Bona Fide Christian

In light of the need of Christians to step up in our current times, it's time to go back to defining who the Christian really is.

So who's the real Christian? He can follow the commandments in the Bible, sing songs of praise and worship to God, do acts of kindness to the needy, or faithfully go to church. But other people can do that and not call themselves Christians.

If that's the case, then there must be something that makes the Christians stand out from the rest. There must be something in him that can help him be able to influence his surroundings.

When we go back to the early days of Christianity, it had that intensity. The faith was strong. The love was intense for God and for their fellow Christ-followers. The bravery was so fierce, in that they were willing to face suffering and persecution for Him. And I believe that this kind of spirit should be evident at all times, especially now. There's a need to bring back that kind of fire for it.

What makes the Christian become who he is? It's stated in these points below:

1. He has his eyes opened.
We dwelt in spiritual darkness. Our sin hindered us from seeing the light and life we need. This caused our minds to be blinded. But with God showing us the light, He removed our blindness and showed us who He is, we saw the light. He's the Lord from heaven.  

2. He turns himself from darkness to light.
After receiving this revelation, we chose to respond to the invitation. We chose light over darkness, life over death. We decided to be a child of God.  It's a two-way channel involving our response to the call and His work on us.

By doing this, we committed ourselves to turn from our rebellion against Him. We prepared ourselves to have done with all sin. We're not only sorry for our sins but we're sorry enough to quit. We turn to Him- the Only One who can forgive us and cleanse us from what we had become from our old nature.

3. He truly believes in Jesus.
From this turning point in our lives, we believed in Him and Him alone. We are convinced that He is true: fully God and truly man. His resurrection is evidence, showing His capability of conquering death. Only He can do that.

We trusted in Him, for our salvation and our daily life. We entrusted ourselves to Him, making Him the Lord of our lives. Our Savior from sin is also the Lord of the universe. To this, we built a living and growing relationship with Him. He guaranteed it by making His home in our hearts, by giving us the Holy Spirit when we believe.

Because of the faith we have in Christ, all our sins are forgiven. It was all because of the cross.

a.) His death on the cross was a ransom.
We're captives of Satan, enslaved by sin and under a death sentence of separation from Him because of our sins. But He paid His life to ransom us and has set us free.

b.) He propitiated for us.
Our rebellion against God and our rejection of His right to rule over us makes us deserving of His anger. But Jesus' death made God's anger turn away from us because it fell on Jesus.

c.) He reconciled with us.
Our sin is our rebellion against God. This makes us His enemies. But by removing the cause of the hostility between Him and us, we become friends again. Jesus' death put away sin.

d.) He justified for us.
We're already meant for the death sentence. Our good works and religious devotion will not earn the pardon. The holiness should be spotless white, but our efforts are like filthy rags. But His death took our sin on Himself and His righteousness is given to us. We're now put right with God, as He's being condemned in our place.

And because of this faith, we are called with God's people. He called us individually, but He didn't intend for us to be on our own. We're meant to be with His family, all those who have been called out of darkness into His marvelous light. We need them for encouragement, strengthening and unity for a common goal to tell the Good News to the world.

The real Christians can be seen when they have a deep understanding of this enlightenment and decide to answer from this radical encounter. What Christ has done in our lives, it's all because of love. It's only through grace that made this restoration possible. Only He can do it for us, and we're more than thankful for that. And it involves a total change of mind and heart.

This total change reflects the person in Christ, and it impacts all of him and how he lives. He should manifest that. And it won't be easy on this continuous work-in-progress pursuit. We'll fall on the road. But we can rise up. With Him along the way, our lives will be molded into a worthwhile reflective story pointing to Him.