Paul, an Apostle of Jesus, used the term “Christian” for the first time in Acts 11:26. People were called Christians thereafter because they followed the teachings of Christ Jesus.
Those with an unyielding belief that Jesus is the Son of God are called Christians. They believe, without doubt, that Jesus lived on earth for 33 years, was later cruxified and was buried. On the third day He rose from the dead. Forty day after His resurrection, He ascended to heaven and now sits at the right hand of God the Father. That is the crux of christianity.
To get into God’s grace, one must believe unyieldingly in Jesus and the unseen things of the spirit. True Christians know that no matter what happens, the Divine Creator will manifest all the promises of the Bible, including taking care of them. They know He will temper all the storms of life if they believe. II Corinthians 5:7 provides “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” To understand and know God, one must walk in the spirit. The question becomes, how does one acquire the Holy Spirit? He believes that He exists and he asks for it.
In Romans 1:17, Paul said “The just shall live by faith.” So you might ask, what is faith and how do I live by it? Faith is a belief; it is to have no doubt in God’s Word. “Faith,” as defined in Hebrews 11:1 “is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” This tells us that, if we believe in God and even though we do not see the things we ask for yet manifested, we have them in the spirit. He will allow us to acquire the things we desire if they are in accordance with the word and if we always place him first in our lives.
Mark 11:22-24 shows the generosity of God to those who believe in Him and keep His Word. “So Jesus answered and said to them, have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, Be removed and be cast into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart, but believe that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. And whenever you stand against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses”
Some Christians have a difficult time of it is because, even though they love God, their faith and belief systems are constantly challenged by the events of the world. In order to stay in the Word, Christians must take the same stance as Joshua, who declared in 24:15, “Choose for yourself this day whom you will serve, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Being a Christian means constancy. If you are having difficulty, simply ask God to come into your life, your home or your job and He will. There will always be challenges, but you can overcome them by standing on the Word in all things.
Jesus expects His followers to make a total transformation from worldly pursuits when they come under His authority. II Corinthians 5:17 says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” The world and its trappings have little, if any, interest to the true believer, because he or she knows they are temporal and will pass away, but the Word and promises of God are eternal.
The journey of the Christian is not always an easy one, even for those who adhere to the Word of God without ceasing. It is also a lonely journey at times. It means you will be attacked for your belief, for no other reason than you are a Christian. I Peter 4:16 states “If anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.” As you are aware, many adherents of Christ were beaten and killed after his ascension to heaven.
I Peter 2:20 states that “For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.” We should not lose sight of the fact that Jesus suffered for the salvation of all of us, even for non-believers, because as long as they have the opportunity to confess their sins they, too, can be saved.
Christians today for the most part, are not overtly subjected to brutal beatings and gratuitous killings as the earlier converts, but the forces of darkness attack them in more subtle ways. Many fall prey to the vices of the world, such as alcohol abuse, drugs, pornography, and other sins expressly forbidden and enumerated in the Bible.
Today’s Christians must hold fast to all the promises of God and not be tempted by the superfluities of the world. Galatians 5:19-21 tells Christians what they must not do if they want to inherit God’s kingdom: “Now the work of the flesh is evident, which are adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you before hand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Today, unfortunately, there are many so-called Christians who act as though they can pick and choose from the list of what they deem acceptable. But true Christians live lives satisfactorily to God and try with all their hearts not to give in to any of the forbidden vices – because they know each has equal weight in the sight of God. A liar or dissenter is no better than a fornicator or murderer. They can fool the masses of the people, but they cannot fool God.
To get into God’s kingdom and have eternal life, Galatians 5:22-23 provides the steps Christians must adhere to along their journeys, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”