Revival Sermons

Lifestyle & Contemporary Issues => Christian Standards => Topic started by: sdazeal on May 12, 2014, 09:17:24 PM

Title: What is a Christian, Anyway?
Post by: sdazeal on May 12, 2014, 09:17:24 PM
In light of recent posts and threads that have involved the defining of Christianity, I figured it would behoove all of us to discover exactly what the Bible explicitly teaches in terms of what defines a Christian. Now, I am not talking about what constitutes sound doctrine, or even what is true or not true when it comes to doctrines. I am asking for inspired texts that explicitly define Christianity.

What I am after is Bible texts that define Christianity and say it in a way that SAYS it is defining Christianity.
For example:
John 3:16 is a direct defining of Christianity and the means of salvation. And there are many texts that speak directly and explicitly to the question of "What is a real Christian?".
Here are a few to get started:

 1 John:4-He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

John 17:3- And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

James 1:27- Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

Revelation 14:12 -Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

1 John 4:3- And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

All of these texts tell explicitly what a Christian is and is not, what he does and does not do. No interpretation is necessary.
Title: Re: What is a Christian, Anyway?
Post by: Ed Sutton on May 13, 2014, 06:30:11 AM
Don't forget these:

Psalms 37:31  The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.


Romans 8:9  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.


1 John 2:10  He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.

John 1:12  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:


Romans 8:14  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.


Philippians 2:15  That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

John 15:5  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

1 John 2:6  He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

1 John 2:10  He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.

1 John 2:14  I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.

1 John 2:27  But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

1 John 3:6  Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.

1 John 3:14  We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.

1 John 3:24  And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath
Title: Re: What is a Christian, Anyway?
Post by: sdazeal on May 13, 2014, 10:46:50 PM
Ed, while they are all good and describe Christian character, several are subjective and do not really define what Christian "orthodoxy" should be in terms of beliefs according to the Bible only. I agree that receiving Christ, believing on His name, loving your brethren and walking in the light/Spirit are all necessary, but they are not doctrines in the sense of foundational tenets. In other words, would a church have "Walk in the Light" as a fundamental belief?
What I do like about your examples is that they show that the Christian is defined as such more by his character than by his specific doctrinal views.

I think the reason I am being so particular is because Adventists are and have been accused of being a cult for "heretical" doctrines like "soul sleep", the scape goat ( wrongly understood) as co-redeemer, Michael as the preincarnate Christ, the ministry of Ellen White and the Investigative Judgment, just as other churches are considered heretics for their own peculiar doctrines. It is my opinion that none of those doctrines should be used to define a cult, since the Bible does not say that "the immortality of the soul" or "Michael is not Christ" are foundational doctrines of Christianity. It is my belief that men made such criteria, not God.

 I hope more people will post to this thread to prove this point.... if indeed this point is true and valid.

If there are verses that explicitly say that a certain view of the sanctuary, or of the soul or the nature of Christ, or any other interpretation of scripture is what makes an organization Christian or cultic in the eyes of God, then someone please post them.
Title: Re: What is a Christian, Anyway?
Post by: Ed Sutton on May 14, 2014, 06:18:57 AM
quoting zeal
 
Quote
I agree that receiving Christ, believing on His name, loving your brethren and walking in the light/Spirit are all necessary, but they are not doctrines in the sense of foundational tenets.

I differ in opinion : I an convinced that Scripture sets these as some but not all, of the absolute foundations of Christianity.

receiving Christ, - John 1:12  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
13  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Galatians 4:5  To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

Ephesians 1:5  Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

Without receiving Him - no power / ability / authority / no adoption to become Father God's child.


believing on His name, - John 6:29  Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

Revelation 21:8  But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

John 5:38  And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.

John 5:47  But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?

John 8:24  I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

John 10:26  But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.

loving your brethren -
1 John 3:10  In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

1 John 3:14  We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.

1 John 4:8  He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

John 17:3  And this is life eternal, that they might know <1097> thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
1 John 4:7  Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth <1097> God.


1 John 4:20  If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?



walking in the light

John 8:12  Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

John 12:35  Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.

Ephesians 5:8  For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

1 John 1:6  If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

Psalms 82:5  They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course.

Proverbs 2:13  Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness;
 
Spirit -

Matthew 18:5  And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.


John 14:26  But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Receiving a little child in Christ's name receives Christ, how much more receiving Adoni The Comforter, the Holy Ghost - Who is sent in Christ's Name.

Romans 8:14  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.



These are all foundational doctrines in the sense of foundational tenets in the sight of the I-J, and if the NAD SDA Church no longer thinks so then it is evident why they have become as they are,  my Bible has not yet altered the ink on it's pages.  I choose to continue to believe so.
Title: Re: What is a Christian, Anyway?
Post by: sdazeal on May 14, 2014, 07:08:02 AM
Ed, you are not getting it. I am not looking for what criteria constitutes an individual as a Christian, but what doctrines, according to scripture, makes a Christian church a Christian church. There is no doubt that all of what you posted are foundational Christian experiences. But they are not "fundamental beliefs" per se'.

If "Dr. Heretic Hunter" says a particular church is a cult because they believe in "soul sleep", as they call our state of the dead doctrine, then where is the TEXT that says soul sleep is a heretical doctrine that disqualifies us as a Christian church?  Understand what I mean?

To say "receiving the Holy Spirit" is a criteria,I agree. But then do you have to hold a specific view of exactly what the Holy Spirit is to be a Christian? Some Trinitarians believe the HS is a separate Person in the Godhead in His own right, while Athanasian Trinitarians teach that the HS "proceeds from the Father and the Son". Modalist Trinitarians believe that the HS is Jesus Himself after the ascension and glorified.All would agree with John 14:26, but all would accuse each other of being heretics and NOT Christians.

In fact, Pentecostals believe that unless you speak in "tongues" then you have not received the Holy Spirit and are not a Christian. And they base this on the very texts you posted, Ed. This is the kind of thing I am talking about.
Title: Re: What is a Christian, Anyway?
Post by: ColporteurK on May 26, 2014, 02:19:09 PM

 Many would say that a Christian is anyone that loves Jesus. I don't think that that is necessarily true. Judas may have loved Jesus. He may have loved Jesus like someone loves popcorn. One can love ice cream but that does not make them a Schwans ice cream man.

This is important because if one can love Jesus, at some level and still be lost I propose that they were not really Christians and that there was more to it than that. We need to know and love Jesus supremely. That means He has His way with us and we follow all the light we have in every area. Just as loving asparagus does not make one a vegetarian because there is more to it than that, we are not Christians simply because we believe and love. We can believe certain things and love God on some level and still be steeped in self. Lucifer was proof of that and the angel's did not get that he was not a Christian until the cross.
Title: Re: What is a Christian, Anyway?
Post by: ColporteurK on January 11, 2016, 02:12:52 PM
WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND

One day a man saw an old lady, stranded on the side of the road, but even in the dim light of day, he could see she needed help. So he pulled up in front of her Mercedes and got out. His Pontiac was still sputtering when he approached her.

Even with the smile on his face, she was worried. No one had stopped to help for the last hour or so.

Was he going to hurt her?

He didn’t look safe; he looked poor and hungry. He could see that she was frightened, standing out there in the cold. He knew how she felt. It was those chills which only fear can put in you.

He said, “I’m here to help you, ma’am.

Why don’t you wait in the car where it’s warm? By the way, my name is Enny ”

Well, all she had was a flat tire, but for an old lady, that was bad enough. Enny crawled under the car looking for a place to put the jack, skinning his knuckles a time or two. Soon he was able to change the tire. But he had to get dirty and his hands hurt.

As he was tightening up the lug nuts, she rolled down the window and began to talk to him. She told him that she was from Lake Avenue and was only just passing through. She couldn’t thank him enough for coming to her aid.

Enny just smiled as he closed her trunk. The lady asked how much she owed him. Any amount would have been all right with her. She already imagined all the awful things that could have happened had he not stopped. Enny never thought twice about being paid. This was not a job to him. This was helping someone in need, and God knows there were plenty, who had given him a hand in the past. He had lived his whole life that way, and it never occurred to him to act any other way.

He told her that if she really wanted to pay him back, the next time she saw someone who needed help, she could give that person the assistance they needed, and Enny added, “And think of me.”

He waited until she started her car and drove off. It had been a cold and depressing day, but he felt good as he headed for home, disappearing into the twilight.

A few miles down the road the lady saw a small cafe. She went in to grab a bite to eat, and take the chill off before she made the last leg of her trip home. It was a dingy looking restaurant. Outside were two old gas pumps. The whole scene was unfamiliar to her. The waitress came over and brought a clean towel to wipe her wet hair. She had a sweet smile, one that even being on her feet for the whole day couldn’t erase. The lady noticed the waitress was nearly eight months pregnant, but she never let the strain and aches change her attitude. The old lady wondered how someone who had so little could be so giving to a stranger. Then she remembered Enny.

After the lady finished her meal, she paid with a hundred dollar bill. The waitress quickly went to get change for her hundred dollar bill, but the old lady had slipped right out the door. She was gone by the time the waitress came back. The waitress wondered where the lady could be.

Then she noticed something written on the napkin.

There were tears in her eyes when she read what the lady wrote: “You don’t owe me anything. I have been there too. Somebody once helped me out, the way I’m helping you. If you really want to pay me back, here is what you do, do not let this chain of love end with you.” Under the napkin were four more $100 bills.

Well, there were tables to clear, sugar bowls to fill, and people to serve, but the waitress made it through another day. That night when she got home from work and climbed into bed, she was thinking about the money and what the lady had written. How could the lady have known how much she and her husband needed it?

With the baby due next month, it was going to be hard…

She knew how worried her husband was, and as he lay sleeping next to her, she gave him a soft kiss and whispered soft and low,

“Everything’s going to be all right. I love you, Enny .”

There is an old saying “What goes around comes around.”
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