Thursday, June 18, 2009

What is a Christian?

I know this is a very basic question, but it would amaze you the number of people who are not sure how to answer it. I hope this quote from J. I Packer's classic book, Knowing God helps.

What is a Christian? Christians can be described from many angles...
true Christians are people who acknowledge and live under the word of God. They submit without reserve to the word of God written in "the Book of Truth" believing the teaching, trusting the promises, following the commands. Their eyes are upon the God of the Bible as their Father and the Christ of the Bible as their Savior.

Christians will tell you if you ask them, that the Word of God has both convinced them of sin and assured them of forgiveness. Their consciences, like Luther's, are held captive to the Word of God, and they aspire like the psalmist, to have their whole lives brought into line with it.

Christians know that in addition to the word of God spoken directly to them in the Scriptures, God's word has also gone forth to create, and control, and order things around them; but since the Scriptures tell them that all things work together for their good, the thought of God's ordering their circumstances brings them only joy.

Christians are independent folks, for they use the Word of God as a touchstone by which to test the various views that are put to them,, and they will not touch anything which they are not sure that Scripture sanctions.
Why does this description fit so few of us who profess to be Christians in these days?