Are you Christian material? Do you have what it takes to become a Christian, and more importantly, remain a Christian? If you don’t, you are not alone. In fact, you are in the great majority. Did you know that two thirds of the population of the world don’t even believe in God? Did you know that many believe in God but not in Christ? Did you know there are some who believe in Christ but not in God or the Holy Spirit? Did you know that more than one third who believe in the Godhead sprinkle babies? Did you know that nearly one third believe that ‘faith only’ saves them? If all the denominations in the world are eliminated, only only a fraction can even be called a Christian. So what does it mean to be a real Christian?
First of all, no one can be called a Christian who does not believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God (Jn 8:24). No one can even please God without faith (Heb 11:6). However, belief alone saves no one. One must confess their faith before men (Rom 10:8-10).
Secondly, no one can be called a Christian who hasn’t repented of their sins (Lk 13:3). All must turn from their sins and turn to the commandments of God if they are to become a Christian. This means that if you are committing adultery you must put away your illegal marriage. If you are a fornicator, you must stop. If you are a homosexual or lesbian, you must not yield to your inordinate desires. After repenting of your sins, you must have them washed away by the means of baptism (Acts 22:16). Paul described baptism in relations to Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life (Rom 6:4).
Last, but not least, once one has confessed their belief that Jesus is the Christ and have repented and been baptized, then Christ adds them to His Church (Acts 2:47). This makes them a member of the Lord’s church and the right to be called a Christian.
What is the name of this church? A more imperative question would be, what doctrine does this church practice? Jesus is the head of His church which he built, bled and died for by his death upon the cross (Acts 20:28 ff; Mt 16:18; Col 1:18). The Lord’s church obeys his doctrine (2 Jn 9). This is also called the apostle’s doctrine and the doctrine of God (Acts 2:42 f; Jn 7:16,17). Since the body is called the church and the church is called the body, the name of the Lord’s church is the (body of Christ) or the church of Christ (Col 1:18 ff; Eph 1:22,23; Rom 16:16)
Sadly, only a very few have the right to be called a Christian according to God’s Word. If you are not one of these, today is the day you need to get right with God. Harden not your heart, for tomorrow will be too late! (2 Cor 6:2 f; Heb 3:7,8)