Summary: This sermon seeks to define what a "real Christian" looks like as opposed to the world's definition.
When I was a kid, the Apollo missions were in the news daily. I still remember sitting in front of our little black and white TV watching Neil Armstrong take that first step onto the surface of the moon.
Having watched all of the launches, I remember a saying the astronauts would use, “all systems nominal.”
Nominal is defined as 1. Existing as something in name only: not actual or real, 2. A very small amount.
After I looked up the definition of nominal, it occurred to me that this doesn’t make much sense. However, there is a new phenomenon in America that uses this term that makes perfect sense.
The new catch phrase in Christian circles is “nominal Christian.” Christians existing as something in name only, not actual or real.
In the USA, 70% of the population claim to be Christian, but less than half of that number says that religion is important in their lives.
Having read this statistic got me to wondering; just exactly what is a Christian anyway? If 70% of our Nation is Christian, then there is something seriously wrong with our faith.
And if less than half of that number believe that religion is import in their lives, then are they really Christians?
Well, only God can answer for certain if a person does or doesn’t belong to Him, but that still leaves me with the legitimate question of “how do I define a Christian?”
According to the world, a Christian is anyone who says they are. And for that reason, the definition of a Christian in the eyes of the world is skewed and maligned on a daily basis.
There are all manner of people in the world today who openly live in every imaginable sinful lifestyle who claim to be Christians; thieves, liars, adulterers, fornicators, homosexuals, child molesters, etc. etc…
I am not saying that Christians are sinless, but what I am saying is that a true Christian would not willingly and openly continue living a life that God the Father has called sin or an abomination.
So how do we define a Christian? In its essence the term means to be Christ like.
As a Pastor and believer, I define a Christian as one who has savingly believed in Jesus as God’s Son, has repented of their sins, and confessed their faith in Jesus as their savior.
Ro 10:10 Says, “for with the heart one believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
1Jn 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Now, once this has happened, the new believer is transformed, given a new life, and is empowered by the Holy Spirit. Now the question is, what are we empowered by the Holy Spirit to do?
Well, according to Col 2:6 “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.”
So if I have received Jesus I am to walk in Him, what does that involve?
Eph 2:10 says, “For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”