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The word Christian has greatly changed in meaning through the centuries. In modern usage, one may believe as little or much of the teaching of the New Testament, as long as a person lives “a good moral life.” While an upright life (as defined by the Bible) is an essential part of being a Christian, we must also understand the way one becomes a Christian, which we will notice later. For the moment, consider with me, by means of an acrostic, some basic elements of the conduct of a Christian in daily life:
- Converted, a changed or transformed person (Rom. 12:1–2; Eph. 4:22–24).
- Humble, a person who is submissive to God and free of pride toward others (Phi. 2:5–8).
- Reverent, in awe of God, His Son, and His Word (Mat. 6:9; Rom. 16:27; Heb. 2:1–3).
- Innocent, living a blameless life, above reproach morally (Gal. 5:19–21; Phi. 2:15;2 Pet. 3:14).
- Sanctified/holy, one “set apart,” dedicated to Christ (Rom. 12:1; 1 Cor. 6:11).
- Thankful/grateful to God, Christ, and to fellowmen (Eph. 5:20; Col. 3:17; 1 The. 5:18).
- Influential, “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world (Mat. 5:13–14; 1 Tim. 4:12–13).
- Active in serving Jesus and one’s fellowmen (1 Cor. 15:58; Gal. 6:9–10; Heb. 12:3).
- New “creation”/person (John 3:3–5; Rom. 6:1–4, 12–13; 2 Cor. 5:17).
But how does one become a Christian, a “new creation”? One must hear and believe the Gospel that tells of God’s love and mercy, demonstrated through His Son, Jesus Christ (John 8:24; Rom. 10:14, 17). One’s faith, if genuine, will cause him to gladly confess his faith in Jesus as God’s Son (Rom. 10:9–10) and will lead him to humbly repent of and forsake sinful behavior (Acts 2:38; 17:30). Then one must be baptized (immersed) in water for his sins to be forgiven through the blood of Christ (Mark 16:15–16; Acts 2:37–38; 22:16; Rom. 6:1–4). By these responses to the Gospel, one is saved from the guilt of his past sins, added to the church Jesus built (Acts 2:41–42, 47). Those who from that day forward thus became disciples of Jesus thereafter came to be called Christians (11:26). Eternal salvation through God’s grace is thence dependent upon living a life of faithfulness to God’s Word after becoming a Christian. As the numerous passages cited in the CHRISTIAN acrostic listed above.
Have you become a Christian by New Testament definition? If you have not done so, I urge you to do so immediately. If you are a brother or sister in Christ, I exhort you remain faithful to Him Who died for you.
[Note: This article is adapted from a radio script I wrote for the Light of Life program on KPAR radio, Granbury, TX. which aired on July 3, 1980. This daily program was presented by the Granbury Church of Christ,
Attribution: From thescripturecache.com; Dub McClish, owner and administrator.