You are a Christian because God has given you the gift of his Spirit.
“You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.” Romans 8:9
What does it mean to be a Christian?
There is an old bumper sticker that says a Christian is a person who isn’t perfect, just forgiven. It’s a catchy answer, but it’s not the best theology.
I have heard many say that Christians are those who live up to the Ten Commandments, or at least try to. I’m glad they include that last bit. It gives at least a morsel of hope who buy into this answer. But it is the wrong answer.
The Bible has much to say in answer to this question. Here is a brief sketch. A Christian is a person who has confessed with their mouth that Jesus is Lord, has believed in their heart that God raised him from the dead and has received the gift of God’s Spirit.
And the gift of God’s Spirit is key. Paul explained in his letter to the Romans.
You, however, are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Romans 8:9
Based on this verse, a Christian is a person in whom the Spirit of God dwells. You can’t be a Christian without the Spirit of God living in you. As Paul continued, “anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Him.”
So what does it mean to be a Christian. It means this: the Spirit of God lives in you. And it is his presence in you that makes you new and different, that marks you as one who belongs to Christ.
You are a Christian because God has given you the gift of His Spirit.
Do you have the Spirit of God living in you? If so, you are a Christian. He is your assurance and guarantee that you belong to Jesus. Thank him today that you have been sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked out as one of his own.
As thanks for your gift this month, I want to send you our latest DVD teaching series, Your Living Hope. This series will help you stand firmly in the grace of God, even under the intense pressure you face to conform to the patterns of this world. This is a series that will help you grow strong in the Lord.
May these words from Peter encourage and embolden you in your walk with Christ.
"Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed" (1 Peter 4:12, 13).
*Physical product available to U.S. and Canada addresses only.