What does it take to be a true Christian? To answer this question we must first define exactly what a true Christian is or what a true Christain should strive for. To find the definition for a true Christian, we must go to the only source for this information, the Bible. However, a problem is encountered. That problem is today, there are many translations of the Bible. Also, many of these Bibles are wrongly translated with a theological, political, secular or gender perspective. Because these Bibles have been “translated” without the intent for a truly accurate translation, they are incorrect in some of the important areas that are relevant to being a true Christian. If you use a Bible that does not have God’s word as was originally penned, then you will never be able to correctly understand His word. The Bible translations I personally use is a combination of the English Standard Version Bible and the American English Bible, which is found at:
To be a true Christain we must look to Jesus, what Jesus taught and how Jesus lived His life. He summed up in Matthew 22:37-40 what the two greatest commandments Christian’s should follow:
“37 And he replied: You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart, soul, and mind. 38 This is the first and the greatest Commandment. 39 The second, like it, is: You must love your neighbor as yourself. 40 These two commandments are the basis of the whole Law and the Prophets.”
Now we know what we must do to be a true Christian according to Jesus. We must first love God with all our heart, soul, and mind. But how do we do this? By following what God has instructed us to do in all that we do every day of our lives. First , we must seek the Kingdom of God. This can only be accomplished through reading the Bible over and over and over. Ideally, It would be best to read the Bible daily but unfortunately, that is not always posssible. However, if you desire to become a true Christian you must place reading the Bible daily as a priority. The best way to read the Bible daily is to set a specific time every day. Also, we need to set an amount of time that we will spend reading the Bible. Plus, this time must be commited to only reading & studying the Bible. In addition, I personally believe that part of reading and studying the Bible is prayer. Praying before reading for guidance and God’s enlightenment and then again after reading. Praying to thanking God for all He has shown you. In that prayer I recommend you ask God to help you apply what you have learned from your time in the Bible to your everyday life. One prayer I often say is asking God whenever I read, see or hear anything concerning Him, Jesus, the Bible, Christianity, or applying my faith, that He will show me , whatever it maybe, if it is true or if it is false. This is so I may not be or cause anyone to be misguided or lead astray by Satan.
Now, only reading the Bible is not seeking the Kingdom of God. It is a part of that process. You must take what you have learned from the Bible and apply it to your daily life. If you do not apply what God and Jesus teaches us all in the Bible, it is the same as never reading the Bible.
The Bible teaches us we must accept what Jesus taught, especially that He was the Son of God. He came to earth to teach what His Father told Him, to live a sinless life, to be falsely accused and put to death. Then after being dead for three days, He was resurrected. Plus, the reason for His death was for the sins of all of mankind and through His Death, we can be made righteous before God. In addition, Jesus taught that we must be baptized, we must spend time in fellowship with other Christians and we must spread the word of God to others.
Now that we know what it takes, how do you know if you are a true Christain? The way to answer this is by asking yourself these few simple questions. First, how much of your day is devoted to God and His teachings? If the majority of your time each day is not spent with God and practicing what He taught, you are not putting God first in your life. Secondly, whenever you fall short and give into temptation and sin, do you feel remorseful? Will tears actually form in your eyes when you confess your sins to God because your are heartbroken for having disobeyed God your Father? The one who created you, loves you regardless of what you have done and only wants what is best for you? Finally, do you have a personal relationship with God your Father and His Son? You can tell you have a personal relationship if They are as close and important to you as anybody you have a personal relationship with here on earth.
If you do not answer yes to these questions then maybe your commitment to God needs some work or you need to reevaluate how you are living your life and how your day is spent. I know when I unfortunately and unintentionally hurt my wife somehow, that it breaks my heart, deeply. When I sin against God, that also breaks my heart deeply. Because I knew better but I was weak and gave into temptation. I know how much God loves me and how my sins must hurt Him. So when I confess my sins to God, and it is a very deep personal confession, I often have tears in my eyes. The tears are because I am very ashamed of the sins I have committed. Because I knew that it was wrong but still gave into temptation. Also, I am wholly sorry and ask for His forgiveness. I am not trying to sound pious or say that I am a better Christian than anybody else, because that would not be true. I am far from being the Christian that I truly want to become as that is a daily challenge. Plus, there are many, many more people who I believe are far better Christian than I could ever become. I am just relating my personal feelings when I pray and part of my personal relationship with Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior and God our Father.
While the main goal of a true Christain is to lead a life identical to Jesus, it is not possible because as humans, we are flawed and imperfect. However, we should always try to emulate Jesus’s life and seek the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness each day as we live our lives.
By: Larry Shawn Cagle