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What Does it mean to be Christian?

Mark is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He served a 2 year mission in East Tennessee and the surrounding areas.

Jesus Christ

Definition of a Christian

According to Dictionary.com:

  • Adjective: Of, pertaining to, believing in, or belonging to the religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ. Exhibiting a spirit proper to a follower of Jesus Christ; Christlike.
  • Noun: A person who exemplifies in his or her life the teachings of Christ. A member of a Christian Church or denomination.

In the Bible, the term 'Christian' was first found in Acts 11:26. If we look at the Bible alone, you find tens of thousands of churches that have stemmed from it. In my opinion, we have more similarities than people take the time to discover. Further, if you look at the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) only, all Christians of various denominations have very similar beliefs.

Another title for Christian may be disciple. This means a pupil or learner. One is not a perfect follower or disciple as it takes time and it is a process.

Yet another title: saint. Translated from Greek, this means holy or the idea of consecration or separation for a sacred purpose.

In Action

  • A Christian takes upon themselves the name of Jesus Christ.
  • Faith is the foundation. It is a choice. Belief in Christ also entails believing in God. From the Bible: Hebrews 11:1-Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:6- But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
  • Baptism is the next step. It is symbolic as it helps us to be reborn and to turn away from our old/past self.
  • Study and learn scripture. It takes practice.
  • Prayer. This can help us in many ways. It can help open ourselves up to God's will.
  • It is important to offer service to others and to be charitable. We should offer fellowshipping to others, which means to be a friend and to be helpful to others. To build them up.
  • It includes forgiveness & repentance. Repentance is a process, overcoming the natural man as we give up negative thoughts, words and actions. Forgive others, seven times seven, as Jesus said.

In a General Sense, to BE...

A good Christian is a follower, but also a leader. A good Christian strives to have good and pure thoughts, words and actions. It is important to have morals. A good Christian lives the Gospel (the teachings of Jesus Christ) as he/she understands it. Not just in word. It is important to be law-abiding. To be kind. The fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) "is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith...Meekness, temperance...." A Christian should have a sense of duty, but acts out of love. The reason or purpose of doing good is not to "earn" our way into Heaven, but to give back for having received the salvation of our souls through Jesus Christ. The Savior Jesus Christ said to his Apostles: “Come Follow Me”, which was not just in word, but in deed. Jesus taught that many draw near to Him with their words, but their hearts were far from him. We should practice what we preach. We do not have to be perfect, but we should do our best.

The Communion/Eucharist/Sacrament is a renewal where we analyze ourselves and how we can improve. It should help us to resolve to remember Jesus Christ and to keep God's commandments by simply, loving God and loving our neighbor (everyone else).

If we consider ourselves to be Christian, let us not criticize or look down on others who may believe differently than we do. A Christian works to unify.

A good Christian should be committed to Jesus Christ and His Gospel. To be all in.

A true Christian is often courageous, who shares his/her faith with others.

To be a good Christian, one must be constantly improving, line upon line. We don't need to be good to look good to others, but to BE good.

A Christian prepares for the return of the Savior, also known as the prophesied second coming. A Christian should prepare for the final judgment after we die, where we will be judged. But we should also avoid judging others. Often, we do not know what others have been through.

Conclusion

A Christian can be many of these things. Obviously, it takes continuous work. A Christian is not of a specific culture, ethnicity, class, or nationality. We must all work out our own salvation, on our own. Others can offer advice and suggestions, but ultimately, we must work on making good choices. To put it simply, as Jesus said, Love God, love your neighbor. By their fruits Ye shall know them: You can know a good Christian with what good he/she brings to others and to the world.

I invite you to remember this, especially toward other Christians if you consider yourself to be a Christian: Mark 9:40- For he that is not against us is on our part.

Did Jesus not love and respect the Good Samaritan who would have been hated by so many? Love others and choose the right.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2021 Mark Richardson

Thoughts or Questions?

Mark Richardson (author) from Utah on October 17, 2021:

Thank you, sir! It's a lot to work on, but it's a worthy goal

Rodric Anthony Johnson from Surprise, Arizona on October 17, 2021:

This is a great reminder of all the things Christians can strive to attain as disciples of Jesus Christ, Mark. I like it.

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