Posted in Faith

5 Ways to Tell You’re A Christian

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What is a Christian? How do you know that are you are one? Maybe you have doubts about whether or not you’re still in the faith? Or Maybe you’re just curious.

For whatever reason you find yourself scrolling through this post today I pray that you will be blessed by it.

Without further ado, I present to you 5 ways to tell you’re a Christian.

1. Christians have Confessed & Believe That Jesus Is Lord

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Simply put to be a Christian you must first be a disciple of Jesus Christ. A disciple is a follower or student of a specific person or philosophy. So how does one become a disciple of Christ?

Romans 10:9-10 puts it plainly, ”If you declare with your mouth, “ Jesus is Lord.” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”

This is the first step to becoming a believer in Christ. However, it is important to remember that this is a two-step process. People can confess with their mouths and not believe in their hearts what they are confessing. Which caused them to become false converts.

This may sound harsh, but I know too many people that believe they are Christians because they go to church every Sunday and attend bible study every night. If you have not confessed and believed that Jesus is Lord and believed that God raised him from the dead you are not a Christian.

It doesn’t matter if your father was a pastor or how much money you give to charity. You can not alumni your way or earn your way into heaven.

Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6, NIV).

When you truly confess Jesus as your Lord and Savior there is an inward and an outward change. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here(NIV).”

2. Christians Should Be Free From Habitual Sin

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Photo by Diana Simumpande on Unsplash

In the beginning, it can be hard for a new believer to tell if they are actually saved. They may still curse, drink, smoke drugs, etc. But as they begin to mature and grow in their faith in Christ all of those things should begin to fall away.

Sometimes the changes are instant and sometimes the changes are more gradual. Becoming a Christian doesn’t mean you are perfect and that you will never sin. On the contrary, it means that you will constantly be at war with yourself or your “flesh” as the bible puts it and the holy spirit that now dwells within you.

1 John 3:6-9 that, ”No one who lives in him (Jesus Christ) keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him (NIV). “ New Christians can take solace in the fact that as they grow in their relationship with Christ that they will no longer engage in habitual/wilful sin.

Will you still sin? Yes. But as you mature in Christ you should sin less.

3. Christians Love Others

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I think the most common thing I hear people say about God is that He is Love. However, it is just one of the many aspects of God’s character. An aspect that we as Christians are supposed to share with the world.

Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. (1 John 4:20-21, NIV)

We are not only commanded to love our brothers and sister in Christ, but also those around us. We are even to love those that we consider our enemies and to bless those who curse us (Luke 6:27-36, Matt 5: 43-48).

This is in stark contrast to what the world teaches us. Which is to hate those who hate you and to get revenge on those who do us wrong. If we live this way towards our fellow man then it is impossible for us to claim to love a God that we haven’t seen.

I am by no means saying that it’s easy to love and get along with everyone. But we are to do our best to be like Christ. Which means we are to love others as Jesus loved us and he loved us (John 15:12-13, NIV) to the point of death.

4. Christians Do Good Works

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Being a Christian doesn’t just stop with confessing and believing in Jesus. It requires us to change and grow by putting off our old sinful nature and loving other people.

From this abundance of love, we should produce good works. As James put it, “Faith without works is dead (2:14).” As Christians, we should be willing to help those in need. Not because we want to be seen by other people(Matt 5:16), but the compassion of Christ compels us too.

There are many people that believe that by doing good works they can earn their way into heaven. However, you can not donate your way or feed enough homeless people to get to heaven. It is only by believing in his son Jesus Christ that you can be saved.

Maybe you don’t know what you should be doing, but if you seek Christ he will show you. For we have been created in Christ Jesus to do good works (Eph 2:10).

Jesus is no longer here on earth with us to love on the lost and the downtrodden. We, his followers, are now responsible for being his hands and feet. We have been called to show the compassion Christ to the world around us.

5. Christians Do Not Deny Christ

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This last one seems like a no-brainer. I mean how can you call yourself a Christian and deny Christ? That means that your not a Christian.

However, have you ever shared something that happened to you or your family that you know could have only happened because God intervened and didn’t even mention him?

Or have your kids ever wanted to invite their friends from school to a church event, but you politely suggested that they not for whatever bogus reason you gave. When really you were afraid they would be mocked or feel rejected because the other kids might say no?

I know I have been a victim of that one. I had to get on my knees and repent! I had to check myself to make sure I was still in the faith.

Or have you ever failed to stand up for what you believe in because you were the only Christian in the crowd?

See it’s in these little ways that we deny Christ in our lives that people don’t think about. That if we don’t catch them can eventually turn into full-blown denials of Christ.

The bible says, ”Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels (Luke 9:26, NIV).”

What a shame it would be to get to the gates only to be turned away because we were ashamed of our Savior

Final Thoughts

I know many of you expected to read things like if you pray, read your bible, and go to church you’re a Christian. While it is true that these are things that Christians should be doing to help them grow in their faith and develop a relationship with Christ.

There are many people that do all of these things out of habit or ritual and have never given their lives to Christ.

I hope this list has helped you in your walk with Christ. For those of you who are Christians, I hope this list helped affirm some things for you or even caused you to stop and examine yourself.

If you are someone that claims to be a Christian because you attend church services regularly, you sing in the choir, or because your parents were preachers I encourage you to go back to the first point in this post.

If you have found yourself in a backslidden state I encourage you to reaffirm your faith in Christ and get back in the race.

If are reading this post and are not a Christian I pray that this post has touched your heart in such a way that it would draw you closer to Christ and that you would take that step to become his disciple.

Please leave a comment if you feel that I have left something out or you would like to share something that you learned or agreed with from this post.

Until Next Time,

The Crafty Afro

Posted in Faith

Faith Filled Fridays-Jesus Wept

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Recently, a young pastor died leaving behind his wife and children. At the funeral, his wife sat stoically in her seat trying to be brave for her children and for the members if the congregation. No tears were shed by her, at least not in public.

And I remember thinking how hard and how sad it must be for her. To not be able to let go of all that pain for the sake of others.

In my own family, we’ve recently had a string of family members and friends die in the past few months. As a matter of fact, there are two wakes being held today, one for my great aunt and one for my grandmothers best friend.

I can guarantee you that someone will tell us not to cry because these women have gone on to be with the Lord. Because ”to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord ( 2 Cor 5:8).” That we should be joyful because they are no longer in pain and suffering.

Why is it that in our effort to comfort those in grief we encourage them to stifle their sense of loss? Sometimes as Christians I think that we forget that Jesus was human. That he experienced a full range of human emotions even grief.

In the book of John, we find the story of Jesus and the death of Lazarus. The Bible tells us that when Jesus finally arrived after hearing that Lazarus was sick he was already dead. At this point, Jesus did one thing…He wept (John 11:35).

Jesus Wept. John 11:35

Jesus, the son of God, healer of the sick, raiser of the dead….wept. He was so overcome with grief and sorrow at the loss of his friend that even Jesus with all the power that he had wept.

If he was so overcome by emotion I think that it’s only fitting that we let others weep for the ones they have lost. They shouldn’t be pressured to put on a “brave” face. We shouldn’t feel compelled to tell them that everything is ok.

As Christians, we know that if our loved ones died in Christ that we will see them again on the other side. Just like Jesus knew that he would raise Lazurus from the dead. I’m sure that the disciples were astonished as they watched their beloved teacher break into tears.

But nowhere does it mention that they tried to stop him from weeping. This story reminds me that it’s ok to cry. It’s ok to grieve the loss of someone you hold dear.….weeping may endureth for a night, but joy cometh in the morning (Psalm 30:5).

We don’t know how long our night will last, but the next time you see someone who is grieving a loss whether it be of a loved one, a marriage, a failed business. Let them know that it’s ok to cry.

Even Jesus wept.

The Crafty Afro