What makes a Christian? Is it being born in a Christian nation? Generally speaking, Muslims are born in Muslim nations. But where do we find an exclusively Christian nation? The United States is certainly not exclusively Christian. Our courts are gradually eradicating Christian symbols, prayers, and gatherings from public places such as our schools. So what does it mean to be a Christian? Just being born in America certainly does not make you a Christian.
To really be called a Christian, you must be a follower of Jesus Christ. Now when I say this, I don’t mean that you follow His teachings. That is included. But I also mean you follow the person called Jesus Christ. “But how in the world do I follow a dead man,” you say. You don’t follow a dead man. What makes Christianity distinct from every other religion on the face of the earth is the fact that Jesus Christ is not dead. He is very much alive.
Yes, He was killed on a cross 2000 years ago. But He rose again from the grave. And He did so bodily. After His resurrection, Jesus said to His disciples, “See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have” (Luke 24:39).
Then Christ ascended bodily into heaven. And from the exalted position of Lord and King, this same Jesus pours upon people like us the Holy Spirit. And so Romans 10:9 defines a Christian person this way: “That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.” That is, you must have faith in the bodily resurrection in your heart and you must dedicate your life to the service of Christ.
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