Some believe the only requirement to being a Christian is to attend a religious service. Not so! Hearing the gospel (Matthew 11:15), believing the gospel (John 8:24), confessing your faith that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God (Romans 10:10; Matthew 10:32-33; Acts 8:37), repenting of sins (Luke 13:3, 5; Acts 17:30) and being immersed into Christ for the remission of your sins (Acts 2:38; Romans 6:1-6; Colossians 2:12) is required to make a soul a child of God, a Christian. Young’s Analytical Concordance states that “Christian” means “belonging to Christ.” Indeed, when one obeys the gospel as listed above, one is “bought with a price” (1 Corinthians 6:20; 7:23) which is the same as being “redeemed” (1 Peter 1:18-21). While the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch of Syria (Acts 11:26), and Agrippa was almost persuaded to be a Christian (Acts 16:28) and Peter tells us to not be ashamed of being a Christian (1 Peter 4:16), simply claiming to be one, even if that soul has obeyed the gospel, doesn’t necessarily make a soul a Christian!
Being a Christian is not “membership in a social organization” that is designed to entertain you or allow you to be the entertainer! Being a Christian is the most serious life anyone can live. Remember that those who obey the gospel must put the old man of sin to death (Colossians 3; Romans 6). We can no longer serve sin (ibid.) In fact, it is no longer ourselves that govern our lives, but Christ living in us (Galatians 2:20). Asking “what would Jesus do?” first, and finding the answer within His word, then acting according to that answer is always the right way to determine what to do, how to do when to do, why to do and how to do every word and deed of our lives (Colossians 3:17). Being a Christian is thus a life that declares Christ rules your life and that purposely makes it much different in its words and deeds from lives lived by worldly-minded people.
It is seen when we gather ourselves together for worship. Frivolity has no place in our worship of God – at any time! Our singing must never be “just stand and sing a song” but instead, with spirit and understanding (1 Corinthians 14:15). Our praying must be with spirit and understanding (ibid.) Our time of study must be with fervency (2 Timothy 2:15). Our communion must be with serious self-examination (1 Corinthians 11:28 – 29). Our giving must be with a loving and generous heart (2 Corinthians 9:6 – 7). If those visiting with us during our worship times (and bible study is just as much a worship as are our services on the Lord’s Day) are presented with an attitude less than serious, then how will they know our dedication to Christ and His church is serious? Further, and more important, by what authority do we give God less than our best?
Therefore, being a Christian requires preparation for all we say and do i.e., think before you do! Song leaders and preachers are not the only ones who should prepare far ahead of time for the leadership of those attending. Those asked to lead in prayer, preside at the table, or offer prayers at the table should give great thought and preparation for their comments as the minds of all attending will listen to what you say and how you say it. Singing is teaching (Colossians 3:16) just as preaching. Prayers teach as well; certainly, the comments made at the Lord’s Table should increase our understanding of why we partake of this solemn memorial. While many believe these are merely a matter of standing up, choosing a song, or making some short comment, or reciting some memorized prayer, they are negating the seriousness of being a purchased child of God endeavoring to prove his love for what God has done for him!
Being a Christian is a life – not a lifestyle or some type of hourly practice a few times a week. Being a Christian requires our utmost attention to those around us and how we prove to them our dedication to the One who died for us! If it is merely a matter of “going through the motions” then anything at any time is good enough, and still accomplishes the same goal. No one believes that to be true in any activity! We’re taught to do our best at work, at school, and even on our individual projects. Being a Christian must be no less! Never is our service to be a “just get by” service: it is our life! (Colossians 3:1-17)
Thus, being a Christian is being our BEST – ALWAYS. It isn’t just “membership in the church” and never has been! We Christians comprise the Lord’s church (1 Peter 2: 1- 12). When others see us, whenever or wherever they may see us, they need to see Christ living in us! If they don’t, they are not seeing us at our best … and neither is Christ or our Father God! Let’s live HIS way, instead of our own!