Christians are those who love God and Jesus Christ. They strive to be like them. When you strive to be like Jesus, you become a better person because he is the best person.
Being like them doesnt mean you need to be perfect immediately, and when you mess up, its over. It means you become kinder, more truthful, more honest, more believing everyday until, eventually, you become like him.
But we never could become like Jesus without the Atonement, because we all make mistakes. Through his love and sacrifice, we can become clean!
Through small and simple things, great things are brought to pass.
We Have the Victory
A true Christian is someone that loves Christ Jesus so much that His light shines through them like a light that says "I have the victory" no matter what. A true Christian is hit with a tidal wave from the devil on a daily basis, but they know they won't be drowned because our Christ Jesus already got the victory on a hill called Calvary. True Christians stand tall, holding to our Savior, our lighthouse, through all storms we face, because we know without Him, we would be nothing.
To truly be a Christian, you must not only believe God/Jesus exists but also accept His gift of salvation and accept Him into your heart to essentially "take the wheel." True Christians ought to know where they're going and not be afraid of death, because they know they will be with their Savior. True Christians ought to live for Christ, by showing His love and telling others about the Good News - that He died to take the punishment of our sins so that we can live forever with Him.
True Christians, however, usually struggle with doubt. Because they belong to the Lord, they are often attacked spiritually by Satan, trying to discourage them. One common doubt Satan plants in people's minds is that one's "not good enough," or "too far gone" to be saved. Even those who have been Christians for decades still struggle.
Jesus did not promise that we would have easy lives, rather He said the world would hate us. John 15:18-20 says, "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world...If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also." This is clearly seen in the amount of Christians around the world that are persecuted for their faith. However, they refuse to convert/stop meeting/stop spreading the Gospel. This resilience and willingness to lay down their life sets them apart because most people love their lives. You know why they can withstand being tortured, even killed for their beliefs? Because God gives them strength, and they know that what awaits them on the other side is better than anything here on this earth. That is a sign of a true Christian.
True Christians should be obvious in word and in deed. They should be joyful, even in difficult circumstances. They should be kind, even to the cruelest people. They should be different - a good, visible different that makes people say, "I want what they have!"
However, some people who profess to be Christians don't really have God in their lives. Some have accepted Him, but they struggle and aren't at a point where they understand how to live for God yet. Some people become Christians but fall away during difficult times. This is what causes people to misunderstand what true, strong Christians are really like.
True Christians should be easy to spot. They should be like "little Christs" - in fact, that is the meaning of the term "Christian". However, while there are indeed certain things that all Christians must do to be saved, I would like to point out that no Christian is the same. We're all at different points in our spiritual walk. We all struggle with different things. We all screw up. Some of us have different standards (more or less). We aren't all going to be the absolute epitome of Christianity.
But over all, true Christians are united in Christ. Because no matter how different our lives are, or the struggles we go through in our physical and spiritual lives, what really makes a Christian a true Christian is that God is in their lives and He has changed them from the inside out.
A True Christian
A True Christian is one that believes that Jesus:
1. Is God's own son;
2. He came to earth as a baby;
3. Is fully man and fully human;
4. Died on a cross to pay for your sin;
1. Accepted the gift of forgiveness and salvation (and has been baptized);
2. Lives a life that honors God;
3. And shows by their actions and words that they believe what they say they do.
Mercy Triumphs over judgement
To be a Christian is to believe mercy triumphs over judgement, love over hate, to hold every person as brother (there is no other/outsider/irredeemable soul) and to see sacrifice of what is or should be ours to those in need as the greatest form of love.
A True Christian
So, I was scrolling through the posts, and I saw a lot of people posting things like, "A true Christian is super nice, and he's loving, and he does this, and he does that" but the question was not, "What is an ideal Christian?" or "How should a Christian act?"
The answer that you are looking for is quite simple. The only thing that qualifies you as a Christian--the only thing that needs to happen in order for one to go to Heaven--is simply believing that God is Who He says He is. John 3:16, Ephesians 2:8-9--simply belief that Jesus is God. Often times, people will ask, "Well, a Catholic believes that Jesus is God, but they think that Heaven works differently. According to your belief system--that the only requirement is belief--will they be in Heaven as well?" The answer is no. And here is why: they are believing in something that they do to get them to Heaven. They are believing in a prayer, they are believing that their ancestors will pay their way in, they are believing in their good deeds. God asks that we believe in Him to get into Heaven, and that is it. Now you may be wondering, "Caleb, how do you know that you subscribe to the proper belief system?" And to that I say, Have you read the Bible? 'Cause, like, it don't say nothin' about no sinners prayer. Nor does it say that you have to speak tongues in order to be considered saved. Nor does it say that you need to completely change your life. Nor does it say that baptism is a requirement, just something that all Christians should do. Which is different. You're not condemned to Hell because you didn't have your Pastor dunk your head into a pool of water.
Salvation is easy, and we tend to over complicate it with a bunch of unnecessary and's. It is simply belief. The Bible says it time and time again: belief. Nothing more. One can have the faith of a mustard seed, but as long as they have that ounce of belief in them in that moment--that belief that it is Jesus Who saved you, that God is God--they are saved. Where they take their life from there is their choice. God asks us to live a certain way, but we won't lose our salvation if we choose not to follow. And we never have to get saved again. Once saved, always saved.
If you want to know what a Christian strives to be, I believe many of the posts here brought up a lot of what that is. I won't go into it unless asked, in which case I will try to write up a post on it.
A true Christian is one who is a follower of Jesus Christ. As Christians we believe John 3:16 - "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life."
Being human we are flawed - we all fall short of his glory. We are not saved by any action or deed on our part but by his grace and mercy. By his wounds we were healed. He took our place on that cross. He suffered not for anything he did but for mankind's shortcomings.
People have free will. You don't have to believe or accept, you get to choose whether to accept him as Savior and believe or not - it is your choice.
I believe a relationship with Christ is the most personal and intimate relationship one can have...no one knows our hearts, our minds or beings as He does. To be a Christian one must be Christ like. Jesus loved all...he was a man that people were drawn to - not because of his outer beauty but by his kindness and goodness. Jesus loved all. He loved and accepted those that society turned their backs upon. Lepers, prostitutes, those struggling in the world - he was there for them. He was compassionate and caring.
He also was a servant - he washed his disciples and others feet. He obeyed God...he was human and didn't want to face what he knew he must - he prayed in agony and said "thy will be done." He was honest, a patient teacher who understood what people go through. On the cross he asked God to "forgive them for they know not what they do."
As Christians we should mirror his actions...be loving, kind, forgiving those who have hurt us, be accepting of all, serve our fellow man, and it's not for us to judge others. Stand up for the wrongs that we see, to speak out for those in need. To protect those who need protection. To be honest, caring and compassionate. There are truly kind and good decent people in this world that help others every single day. Does that make them a Christian? No, it makes them good people. A true Christian accepts Christ as their Savior and invites him in to their heart. The only way to the Father is through the Son. Being flawed he is our bridge and grace to being welcomed home at the end of our journey.
Did he come down from his throne in a flash of lightning and in some magnificent manner? No, he came as a baby in a manger. I have to say the band downhere sums the gift of Christ beautifully in the song "How Many Kings":
"would you believe after all we've projected a child in a manger?
Lowly and small, the weakest of all
Unlikeliest hero, wrapped in his mother's shawl
Just a child
Is this who we have waited for?
'Cause how many kings step down from their thrones
How many Lords have abandoned their homes?
How many greats have become the least for me?
And how many gods have poured out their hearts
to romance a world that is torn all apart?
How many fathers gave up their sons for me?