What does it mean?

Krista - posted on 10/28/2009 ( 17 moms have responded )

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What does it mean to be a Christian? To be saved? Does it mean that one believes that Jesus Christ is the son of God and the He died for your sins? James tells us no...Satan and demons believe that. Does it mean that we can quote scripture and believe the Bible is the inerrant Word of God? Satan and his demons are privy to that as well and they can't be saved, but at least they tremble. So...just what does it mean then? How do we know we are a Christian, or that someone else is? What is the evidence?

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Maygan - posted on 05/15/2013

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Being a Christian is not being in a religion.. It is actually a state of having a deep relationship with God..

Angela - posted on 07/07/2012

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This is a good question and some very interesting answers have been offered.

Some people may wonder how Christianity differs from other religions. After all, for someone who has no religious faith at all, but is looking for answers, why might Christianity be a better option than some other religion?

I believe that salvation comes about through God's grace, attainable by faith in Jesus by confessing (admitting) we're sinners and we can't make it on our own. We recognise we're sinners, tell the Lord we're sorry and ask for forgiveness and salvation.

Good deeds, "works", religious duties or rituals, giving alms etc ... are NOT part of salvation, salvation is by grace, through faith alone. All the other stuff is what Christians do because they know they ARE saved, not in order to get saved!

So, to me at least, there are main four differences between Christianity and all other religions of the world. These are:

1. Most religions are about the efforts of humankind to get to know their God(s). Christianity is about God's efforts to reach US. He sent His son to die for us so that our sins may be forgiven and we might enjoy eternity in His Kingdom.

2. The doctrines of other religions require certain "works" from their followers/believers/pilgrims in order to secure salvation. Christian salvation is by God's grace through faith alone.

3. Christianity is about developing and sustaining a personal relationship with God - not just worshipping Him as some distant deity.

4. All of the other great religions of this world have places where their leader is buried - places the believer may visit to pay homage to or revere the mortal remains of the prophet who founded that religion. Jesus not only rose from the dead, He ascended into Heaven. You cannot visit a place where Jesus' mortal remains lie - He lives!

Carla - posted on 07/06/2012

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Being a Christian means you have a relationship with Jesus. Just like we have with our spouse. He is the One we run to with our hurts, He is the One we trust when the world is closing in. His Father is our Father, and we believe, with all our hearts, that ALL things work together for good to them that love God and are called according to His purpose. We accept His Word (The Bible) and pattern our lives to reflect the Words, which we are told, is Jesus (Genesis--in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word WAS God). The love letters contained in the New Testament tell us of His love for us and we, in turn, show Jesus to the world. We are not impressed by ANYTHING Satan can show us of this physical world, and look instead to what we are promised for eternity. We patiently suffer the ridicule of the world, because, again, we know that this world has nothing for us except pain and suffering and death.

Christians push past the outer curtain of 'religion', and instead dig, like we are prospecting for gold, into the hidden words that bring us wisdom. We search, we pray, we cry out for wisdom and knowledge of the Holy One.

The world is the exact opposite of what Christians are supposed to be searching for. The adage 'He who has the most toys, wins'-- how sad! To live your entire life for a new house, new car, new boat, designer clothes, better job, only to find yourself, at the end of your life, standing naked before our God. None of Satan's trappings will help us when we stand before the Judgment Seat.

God bless, Shelley-Ann. May God bless you with His wisdom and strength.

Shelley-Ann - posted on 07/05/2012

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I know this thread is since 2009 but I was actually looking for the answer to this question myself. How do you know you're saved? After reading the posts, I think perhaps the issue of love is of great concern. Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God and everyone that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God for God is love.

Theresa - posted on 10/30/2009

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Krista if you died to day, stood before God and He asked you 'Krista why should I let you enter my kingdom?' what would you say?



Your question seems to be an indication of contradictions. Interesting that you pose such a question.

Amanda - posted on 10/29/2009

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I believe with all my heart that if you have heard the word, that you believe and confess that Jesus is the son of God, that there is 1 true and living God, and you obey the gospel, repent of sin and be baptized that is immersed in the water for the forgiveness of sin (Acts) then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and your prior life has been washed away and forgiven. You must then lead a faithful life and obey the word which is learned by studying... I believe once you have done the above you will be then saved by Grace. I do not think Grace alone saves us, or everyone would go to Heaven. I think Grace is for the saved because none of us will ever meet the level of Christ, but we need to make an effort to try. Faith alone, deeds alone, baptism alone, confession alone ect saves... it is a combination of the above. All are essential but will not be saved unless all are fullfilled.

Alice - posted on 10/29/2009

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It means "Christ" in you and you in Christ. Dead to self and alive in Him!!

Carol - posted on 10/29/2009

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Krista,
At first reading your post/question, my brain and heart went into a meditation mode almost without realizing it. I was so wanting to direct you with the right response. Being a new Child in Christ, I have it in my heart, just not on my tongue when I want it. Though he puts it there when I or He needs it. I want to THANK YOU so much for getting me to think about my walk! So many people I know represent them selves as Christians though they talk the talk but do not walk the walk. Don't get me wrong. I am so far from perfect but I am nowhere that I was! Praise God! THANK YOU ALL for your input, your faith, and the wisdom of grace that God has given you! Now...I have some scriptures to read!!!

Heather - posted on 10/29/2009

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Scripture defines fruit as:

Galatians 5:19-26
The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

Ephesians 5:9
(for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)

Millie - posted on 10/28/2009

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Awesome. 1st time here.
In my opinion it starts 1st & foremost with a "Intimate Relationship with Christ". Jesus - did just that. He waited, moved, cherished his relationship with his Father, first & then did what his Father asked. The Holy Spirit confirms & directs our path when we allow him to. A Relationship is a continuous process, a two way conversation..It produces the Fruit of the Spirit & teaches us to depend/ Surrender to our Father, it entails so much more. I am sorry, My 1st thought was to quote a whole bunch of scripture but then thought it takes the entire Bible to point us to Christ! It is Christ who does the impossible - which is - the Action on keeping all the details - It's us allowing Him to do it & staying out of the way (Faith - is the action of listening & just doing it even if it seems silly or if we get ridicule). hee, hee... I've heard over the years that the creditability of a true follower is the attendance/membership of the Domination/ Church they go to. Yet, In my opinion - the 1st Church was Adam & Eve (Family) with God being the HEAD. Mind you, there needs to be a Accountability but it is usually the Savior that places us in a group of believers that are hand picked by him to humble & encourage our growth - Hey & Our Father has Humor because most of the time - It's folks we would Never pick to be part of our Church Family . Our creditability are not based on a Title or Degree but by the Confirmation of the Holy Spirit. It says in the Bible to TEST all things/ people that say they are from GOD. Christian's in America - Forget that they most Know Who they are in Christ First to be able to use the Armour of Warfare, How to use the Weapons correctly, Maintained it & How to take orders from the Commander in Chief (Christ). When your in the middle of Battle - everything that is not of Christ WILL be brought to the light & used against you by our adversaries! If its Really important don't you want to Hear it From GOD himself - Can he talk to you?? Of course, that's where = again in my opinion - Christ comes in..We should never lean on our Own Understanding but Christ & Christ is in line with the entire Words in the Bible, Christ is the Living Word!! Really, "What Would Jesus DO??" pray, fast, study the word, spend time with his Father alone. God gave us a Helper - the Holy Spirit who constantly teaches you to Move, wait, listen etc. Love - the way Jesus Loved was His Entire Lifestyle. ...God Love us so much that he gave his 1 and only son to die for us..yet, we were sinners. Ultimate Sacrifice - God is not a man that he should lie. He is Love but Pure & cannot fellowship with sinners. It's only because Jesus stands between us & God that we can have a relationship with him. It's because of only His Blood that cleanses us.. The Jewish Priests knew the written word in & old but couldn't see past the ugliness of their hearts. Man has a way of making something so beautiful & simple..complicated & unreachable. God is not Complicated. God is Pure. God is Holy. The Universe declares his Majesty, Order, Wisdom, Creativity & Outspoken Love. "If you know my Father then you would know me " The Closer I get to Jesus the more I learn that I need HIM..I see why I need him - My talents, accomplishments, degrees, material processions, are nothing if I can't use them for him. To God be the Glory - Let the people we reach see Jesus in us & nothing else... My favorite song...Just "Give me Jesus". Thanks..I enjoy all your entries.

Susan - posted on 10/28/2009

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fruit has to begin and end with love and the closer to 1 Cor 13 love the more of Jesus' love flows through, but also joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. If these are not present in increasing measure it is unlikely that the Holy Spirit has sealed that person

Heather - posted on 10/28/2009

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By the fruit!

Matthew 7:15-20
"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

Susan - posted on 10/28/2009

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It is good to get us thinking - recently, as Steven Curtis Chapman says in a song "I have lost more than I can stand and questioned everything I believe" Grief of unbearable loss is so hard to fathom and my family has been through loss so frequent the past 5 years that it is indeed unbearable - and yet Jesus holds on to us with His faithful hands and we are not consumed. Times like this help me know I have been graced by His salvation and I don't have to earn it, but it is making me into a new person. Thanks for getting us all thinking.

Krista - posted on 10/28/2009

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I'm asking to get people thinking. Sooooo many "Christians" not enough conviction.

Susan - posted on 10/28/2009

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Krista first of all I agree with everything Victoria has said - it by grace that you are saved - but the certainty of that and the power to become the new creation Victoria speaks of comes from the Holy Spirit. By the way are you asking so you personally understand better or just to challenge all of us to think about our walk with Jesus or perhaps because you need to convince someone else?
Cor 1: 21, 22 - Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
Eph 1:13, 14 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

Victoria - posted on 10/28/2009

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The evidence is in the deeds, faith without deeds is useless & dead (James). We don't do thing to get saved we receive salvation by faith, but out action prove that we are saved, a true relationship with Christ Jesus. Scripture tells us that we must prove our faith genuine. We do our best to live according to the principles set out in scripture, drawing closer to God through Christ & the Holy scriptures daily. Allowing the Holy Spirit to convict us when our lives don't line up with Scripture. Other evidences would be things such as not forsaking the fellowship of the believers (going to Church regularly) baptisim in water (full emersion) and baptisim of the Holy Spirit (evidenced by speaking in tongues). Ultimately it is all by faith that we believe we are saved, because "without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exsists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." Hebrews 11:6

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