Christianity or to be Christian is relative in the main and it’s to be most regretted. There are people who like Jesus but have not committed to Him, yet they consider themselves Christian. In truth, they’re neither His followers nor His disciples. There are also those who aspire to change into being true Christians, but only aspire – they have not been changed. There is another category that believes they’re saved and born-again but in truth it’s all nominal. All these consider themselves Christian, and are convinced in themselves. To others Christianity or to be Christian is a status, a tag, a symbol. It accords them a sense of belonging and identification. A group mentality, or mob psychology of sort.
True Christianity is death, burial and resurrection. Death and burial of self and resurrection of the new man in Christ. The old me died and was buried, and the new me was resurrected with Jesus when I believed Him and accepted His blessing of life and immortality. What makes me new is that I was made new by the power of the Holy Spirit [John 1:12 KJV; Luke 1:35] when I believed. I received a new spirit and a new heart when the power of the Highest (which is the Holy Spirit) overshadowed me. This is what is referred to as the new birth experience. Surely the death and burial of a person are unforgettable, let alone coupled with a resurrection.
The born-again spirit and heart in you are not of this world, carnal, fleshly or secular. You now have something holy and pure and clean in you, which is diametrically opposed to anything but that [Galatians 5:17]. But since we live in the body of flesh and in this world of sin, we’re going to face a lot of resistance and attacks from the kingdom of darkness exploiting and taking advantage of our flesh. However, the new spirit and heart that make us new creatures will always be our umpire against imminent intrusion, violation or infringement.
Holy Spirit who took residence in us when we received Christ undertakes a process of forming out a new nature in us, which is the nature of Jesus Christ. The Bible calls it the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23a). He forms in us, among others, self-control, which can also be translated self-discipline, or sound mind. This fruit, nature or character of the Spirit is being formed in us so that we can withstand the onslaught of the flesh with its unholy desires, which are inconsistent with our new nature in Christ Jesus. So every believer has the umpire, or judge, which is the conscience of the new nature, to guard against the disobedience of the flesh manifesting itself in carnal desires, unforgiveness, hatred, bitterness, malice, jealousy, envy and suchlike. In a nutshell, the key, cornerstone or hallmark of the new life is to walk in love towards another fellow person. Anyone who does not is technically and practically not born-again, Christian or a believer.
Therefore, to be a Christian is a heart issue. A Christian heart bears love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control and the like. An unchanged heart harbors greed, murder, malice, hatred, bitterness, unforgiveness, envy, strife, divisiveness, gossip and so on. The word of GOD states unambiguously that a tree is known or identifiable by its fruit. What our hearts bear and what we dish up to others attest without fear of misconstruction whether we’re biblical Christians or not. There’s no gray or relativism in the Bible, so there’s no mixup as to who or what a Christian is. What we do, especially to others, bespeak who we are. So are you a Christian or not? The fruit of your mouth may belie the fact, but the fruit of your heart cannot lie. We know a Christian by their acts of love and kindness towards others. So are you a Christian?
What our hearts bear and what we dish up to others attest without fear of misconstruction whether we’re biblical Christians or not