The term Christian is confusing to many and misused by others in today’s religious world. Those in the New Testament who were called Christians were those who were disciples or followers of Christ.
Today, those who simply believe in Christ are considered to be Christians. Believing is important, but that alone does not make one a Christian.
Notice James 2:19: “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.”
To be a Christian means that one has obeyed the Gospel or doctrine of Christ taught by the New Testament. Those of the first century were not confused as to what kind of a Christian they were. They were simply Christians. What does it mean to be a Christian? One must go to the pages of God’s word in order to answer this question.
To be a Christian means that one has faith produced by hearing the Gospel or the word of God (Rom. 10:17). Next, one must repent of his sins.
Paul stated that he had shown many “that they should repent and turn to God and do works meet for repentance” (Acts 26:20). Repentance is a change of mind that results in a change of living. One must determine that he will no longer live a life of sin and turn to God. After this, one must confess that Jesus is the Son of God (Acts 8:37), literally confessing that Jesus is God (Jno. 5:18).
Upon this confession, one must be baptized for the remission of his sins. “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins,” (Acts 2:38). “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 3:21). Finally, one must live a faithful life (Rev. 2:10).
The Bible teaches that those who do these things are called Christians. If you have not done these things, we plead with you to do them before it is eternally too late.
Paul wrote that the Lord would come “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ”(2 Thess. 1:8).
Obedience to the Gospel will determine one’s eternal destination, but the decision to obey is yours. Please obey before it is too late. It is our goal to be obedient to God’s word.
It is important to make the decision to become a Christian based upon God’s word because salvation is at stake. We can go to God’s word and find what we must do to be pleasing to him.