What is a true Christian?

What is a true Christian?

Is there any way to tell the difference between true Christians and those who aren’t?

8/30/20218 min

By ActiveChristianity

What is a true Christian?

A true Christian’s relationships

What is a true Christian? The name “Christian” was first given to the disciples. (Acts 11:26.) So a Christian should also be a disciple.

The conditions for being a disciple are clearly written in Luke 14:26-27,33: “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.” Our relationship with our parents, husband, wife, children, possessions and our future in this world must be in line with what Christ teaches us in the Bible. We must be free from them in our spirit, so that our relationship to them doesn’t keep us from doing what is right and pure in God’s eyes.

A true Christian – a free person

It is a big misunderstanding to think that being a Christian is the same as simply being someone whose sins are forgiven but who will still continue sinning. In the verses below, we get a better understanding of what the will of God is for us, with regard to sin.

My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin.” 1 John 2:1. “I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one.” 1 John 2:13. “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in victory through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 2:14 (ERV).

True Christians have a good conscience; they have put their past life where they sinned in order; everything they do is open and in the light. All their sins are forgiven; they stand firm in their faith in God and have built their life on the Rock, which is Christ. They are immovable.

A true Christian – not only a church-goer

Being a true Christian does not mean you are only a religious “church-goer”, someone who goes to Christian gatherings rather than to places of worldly entertainment but is actually still just like other people. Not at all!

True Christians are people who live their life according to the Word of God and His will. They are righteous where others are unrighteous; they are patient where others are impatient, hard-working where others are lazy. They speak the truth boldly where others flatter, pretend and lie. They are gentle, tolerant, and quiet where others are hot-tempered and quickly reacting without thinking, etc. (1 Peter 1:15.) These are true Christians.

A true Christian – unselfish

True Christians are completely unselfish. It means that they think about the others’ needs, as God works it in their heart: what is good and practical for the others and what would benefit them. Then, according to their ability, they do just that. Christianity is the same as serving and giving – giving of everything they have, both of spiritual and earthly goods. This is what love is. (Romans 15:2,7.)

A true Christian – free from the spirit of the times

A true Christian is somebody that is not being influenced by the spirit of the times. A large number of people in the world are living in sin. They follow their passions and desires and few think it is wrong. There is a spirit behind them, and this spirit is called “the spirit of the times”. It is very difficult to resist this spirit. What is commonly known as “fashion” is typical of this spirit.

An ungodly person can be like a puppet on a string. Whenever one power or another pulls the strings, he has to jump and dance, whether he wants to or not. True Christians have Christ as their only Lord and ruler. Then they do not obey other powers; they do not obey the fashions or the spirit of the times, even if everyone else does.

A true Christian – being righteous

Being a true Christian means being righteous in all you do. If you have stolen something or have done something unrighteous, you will ask for forgiveness and give back what you have stolen, etc. as soon as you become a Christian. If you are in debt, you will make every effort to pay it back. There is no way around it. If you don't do righteousness, you are not a Christian at all, and you will not enter the kingdom of God. “Everyone who does righteousness is born of Him.” 1 John 2:29 (MEV).

True Christians, because they are step by step overcoming their own lusts and desires, start to have perfect rest in their heart and mind. Their life, that is more and more cleansed from sin by the help of their Saviour, becomes more and more blameless. No one can any longer point the finger at outward sin such as outbursts of anger, irritation or any unrighteousness.

As Christians experience the power of the Holy Spirit in their life more and more, they naturally become stronger and stronger by the same Spirit. Christians can endure difficulties, discomfort, good report and evil report. Because they know that they serve a faithful Master. What was impossible for them in the past, they are now able to overcome. Those who are in a need to overcome sin in their own lives, will also see this.

A true Christian – a constant development

But we cannot expect to fully overcome all sin right away, therefore we read, “If anyone does sin we have a helper in the presence of the Father – Jesus Christ, the One who does what is right. He died in our place to take away our sins, and not only our sins, but the sins of all people.” 1 John 2:1-2 (NCV).

But it is very important that a Christian is not content with suffering defeat, becoming lazy and taking things lightly. We must not lose courage and give up in our fight against sin, because it takes time to always overcome sin. We must continue to live in hope and faith, and not give up until we get to an overcoming life. This is all possible if we are obedient to the Holy Spirit of God. It is especially blessed to be together with other Christians that have the same desire and will to overcome. Such people are led by their great Shepherd – Jesus Christ – as they are following Him in His steps.

A true Christian’s reward

When true Christians have been faithful to God by obeying the commandments that are given to them by God’s Son, Jesus Christ, they will be rewarded with eternal life.

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life: whoever disobeys the Son will not have life, but will remain under God’s punishment.” John 3:36 (GNB).

“But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting eternal life.” John 4:14. 

“I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:12-15. 

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This article is based on an article by Elias Aslaksen originally published on https://activechristianity.org/ and has been adapted with permission for use on this website.