn’t just for everybody. Please understand this. For those who reject Jesus, they are in effect saying, “I am paying for my own sins.” Meaning, they are heading to hell.
And this is where our lives depend upon being clear about fiery darts. Satan’s intent is to get us to not take seriously what the Bible says about Jesus. He will prevent us with distractions of all sorts. The main one being to keep us out of the Scriptures. He will tempt us to believe God isn’t who He says He is, nor is Jesus. As a matter of fact, he is most pleased when he can tempt us to deny God altogether. Or he will persuade us that the questions written at the beginning of my post define what it means to be a Christian. (Especially the clincher statement: (James 2:19’s purpose in highlighting the demons’ beliefs is to show that simple acknowledgement of God and His identity does not equal a saving faith.)