There needs to be a biblical clarification of a true Christian since this title is so loosely used these days by, Mormons, Catholics, Jehovah Witnesses, Conservatives, Liberals, Modernists, progressives, Masons, Shriners, New Age (Christ conscience), 7th Day Adventists, Sinners, you name it.
According to the Holy Scriptures there is only one voice that speaks the truth about Christianity, Jesus Christ the Messiah. All true followers (disciples) of Jesus speak the same thing he does. All other voices that proclaim to speak for Christianity are either another gospel, another Jesus, or another spirit. Jesus said in John 14:6, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If I may use the words of Adam Clarke commentary on this verse:
I am the Way - That leads so the Father: - the Truth that teaches the knowledge of God, and directs in the way: - the Life that animates all those who seek and serve him, and which is to be enjoyed eternally at the end of the way.
Christ is the Way:
He is the Truth:
He is the Life, both in grace and glory; the life that not only saves from death, but also destroys it. No man cometh unto the Father - By any other doctrine, by any other merit, or by any other intercession than mine.
Which brings me to my point and main comment: Who are "true Christians"? Many who are said to be Christians or call themselves Christians, or answer to the name of Christians are not “truly” Christians? Let’s look to the Holy Scriptures for this most important answer for the Word of God has the answer to every question.
The Word of God says:
2Timothy 3:16-17: All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
2Peter 1:20-21: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
The first mention of Christian in the scriptures is found in Acts 11:26; and when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
In the original Greek it is: Christianos; that is follower of Christ: a disciple (pupil).
In order to follow Jesus Christ in His Kingdom a person MUST be born-again. Jesus said except a man is born-again he cannot see the kingdom of God. Being born again is a supernatural act performed by the Spirit of God. This takes place when a person submits to the drawing of the Holy Spirit, repent (turn from sin) and believe the gospel of Jesus Christ confess it with there mouth believe it in their heart, begin to rely on, trust in and have faith in the Lord God from then on.
This born-again Christian now relies on the Holy Spirit to teach and guide him/her in all truth as they begin to renounce self-dependence, and selfish pursuits; they deny themselves for the Gospel sake. They actually imitate Christ, being transformed to his image in word and deeds. Jesus declared that those who do the will of His Father, which is in heaven, are His.
Mark 8:34: And when he had called the people unto Him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Luke 9:23: And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
Luke 14:27: And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
The “truly” born-again Christians follows Jesus who said: Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. We live by the laws of God kingdom not this earthly kingdom. We love our enemy even to our own detriment even death. We love our brothers (these are those who do the will of the Father); we love our neighbors (who ever they may be). We bless them which persecute us, we bless and curse not, we recompense to no man evil for evil, we provide things honest in the sight of all men, we avenge not ourselves, but rather give place unto wrath, if our enemy hunger we feed him; if he thirst we give him drink, we overcome evil with good.
“True” Christians look for a city, which hath foundations, whose builder, and maker is God. Now being fully persuaded to be a doer of the word of God by literally doing what Jesus said do.
There are many that confess to be Christians throughout history and even down to the present day that engaged in bloody wars of conquest, slavery, the Holocaust and cruel exploitation of the poor. The truth is they are not followers of the Jesus Christ of the Holy Scriptures. They are not” true” Christians they are hypocrites (pretenders) whom Jesus refers to in Matthew 7:21-23: Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works?
This earthly kingdom is not ours the same as it was not our Lord Jesus Christ when He walked this earth. Jesus utmost concerns were not political and economical issues during His ministry here on earth and shouldn't be ours either. His concern was His everlasting kingdom being established and manifested to his subjects now whereby we may by His grace and tender mercies serve Him here and forevermore. Our duty is to pray for those in authority of this earthly kingdom regardless of who they are: that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this [is] good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour. The Sovereign God gives kingdoms to even the abase of men for His Sovereign purpose. The Holy Scriptures declare that God is the origin of power, and the supreme Governor of the universe, he delegates authority to whomsoever he will; and though in many cases the governor himself may not be of God.
We that are "truly" born-again are to take up our cross daily fulfill the great commission. Preach the gospel in order that some men would repent, believe and be saved from an eternal hellfire. Be a doer of the WORDS of Jesus looking for and awaiting the new heaven and new earth. As we go forth we always keep in mind that the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us, which are saved, it is the power of God. We preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
Beware of those who claim to be Christians but follow another Jesus, another spirit, and another gospel as the Apostle Paul was referring to in 2 Corinthians11: 4.
By, William Taylor Sr.