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Christian = Christ within The Church, The Bride of Christ We are the Bride of Christ. Ephesians 1:22-23 God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself. This means that His headship over all things is assumed and held for the benefit of the Church and is directed toward His purpose for her. We have underestimated the supreme importance of the Church in God's economy. She is the center and motive of all His activity from all eternity. He does nothing solely for His own sake. She is included as a full partner in all His plans. The Church is His Body, the fullness of Him that fills all things everywhere. He is not full or complete wihout His Church which is His Body. This is true only because of God's voluntary self-limitation. In the absolute, God is wholly self-sufficient. He needs nothing and can be served by no one. Yet He has chosen voluntarily to limit Himself in order that the Church may become His judicial equal. It is true that the body cannot function without the head. It is just as true that the Head, by His own choice, cannot function without the Body. Both are equally important to the accomplishment of His plan. The one purpose of the universe from all eternity is the production and preparation of an Eternal Companion for the Son, called The Bride, the Lamb's wife. Since she is to share the throne of the universe with her Divine Lover and Lord as a judicial equal, she must be trained, educated, and prepared for her queenly role. Revelation 3:21 Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne. Because the crown is only for the conqueror, the Church (later to be the Bride) must learn the art of spiritual warfare, of overcoming evil forces in preparation for her assumption of the throne following the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. The Church, through her resurrection and ascension with Christ, is already legally on the throne. Through the use of her weapons of prayer and faith, she holds in this present moment the balance of power in world affairs. In spite of all of her lamentable weaknesses, appalling failures, and indefensible shortcomings, the Church is the mightiest force for civilization and enlightened social consciousness in the world today. The only force that is contesting Satan's total rule in human affairs is the Church of the Living God. Matt. 5:13-14.....Ye are the salt of the earth.....Ye are the light of the world.
To get a comprehensive answer to the question "What is a Christian", we have to go to the scriptures. The Bible says that Christians are to follow the footsteps of Jesus closely, 1 Peter 2:21. Jesus was an adept believer in and a preacher of the scriptures. He based all his actions and teaching on the scriptures. We learn from Matthew 4:17 that Jesus began his ministry by saying these words: Repent, for the kingdom of the heavens has drawn near. The gospel accounts show that the kingdom of God was the main theme of his teaching and preaching. "And when it was day, he departed and went into a desert place: and the people sought him...and stayed him, that he should not depart from them. And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent... (Luke 4:42 -44 KJV). "And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching...the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him" (Luke 8:1 KJV). "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God". (John 3:3) "But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. (Mark 10:14) And, Jesus stated that the theme of the preaching of his disciples will be about the kingdom of God: "And this good news of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world...and then will come the end" (Matthew 24:14 AMP). "To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs...and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God" (Acts 1:3 KJV) Jesus' apostles followed the example of Jesus in this regard: "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized..." (Acts 8:12 KJV) "And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God."(Acts 19:8) "And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him...to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets..." (Acts 28:23) "And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him" (Acts 28:30-31). The scriptures, therefore, teach us that a true follower of Jesus, that is, a Christian, must be: 1. a believer of the good news of the kingdom of God. 2. A preacher/teacher of the good news 3. Someone who lives his life now in tandem with the requirements of the kingdom of God. In other words, a true Chrisrian must follow what Jesus said in John 3:16 and John 17:3. Finally, a Chrisrian must understand and accept what the bible teaches about the kingdom of God! 1. " And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed...., but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever" (Daniel 2:44). 2. "I saw in the night visions...one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting..(Dan 7:13-14) 3. "And the seventh angel sounded...saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever (Rev 11:15) "For unto us a child is born..and the government shall be upon his shoulder...."(ISAIAH 9:6-7 The kingdom under Jesus as Head will rule over the earth, Rev 5:9-10, bringing peace, justice. It is this kingdom that will cause God's purpose for man and the earth to be fulfilled.
A Christian or believer is one who has accepted the righteousness of God by faith in Christ. One who is accounted righteous before God by faith alone in the finished work of Christ given by God as a free gift. Ephesians 2:8-10 A Christian is one who has been born in to the family of God by faith in Christ that we have his righteousness and our sins can no longer be imputed to us. Romans 4:1-8 A Christian is one whose sins have all been paid for by faith in Christ. A Christian has eternal life by faith in Christ alone without works. A Christian has the holy spirit living in them which is our perfect righteousness. A Christian is one who believes in the all sufficiency of Christ to save sinners through the blood of Christ as our eternal sacrifice for all sin. A Christian is one who loves Jesus for what He has done to save us sinners and shows that love to others. A Christian does what he does because he loves God for what He has done. Believers or Christians are the elect of God by faith in Christ alone. It is the free gift of salvation that saves us and keeps us saved so that our salvation always rests on Christ finished work on the cross and not on anything we do or do not do. Christians are believers in the word of God in that it is the only truth we have. But most of all it is our faith in Christ that gives us the holy spirit of promise so that we will saved from hell and go to heaven because of what Christ has done for us. John 6:37-40
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