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What makes one a Christian?

Updated on April 28, 2012

Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you (Matt. 5:44).

Resist not evil: if a man smite thee on one cheek, turn to him the other also (Matt. 5:30-40).

Avenge not yourselves: rather give place unto wrath: and suffer yourselves to be defrauded (Rom. 12:18, 19).

If a man take away thy goods, ask them not again (Luke 6:29, 30).

Agree with your adversary quickly, submitting even to wrong for the sake of peace (Matt. 5:25; 1 Cor. 6:7).

Labor not to be rich: be ready to every good work, give to those who ask; relieve the afflicted (1 Tim. 6:8; Rom. 12:13; Heb. 13:16; James 1:27).

Do not your alms before men: Let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth (Matt. 6:1-4).

Recompense to no man evil for evil: overcome evil with good (Rom. 12:17).

Bless them that curse you; let no cursing come out of your mouth (Matt. 5:44; Rom. 12:14).

Render not evil for evil, or railing for railing, but contrariwise, blessing (1 Pet. 3:9).

Pray for them that despitefully use you and afflict you (Matt. 5:44).

Grudge not: judge not: complain not: condemn not (James 5:9; Matt. 7:1).

Put away anger, wrath, bitterness, and all evil speaking (Eph. 4:31; 1 Pet. 2:1).

Confess your faults one to another (James 5:16).

Be not conformed to this world: love not the world (Rom. 12:2; 1 John 2:15).

Deny all ungodliness and worldly lusts. If thy right hand offend thee, cut it off (Titus 2:13; Matt. 5:30).

Servants, be faithful, even to bad masters (Eph. 6:5-8).

Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate (Rom. 12:16).

Owe no man anything (Rom. 13:7,8).

In case of sin (known or heard of) speak not of it to others, but tell the offending brother of the matter between thee and him alone, with a view to recovery (Matt. 18:15; Gal. 6:1).

Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart (Matt. 22:37).

Pray always; pray with brevity and simplicity; pray secretly (Luke 18:1; Matt. 6:7).

In everything give thanks to God and recognize Him in all your ways (Eph. 5:20; Prov. 3:6).

As you would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them (Matt. 7:12).

Take Christ for an example and follow in his steps (1 Pet. 2:21).

Let Christ dwell in your heart by faith (Eph. 3:17).

Esteem Christ more highly than all earthly things; yea, than your own life (Luke 14:26).

Confess Christ freely before men (Luke 12:8).

Beware lest the cares of life or the allurements of pleasure weaken his hold on your heart (Matt. 24:44).

Love thy neighbor as thyself (Matt. 22:39).

Exercise lordship over no one (Matt. 23:11).

Seek not your own welfare only, nor bear your own burdens merely, but have regard to those of others (Phil. 2:4; Gal. 6:2).

Let your light shine before men: hold forth the word of life. Do good to all men as ye have opportunity (Matt. 5:16; Phil. 2:16; Gal. 6:10).

Be blameless and harmless, as the sons of God in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation (Phil. 2:15).

Be gentle, meek, kind-hearted, compassionate, merciful, forgiving (2 Tim. 2:24; Titus 2:2; Eph. 4:32).

Be sober, grave, sincere, temperate (Phil. 4:5; 1 Pet. 1:13; 5:8).

Speak the truth every man with his neighbor: put away all lying (Eph. 4:25).

Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as unto the Lord, and not unto men (Col. 3:23).

Be watchful, vigilant, brave, joyful, courteous, and strong (1 Cor. 16:13; Phil. 4:4; 1 Thess. 5:6-10).

Be clothed with humility; be patient toward all (Col. 3:12; Rom. 12:12).

Follow peace with all men (Heb. 12:14).

Sympathize in the joys and sorrows of others (Rom. 12:15).

Follow after whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseful (Phil. 4:8).

Refrain utterly from adultery, fornication, uncleanness, drunkenness, covetousness, wrath, strife, sedition, hatred, emulation, boasting, vainglory, envy, jesting, and foolish talking (Eph. 5:3,4).

Whatever you do, consider the effect of your action on the honor of God's name among men. Do all to the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31; 3:17).

Reckon yourselves dead to all manner of sin. Henceforth live not to yourselves, but to him who died for you, and rose again (Rom. 6-11; 2 Cor. 5:15).

Be zealous of good works, always abounding in the work of the Lord, wearying not in well doing (Titus 2:14; Gal. 6:9).

Speak evil of no man (Titus 3:2).

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly (Col. 3:16).

Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt (Col. 3:8; 4:6).

Obey rules; submit to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake (Titus 3:1).

Be holy in all manner of conversation (1 Pet. 1:15, 16).

Give no occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully (1 Tim. 5:14).

Pisean282311 asked a question in the forums:

How do you define true Christian?

This hub started ages ago, but it suffices for this questions response, so here it is.

How do you define true Christian?

By degrees!..... With Christian equating to someone who believes Christ was who He said He was...

The 'entry level' is fulfilled in John 3:16-19 and hangs on the word 'whosoever' as in totally non conditional, so whosoever agrees with these scriptures can validly claim the title Christian.

By definition a Christian is someone who believes in Christ and the commandments Christ made, the current benchmark seems to be adult confession that Jesus Christ is Lord, and is loosely based upon the most famous biblical verse:

John 3 16-19.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

The operative word of course is whosoever, which clearly defines that being a Christian is non exclusive and available to anyone, or 'whosoever', but equally it's limited to 'whosoever' accepts what is written.... "whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life"

So joining Christian society is relatively simple to anyone who can accept the scriptures as valid, and for most of those who profess a Christian faith, that can be the limit of their involvement with Christ, though they may progress to hold position in Churchianity, they may never progress further with Christianity.

Once on board, most believers will gravitate to one of two positions, agreeing that 'once saved we are always saved' or living as what I call 'probationer', where the believer is unsure whether they will be or are saved, and consider that they may 'miss the mark' in the final judgement.

In my opinion 'whosoever' precludes this, but equally I do place the emphasis on the word 'once' for I have met many folk who claim belief, yet in reality have not made good their faith.

But In Ephesians we are told to come to the 'fullness of Christ' which is expected of believers who are in discipleship to Christ, with disciple relating to those who follow the disciplines of Christ, i.e. obey His commands.

Now obviously if one becomes a Christian by simply believing, then one can reason that one becomes more of a Christian if one enters discipleship, rather than just believing, then getting back on with your life.

Then again, Christ tells His disciples that 'These things and greater, you will do in my name' and as we are talking about what would classify as miracles here, then we can assume that in the name of Christ, we can also expect to see miracles occur, so there is another level of attainment to reach when one has passed the entry point, entered discipleship and progressed towards the fullness of Christ, doing these things and even greater in His name.

Perhaps the most significant thing that Christ accomplished was to defeat ALL the power of the enemy, including death, which we can never actually attain to as none of us are actually ever going to be perfect.

It was His sinless perfection that achieved victory over death, we could never manage that, however He did make provision for us to defeat death, and He did this by clothing us in His righteousness, in order that when we stand before God, we will be seen as righteous by this masking, and accepted into Gods eternal pleasure.

So let us assume that one has made a profession of faith in Christ, and perhaps been infilled with the Holy Spirit, then studied to be approved, and by doing so attained a reasonable grasp of the tenets of Christ..... then the proof becomes in the visible obedience to the words of Christ.

Any reasoned examination of history will show that the Crusades were hardly the best presentation of Christian faith in action, and nowhere is Christ found endorsing the killing of those who oppose Him, so in either ignorance and fear, or having been demonised in themselves, the Crusaders proved they were not actual Christian believers.

Fortunately not many returned from their Crusades, so our bloodline is less tainted than it may have been.

I say ignorance or fear, because back then the Roman Catholic Church held sway, and had decided that mere laymen were inadequate to read or study the words of Christ, hence the normal believer was reliant upon his 'betters' to tell him what he should do for Christ.

As his 'betters' were mainly masonic knights fully inveigled into that Satanic organisation, it's small surprise that they led their peasants into the Holy land killing all that they found before them, including many Christians who did not subscribe to the Western Church version of Roman Catholicism.

So I think it's safe to discount Crusaders as our heritage.

Moving onward, we find the Roman Catholics doing a fine job of killing anybody who strikes up a personal relationship with Christ through the word, and desires to move in the Holy Spirit in defiance of the hierarchy. Obviously as the populace were not allowed access to bibles, which were in any case written in Latin, those accused of heresy and subsequently murdered were clergy who had realized that Christ spoke differently from the established church, and refused to recant on what they discovered from their exploration of what Christ said.

Along comes Luther, a loyal Catholic priest, who realizes that Grace is a key factor in Christ's commandments, and pins the tail on the donkey, or at least his thesis in the door posts of his church... Strong local support from Germanic Princes save his life, and a new branch of Catholicism is created, which becomes a new church when the Catholics reject Luther.

From there onward we see division after division and end up with 31,000 versions of 'the truth' all devised by folk who truly thought they had defined correctly what Christ was really saying to His church.

The fact is that Christ never started a 'church' as we know it, the church was His body of believers, individuals who joined together in unity to carry His name to the nations and to obey what Christ commanded, not what man devised from His commandments.

Realising this is a sad day for most believers, because they are then faced with rejecting their doctrines devised by man, to follow the commands made by Christ, which invariably still leads to being called a heretic by your (former) church brethren, who desire the safety of conformity over the freedom (and dangers) of living Christ's commands as best you can.

It is relatively easy to be a believer within a defined church structure, which is why most folk gravitate to a church that fits their level of commitment.

Living 'outside the gate' means having to work daily to pick up that cross and follow Christ's commands, and to do that whilst being viewed by those who once loved you, now seeing you as a heretic for your non conformity.

It means having to keep focussed on the goal, for you no longer have your folk praying for your protection, and indeed they may be making soulish prayers against you.

So deciding that all that is required to understand Christ's commands is a plain old common dictionary, is a heavy decision, for ultimately one will begin to see the contradictions that have occurred in traditional churches.

No one has all the truth, but all the truth is there to see, if you obey Christs commands and not the desires of men.

I propose that the commands given by Christ are our creed, anything not provided by Christ may well be good advice, but is only as good as the person who added the words.

For those of you who will be aghast that I may be inferring that not every word in our King James bibles are divinely inspired, fear not, my King James is still my constant guide and light to my feet, but where man has added to Christ, I may agree to differ.


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    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      9 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Better late than never Dusty!

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 

      9 years ago from Arizona

      Hi John, call me late but perhaps right on time to come trailing into your message of thought that I know I needed, falling in behind a few who have attempted to beat me with their cross, I know I can truly laugh at the thought and churn on towards my beginning,



    • Tamarajo profile image


      10 years ago

      Agreed that Christ never started a church as we know it. true religion as you state obeying Christ rather than the desires of man.

      Blessed read

    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      10 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Well we have an eternity to get used to it!

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 

      10 years ago from West By God

      Yes, it is refreshing isn't it?

    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      10 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Thank you Lady G, it's good to finally agree with each other!

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 

      10 years ago from West By God

      Sorry it took me a few days to get to this instead of what I told you. You are right! You did surprise me and I am impressed. Jesus said that Everything is Within us and that is also where he put the the minds and hearts of men. We need to just listen to the small voice within us to understand. I understand. Everything we do is for a reason for our own growth and we cannot simply take Christ out of us if that is where he put it. I loved the scriptures that you used.

    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      10 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Thanks JD, God led you to me for a reason, for my peace had been stolen by the enemy over visa regulations which affected us as a family, but at about the time you wrote, they were being resolved satisfactorily.... so your peace helped restore my peace!

      We serve a wonderful God.

    • Judah's Daughter profile image

      Judah's Daughter 

      10 years ago from Roseville, CA

      I had you on my mind today, brother and came searching for you ~ I found this awesome hub and just received so beautifully the message of the peace of Christ. The video was one of beautiful quietness and worship, prayer and introspection. What a great peace there is in just wanting nothing more than to please God. The hustle and bustle of the world, the intellectualism, religiosity, churchiantiy, rules and regulations, impositions and suppositions....oh, the quiet peace of God is the treasure. He is a still, small voice and a quiet breeze. He is my peace. Thank you for just being you.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      10 years ago from Chicago

      Terrific article, brother. I agree with your words. I wonder, when you wrote about Scripture not written by Christ, are you saying that Paul's Epistles are not inspired? But merely "good advice?" Just curious.

      Well, you're a good man, John, and I enjoyed your article very much. Well done!


    • Davidsonofjesie profile image


      10 years ago

      really good job love your work

    • A M Werner profile image

      Allen Werner 

      10 years ago from West Allis

      John, I love it. You touched on so many areas of Christianity and you did it with tact, humor and humanity. You mentioned 31,000 divisions and the fact that Christ Himself never started a church. I believe that is a good foundation for anyone wanting to seek out the Lord to wedge their feet in. Our walk is ultimately personal. Despite any organization we join, we have to decide wrong and right on a daily basis for ourselves, and thus, I believe, we become a denomination or a branch of Christ as individuals. And we can't stop growing. If we stop growing, then the great gardener will come along and prune us off. We have to be producing fruits as identified in 5:22-23. If it is difficult for us to accomplish these things, then may it is best people check again where it is they are rooted - where is the flow of spiritual power coming from that keeps them thriving. The Bible is not a law book, merely a tool to witness to the Spirit. It is the Spirit that must drive us and make us a kinder and gentler people. Peace

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      The brethren of The Messiah have taken heed unto The Call to "Come Out of her, MY people" and no longer have their portion with those who follow "the broad way that leads to destruction"!

      Thankfully they are but "aliens and pilgrims while on the earth" for their "citizenship is in Heaven"!

      They have "Come Out" of this wicked world and it's systems of religion and have taken heed unto the exhortation to:

      “Love Not The World”

      ”For the WHOLE(not just a portion) world is under the control of the evil one”.......(I John 5:19)

      “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world will pass away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of The Only True GOD will abide for ever.”(IJohn2:15-17)

      “If you were of the world, the world would love it’s own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said unto you, the servant is not greater than his Master. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also.” (John15:19-20)

      “Where do wars and fighting among you come from? Do they not come of your lusts that war in your members? You lust, and have not: you kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: you fight and war yet you have not, because you ask not. You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may consume it upon your lusts. You adulterers and adulteresses, don’t you know that friendship with the world is to be at enmity with The Only True GOD? Therefore whoever will be a friend of the world is the enemy of The Only True GOD.” (James 4:1-4)

      “The world cannot hate you; but the world hates Me, because I testify that the works of this world are evil.” (John 7:7)” and “The Messiah gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of The Only True God, Our Father.”(Gal 1:4)

      The Messiah testified: “If the world hates you know that it hated Me before it hated you.”(John 5:18) Truly, Truly, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone: but if it die it brings forth much fruit. He that loves his life in this world shall lose it; and he that hates his life in this world shall have it unto life eternal.” (John 12:24-25)

      John testified: “Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hates you.” (I John 3:13) “ James testified, “Whoever would be a friend of this world is the enemy of GOD”(James4:4)

      "Come Out of her, MY people"!

      Global warming, polluted air, land and waters, toxic wastes, sexual perversion, evil inventions of destruction, greed, hate, carnal warfare, dis-ease(no-peace),,etc,, are all destructive processes that have their root in “the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life” all of which fuel the fires of mankind’s “imag”ination ;-(

      "Come out from among them and be separate"!

      Peace, in spite of the dis-ease(no-peace) that is of this world and it's systems of religion, for "the WHOLE(not just a portion) world is under the control of the evil one" indeed and Truth......

      Truth IS, a lie never was and is not.......

      Abide in Truth....... francis

    • vector7 profile image


      10 years ago

      I pray to God each day for a guidance to His will and to help me understand and serve Him better to please Him.

      You are an answer to many of my prayers and He teaches me through you. Thank you, and may God bless you for your humble service.


    • Woman Of Courage profile image

      Woman Of Courage 

      10 years ago

      Great hub! You are right. No one has all the truth. Thanks for sharing. God bless you!

    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      10 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Thank you always exploring, you also state some truths that need telling, and thanks to you also Becky, your encouragement is appreciated.


    • Becky Puetz profile image


      10 years ago from Oklahoma

      First of all, let me thank you for sharing this Holy Spirit inspired work.

      You are right on target in stating that "Christ never started a 'church' as we know it, the church was His body of believers, individuals who joined together in unity to carry His name to the nations and to obey what Christ commanded, not what man devised from His commandments." The true church was His body of believers and still is.

      You have stated so many truths in this article, things that needed to be declared and clarified.

      God bless you in perseverance of the truth.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      10 years ago from Southern Illinois

      This is a wonderful hub, full of questions and answers. I hesitate to call myself Christian. I am a born again believer in God and his Son Jesus Christ. At one time i thought the word Christian meant a person who had gone to a church, went forward, asked for forgiveness and was 'saved, then baptized in water, and i did all of that. I soon found that all who enter a building to worship, ( The people the world calls Christians ) all believe their way is the right and only true way, they do not follow the Golden Rule. Multi million dollar churches are the norm, yet people are starving and the poor live just down the street. When poeple begin to act in the way God teaches and get greed out of the buildings of which they attend, then we can say in a clear voice we are God's people. We are to love all people, that's what i read from God's word, so much hate is spewed toward people just because they are different.

      I leave judgement up to God. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to express my belief.

    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      10 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Mickey, Dave and Cari, I thank you all for your kind words, this hub was written months ago, but needed a secularist forum post to release it!

    • Cari Jean profile image

      Cari Jean 

      10 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      Fantastic hub - LOTS to think about. Especially liked your line "No one has all the truth, but all the truth is there to see, if you obey Christs commands and not the desires of men."

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 

      10 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      Brother John: Up and awesome! You spell it out in absolutely no uncertain terms what Christianity is and how one enters into it. Thank you.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      10 years ago

      Yo aguasilver!~ You know my faith as a Christian means taking up that cross of the Golden Rule and lifting up all of God's people. Our law to "follow" Jesus is to pick that flag up and walk with it above the American flag and any other. Without the enforcing of that law we remain as a world on its way to destruction. God bless!

    • rpalulis profile image


      10 years ago from NY

      When it's all been said and done- Amen! there is, only one thing that matters. Thanks for adding this video I absolutely love that song. Excellent hub on what makes one a Christian. Voted up and awesome. - Rob

    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      10 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Thanks Will, glad you can appreciate it and agree.

    • WillStarr profile image


      10 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Beautifully done and voted that way.

    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      10 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Thank you Brie, and Samson. I liked the video also, really pleasant huh!

    • samsons1 profile image


      10 years ago from Tennessee

      up and beautiful! Well written and informative. "They were first called Christians at Antioch..." The things the disciples did and the way they acted made them 'Christ like'. Where as today many want to 'label' themselves as Christian, but their actions don't show they've ever met the Saviour.


    • Brie Hoffman profile image

      Brie Hoffman 

      10 years ago from Manhattan

      Wonderful article and I love the video at the end.


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