To Be a Christian
Updated: Nov 9, 2019
To be a Christian is to have entered into an intimate relationship with the living God and his people. It involves both a vertical relationship with God and a horizontal relationship with the people of God. Although it is not always evident to all, a Christian is one who has had a meaningful encounter with the living God, and who walks in meaningful fellowship with God. Nevertheless, there are always some who understand themselves to be a Christian because they belong to the church. They have become a member, or they have been born and grew up in the church, so they consider themselves to be Christians. Such people see the church as a club that it is worthwhile to be a part. In doing so, they fail to understand the spiritual reality of what it is to be a Christian. They have no experience of the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, nor do they actively walk with Jesus each day of their lives.
Likewise, to be a Christian is supposed to be in fellowship and community with other Christians. There is no room for lone ranger types who separates themselves from the people of God. We are the body of Christ, and we need one another. We need the friendship and support of other believers if we are to grow and mature, and we can’t do that in isolation. It is in the context of the community of faith that our rough edges and smoothed down so that we come into conformity with the image of Christ. It is the same community that supports us and encourages in times of trial and difficulty. Thus a Christian is one who has an intimate relationship both with God and his people.