What IS a Christian Anyway?

A special memory from my years doing jail ministry:

A female inmate asked me the question, “What IS a Christian, anyway?”

I decided to let the other women in the group offer an answer to her question.

One said, “A Christian is a person who prays.”

I said, “That’s true. Christians pray. But I believe Muslims also pray, as do Buddhists and others.”

A second gal said, “A Christian is someone who reads the Bible.”

“That’s true too. Christians do read the Bible. Yet there are some people who read the Bible who are not Christians.”

A third woman said, “A Christian is someone who is kind.”

“Christians are to be known by their love and kindness. That’s true.  Yet, I know some kind, thoughtful people who are not Christians—and vice versa.”

Fourth lady, “A Christian is someone who has joined a church and sings in the choir or on the worship team.”

“I would certainly hope so, but it’s not necessarily true.”

The last one said, “A Christian is a person who is baptized.”

“Another good answer! But again, it’s not always true. Many baptized people have not followed Jesus with their lives.”

I said, “According to the Bible, a Christian is a person in whom Christ dwells. It is someone who has turned away from her sin and has given her life to Jesus Christ. She has chosen to make Jesus her Savior AND her Lord.  Christ is now living in that person through His Holy Spirit.”

“You might even say a Christian is a person who has changed. People become different once they have given their lives to Jesus. They begin to think differently and live differently—because the Holy Spirit has changed them.”

  • You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you.  And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.  But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness.  And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.        Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it.  For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.  For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.       Romans 8:9-14
  • SONG: GOD IS READYBy Kathleen, Robin poem by Elizabeth Cheney, circa 1931 


[This life is temporary. This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:   http://www.godlife.com/gospel/  and  http://www.godlife.com/en/about-christianity

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About Kathleen

God delights in working through His people as they submit to Him. Jesus said to go into all the world and preach the good news to everyone (Mark 16:15). No matter where we live on this planet, people are separated from God because of sin. We ALL need a Savior, and there’s only ONE. It brings me great joy to share Christ with the lost and lonely. Over the years I’ve learned a great deal while facilitating Bible studies. I’ve found myself on college and university campuses, the beach, the streets, the hospital, the jail and the juvenile facility for incarcerated teens sharing God’s message of love. I also serve as an online missionary with Global Media Outreach. I’ve seen countless lives transformed when people turn away from sin and turn to Jesus. The changes God makes are real and lasting. These are some of my experiences. NOTE: My stories have been altered, removing any and all identifying factors. This includes names and other particulars in order to protect confidentiality and anonymity.
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4 Responses to What IS a Christian Anyway?

  1. Matthew says:

    Simply, to the point post. I like your emphasis of making Jesus Saviour AND Lord. Many people seem to forget the Lord part.

  2. Karen says:

    Interesting that there are so many answers that all focused on the outside activities that people engage in. Quite different from what truly makes a person a Christian… a fundamental change that happens on the inside. I’m so glad that my relationship isn’t dependent on my weak and frail ability to do right things but on what Christ has already done IN me! thanks Kathleen! Always love reading about your interactions with people. Keep sharing the truth!

    • Kathleen says:

      Realistically, it’s simple, isn’t it Karen. Yet many people struggle to put forth the effort to make a change. Yet, it’s the Holy Spirit IN a believer that changes us from within–when we truly surrender to His control.

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