Have you ever been asked if you were a “Christian”? Have you ever asked someone else if they were? At some point all of us have either asked that question or been asked. It seems that 99% of all people answer “yes” or “absolutely”. Well, if this is true, then why is there so much corruption in this world? So much hate and animosity? It just doesn’t make sense does it? If God is love and the majority of Americans “believe” in God, or are “Christians”, then why are we not showing the characteristics of God? It’s possibly because we are completely missing what Christianity is all about.
Well let’s take a look at the meaning of being a Christian. What first comes to your mind when you think of a Christian? Do you think of someone that believes in God? Someone that reads their bible? Maybe your first thought is someone that is a “good” person, or someone who always puts others first in every decision. While these are great things, and certainly attributes of what a Christian should be, being a Christian is something FAR greater than any of these things.
The term “Christian” comes from the Greek word christianos or christianus meaning “follower of Christ (anointed one)”. Bare with me for just a moment as I dig a little deeper into the meaning. I believe it will help paint a better picture of what being a Christian is all about. The ending -ianus is derived from the Latin language and is defined as “belonging to or relating to; one skilled or specializing in; resembling”. Now throw that in with the root word christo and this is what you come up with: One who belongs or relates to, skilled or specialized in, or resembles Christ! WOW! When I really looked at this I had to take a look at myself in the mirror and see if I lived up to the title! Are you a servant to Jesus? Do you specialize in the work of the Lord? Do you resemble Him in the slightest? I would be willing to bet that if we wrote the definition down on a poster and asked a group of people if this described them, a lot fewer would say that definition fit them. I know just a short time ago I was a LONG way from being that!
I love looking to and reading the writings of Paul when I think about living a life of christianity. It seems that this guy had it figured out! In Romans 9:3 Paul says that if it meant all of his brethren and countrymen could be saved, he would give up his own salvation and spend eternity “accursed” from God. Now that is love! Would you be willing to spend eternity away from God so that your lost brother could sit at the throne of the Almighty? Paul also faced ridicule constantly from his countrymen for his intense passion for Christianity and was even tried before the Emperor of Rome for what people thought should be considered criminal activity. They wanted him dead! Paul would do whatever it took to share the Gospel with others.
Now I do not say any of this to discourage you! It is actually meant to encourage and charge you to look at your life and see if you are living it to the best of your ability! I say these things to help us realize that there is so much more to be received and so many more things we can achieve! Am I saying that you are not part of the Christian faith because you may not meet the exact definition? Absolutely not! What I am saying is that being a Christian is a daily choice! It’s something we have to constantly strive to become! It’s more than a title, more than a book, and certainly more than a religion! It is a way of life! Romans 8:13-14 says that if you let your flesh dictate you, then you will be put to death, but if you, through the power of the holy spirit, HABITUALLY or DAILY put to death the evil deeds prompted by your body then surely you will live forever!
You might ask, “How in the world am I supposed to live a life of such holiness?!” The answer? GRACE! God’s gift of grace allows us the live above what we can see possible with our human eyes. It is an empowerment to live above and without sin. We just have to learn how to use it! I will touch on this more in an upcoming blog! Paul said in Phillipians 3:12-14, “I’m not saying that I have this all together; that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward to Jesus. I’m off and running and I am not turning back!” So don’t lose hope because you don’t see yourself attaining this level of holiness, but just so long as you think like Paul did and keep pressing toward the goal and never look back!
It is time we truly pursue Christianity and stop allowing it to just be a title! It is a lifestyle that we have to adhere to on a daily basis! Paraphrasing, 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 states that we are to run the race of salvation to win! Eternity is the finish line and we should never let up in our pursuit! We should punish our bodies as do olympic athletes to become disciplined to do whatever it takes to adhere to the Gospel! This is something that has to be done by the Christian community! I challenge you, the moment you read this, to start thinking of ways you can better your walk with God. Tomorrow should always be a new adventure and we should be sure we are always taking strides to be closer to our goal than yesterday! You can do this! You are capable of more than you believe! Phillipians 4:13
Written By ~ Joshua Boyett
Joshua is the Worship Coordinator at PC