What makes a true Christian? Sometimes it is hard to tell!
People calling themselves Christian worship in any number of different ways — from very formal to very informal, with classical music to contemporary music to Christian rap to no music at all, celebrating communion at every worship service or every first Sunday or once a quarter or even almost never.
People calling themselves Christian have very different political persuasions, from far right to far left and everything in between, from believing that religion should have nothing to do with politics to believing religion should have everything to do with politics.
Some people calling themselves Christian focus their energies on “winning souls,” while other people calling themselves Christian focus their energies on relieving human suffering.
So in the midst of all these differences what does make a true Christian? Or is there no such thing?
I believe a true Christian does worship — in whatever fashion. A true Christian lives out the faith in the real world — which means faith will have something to say about politics. A true Christian cares about people’s bodies and their souls. But the defining characteristic of true Christians — however they worship, whatever they think about politics, however they choose to show love their neighbors … the defining characteristic of true Christians is this: knowing for a fact that they are not master of their own lives.
True Christians know that all they are and all they have comes by grace. They know they must look outside themselves for wisdom and direction. They know that personal value is not earned or won, but is bestowed, a gift from God thanks to the obedience and sacrifice of Jesus.
True Christians are humble, recognizing the very real limits of their own wisdom and power. True Christians know they belong to God by God’s choice. True Christians spend much of their time saying “Thank you!”