In a context of confusion and flashy journalism, rigour becomes a precious value.
How can you know if you are really a believer?
Question: What is a Christian?
Answer: A Christian is someone who believes.
Question: What does a Christian believe?
Answer: A Christian believes the Gospel.
Question: What is the Gospel?
Answer: It is recorded in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4.
Question: What does 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 say?
Answer: That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.
On the basis of the apostolic definition of the Gospel, we can make the following assertions in the name of God.
Assertion # 1: Whosoever does not believe Christ died for their sins is not a Christian.
Assertion # 2: Whosoever does not believe that Jesus rose literally from the grave on the third day is not a Christian.
In Paul’s explanation of the Gospel, he also points out that the true believer is the one who not merely believes the Gospel for a season but perseveres in the faith of Christ. “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the Gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:1-2).
Christian faith is birthed into the world with faith in the Gospel and is sustained by faith in the same Gospel. What really matters, then, before God is faith in the atoning work of His beloved Son.
One is not a Christian because he (or she) is an ordained pastor.
One is not a Christian because he (or she) sports a doctorate in evangelical theology.
One is not a Christian because he (or she) writes in the evangelical press.
One is not a Christian because he (or she) plays in a praise band.
One is not a Christian because he (or she) has a public ministry in the church.
One is not a Christian because he (or she) has believing parents.
One is not a Christian because he (or she) attends church faithfully every Sunday.
What is a Christian?
A Christian is one who believes and perseveres in the doctrine of the apostolic Gospel, that is, Christ crucified and resurrected for the ungodly.
So, the big question:
Are you a Christian?