What a Christian is

Published 2:55 pm Monday, May 11, 2020

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Rev. Graham: A cable news network recently asked a panel of political and religious leaders what being an evangelical meant and no one could answer. They even struggled to properly define what being a Christian means. Since so many people align themselves with these terms, yet follow very different religious beliefs, is there a clear definition? — P.E.
Dear P.E.: Those who identify as Christians often do not fully understand what Christ has done for them. But for those who have surrendered their lives completely to Him, they accept Christ’s redeeming work on the cross for mankind.
The word “Christian” actually means “a partisan for Christ.” In our political culture the word “partisan” is a word that is understandable. It means to take sides. It means we are committed to something or someone. Partisans are not neutral. So this is a wonderful way to describe who and what a Christian is.
But many people struggle with this. Some say, “A Christian is a person who prays” or “A Christian lives by the golden rule.” But praying or living by the golden rule doesn’t make someone a Christian. A person may be sincere, but that doesn’t make him or her a Christian.
Being a Christian is serious business! It means to accept Christ as personal Savior and obey His Word written in the Bible. It means to deny worldly pleasures and seek to please God in all things. It means to follow Jesus faithfully and joyfully. When Christians falter — and we do — we confess our sin to the Lord and ask Him to strengthen us.
We can never live the Christian life on the highest plane unless we are continually growing and moving forward. We should grow closer to God day by day as we strive to live as a shining light in a godless society and stand up for that which is right, just, and honorable.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

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