Many people profess to be Christians but their actions are far from what you would expect from a Christian. This gives rise to this question- how will you know a Christian? Also, many teachings in the world now make people to wonder if they are really Christians. This article is to answer these questions.
The apostles were first called Christians in Antioch (Acts 11:26) because they were like Jesus Christ. Therefore, to become a Christian you have to be like Jesus Christ, that is, receiving Him as your personal Lord and saviour. There are 2 major ways of knowing if you are a Christian- internal witness and external witness.
When you give your life to Jesus, the Holy Spirit bears you witness within you that you are a child of God, a Christian (Romans 8:16). Though doubtful thoughts may come through your mind, if you listen deep down within, you will perceive the confirmation that you are a Christian.
Jesus explained in Mathew 7:20 that we can identify children of God by their fruits, by their character, actions and way of life. What are these fruits? Galatians 5:22-23 gives us these traits: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.
Love for God and for people identifies a Christian. Jesus said in John 13:35 that all men will know His disciples/followers by the love they show to one another. You cannot claim to be a Christian when you hate your fellowmen. John said in 1 John 4:20, “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen” KJV
If you are a Christian you will be a peacemaker because Jesus said we should pursue peace with all men, you will forgive easily as our heavenly forgave us all our sins. You will love things associated with God and hate all forms of wickedness. What delights God will be your delight.
Now, we can be involved in Christian activities and still not be Christians. Going to church, giving our offerings and tithes, serving in the church, and helping the needy and giving alms to the poor, etc do not make us become Christians. They only describe the person as a good moral person. But Christians get involved with these activities because they love God and this love is expressed in giving and serving others.
A Christian is ever growing in the Lord. He studies his bible and prays always. He has a burning desire to share the gospel of Christ with others. He is ever joyful because of Christ within him, even in the midst of a storm he is calm because he knows that Jesus is within his boat and the boat cannot capsize. A Christian is always thankful to God. He gives glory to God for every achievement of his. He is not selfish but considers others first.
At this point I would like to say that a Christian does not become perfect overnight. You are a Christian the very day you gave your life to Jesus even though you may still have some things you would need to change in your life. You have the ability to manifest the fruits and the Holy Spirit is there to help you. As you walk with God you will become more and more like God, the way a Christian should be all times. Studying the bible and praying always will build you up very fast.
So, are you a Christian? If you are not yet a Christian, I encourage you to become one and enjoy the blessings of being a child of God. Is there anything that can stop you from giving your life to Jesus today?
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