Summary: How do you define a "Christian"?
ROMANS 8:9You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.
12Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.
How do you define the word "Christian"? What is it that makes you look at someone you don’t know or you’ve never even met that make you say "I bet that guy is a Christian"? Haven’t you ever done that? I do quite often; even people on TV. Is it something they say that influences you or is it jus that maybe your Spirit is bearing witness with theirs? A lot of people "say" they are Christian, but thru certain circumstances or problems they get themselves into, it doesn’t show them to be Christ-followers.
The Super Bowl winning coach of the Colts Tony Dungee comes to mind. He displays a lot of class and always gives thanks to God before anyone else. Tom Landry is one who comes to mind. We still remember his life as being a good example.
On the other hand there are the guys that talk the talk, but things happen that prove they weren’t exactly where they should have been with God. How many tel-evangelists have fallen? I won’t put pictures here or even mention names. You know who they are, and God knows who they are. But my point is this.....they all "talked the talked" and called themselves Christian. What happened?
We use all the correct terms, don’t we? "I am a friend of God. God is my Father. I am a child of the King, an heir to the throne. We are His children." We ALL want to be those things! But how does God describe a child of God? That’s what the criteria will be....it’s not what you and I think is the definition of a Christian, but it is God’s definition that will be the only one that matters.
So let’s take time to see what God calls a Christian, not what we call ourselves.
ROM 8:9You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.
Basically, our text is Paul talking about sin and the control (or lack of) that it has over our lives. Some folks think that we just "have" to sin, don’t they? They make excuses for sin in their lives even BEFORE they sin. "Preach’a.....I’m only human..... Preach’a...there was only one perfect man that walked on this earth." OK, that one’s true...but both of these statements, while true, can also be used as an excuse to sin.
Look at vs 10.....sin is dead, but your spirit is ALIVE! And you all know how I love vs 11....that same spirit...that resurrection spirit that raised Christ from the dead....lives in us! How great is that? But look back at vs 9... if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ So I see here that to be called a Christian, I must have the Spirit of Christ. Do you have the Spirit of Christ living in you? Can people see it? Does it show? Does your spirit bear witness to Gods?
By the way, what does that mean, anyway? Well...do people know that you’re a christian even before you tell them? Do you even tell them? Or, are you ashamed to tell folks that you are a christian? Jesus said if you are ashamed of Him......