I Am A Christian Because – How To Know For Sure

Finish this sentence, “I am a Christian because …” ? How would you fill in the blank?

Did you know there are many myths about what it means to be a Christian? This means that some people who believe they are Christians really are not. If that is disconcerting to you please keep reading.

The Bible answers the question, “Am I saved? Am I really a Christian?”

We can’t rely on myths and cultural standards. Our eternal future is wrapped up in knowing the truth. So let’s dive in so you can have peace of mind.

Myths about what makes you a Christian

Myths are widely held but false beliefs. Just like so many other topics, there are myths that people believe to be the truth and use to answer, “I am a Christian because ….”

Take a look at some of the myths.

  1. I grew up in a Christian family
  2. I grew up in the United States
  3. I go to church
  4. I am one of the committed church members
  5. I read the Bible
  6. I pray
  7. I repeated a “profession of faith.”
  8. I give to the poor
  9. I am a Christian artist or I sing Christian songs
  10. I am not some other faith

Does this surprise you? Truthfully, it is a shock to many people. So if these things do not make you a Christian, is there hope for any of us? YES THERE IS.

The truth about what makes you a Christian

“The only reliable evidence of a person’s being saved is not past experience of receiving Christ but a present life that reflects Christ.” (1)

Anyone can say, “I believe in Jesus.” Even the demons believe, but they are enemies of God. So obviously, there is much more to being a Christian than merely saying prescribed words.

Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 ESV

Is Jesus your way, your truth, and your life? Are you following Him?

The origin and meaning of the word “Christian”

Our word “Christian” comes from two Greek words and a Latin word. The three different words mean:

  • followers of Jesus Christ
  • anointed one 
  • belonging to, as in a slave relationship

The title “Christian” was first used in Antioch, one of the largest cities in the Roman Empire. Today Antioch is part of Turkey.

“So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch, the disciples were first called Christians” Acts 11:25-26 ESV

Christians love God and desire to serve Him and others. That is what the disciples were doing in Antioch.

They were new Christians, grateful for their hope found in Jesus Christ, anticipating eternal life in the future.

They found purpose in the company of fellow believers. In fact, being a group of devoted Christians could have cost them their lives. 

The same is true today. Christians don’t get it perfect, but that is what drives them. It hurts them when they let God down. And we know that in many parts of the world, it is dangerous to be a Christian. 

I am a Christian because …

Nowadays, the word Christian means different things to different people. Knowing the truth is an urgent need of our day. Our eternal destiny hangs in the balance.

So what about the myths listed above? Is there anything wrong with them? Absolutely not. In fact, many of them are necessary, but they do not make you a Christian. 

Anyone can go through the motions and not really love God. Often they love the praise of others and that is what motivates them. 

Answers for the myths about “I am a Christian because…” 

 So let’s tackle each myth and help answer these crucial life questions. 

 1. I am a Christian because I grew up in a Christian family

If you had this privilege thank God. At least you were introduced to God early on. But God doesn’t have any grandchildren, only children. You don’t automatically become a Christian from what your parents have done. We each must make our own profession of faith. 

 2. I am a Christian because I grew up in the United States

There once was a time when the United States was considered a “Christian Nation.” Many things have changed. But where we live does not give us a free pass to heaven. 

 3. I am a Christian because I go to church

Photo of a country church

Going to church does not make you a Christian any more than going to a soccer game makes you a soccer player. 

 4.I am a Christian because I am one of the committed church members

Surely if any of the myths make you a Christian, this would, yet you can not take it at face value. Participation means different things.

It could be that this person truly is one of the selfless church members, but looking from the outside can be deceptive without knowing their motivation. 

“For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 ESV

We can fool people, but we can’t fool God. 

 5. I am a Christian because I read the Bible

While reading the Bible is extremely important in the life of Christians, unless it changes our lives it does not make us a Christian any more than reading a user manual for a Ferrari does not make us a fancy sports car. 

 6. I am a Christian because I pray

All kinds of people pray regardless of their age, church denominations, or political preferences. Some of them love God while many others see him as a type of “Santa Clause in the sky”, hoping to get the things they want. Many people do not understand what prayer is really about

7. I am a Christian because I repeated  a “profession of faith”

A “profession of faith” is essential in becoming a Christian. But again, the motivation is important and the words are not magical. We must be committed to God.

This does not mean that we earn our way to heaven. It means that how we live proves if our past profession of faith was genuine or a lie. 

 8. I am a Christian because I give to the poor

Helping those in need is honorable. In fact, it is a Christian doctrine. 

“If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?  So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” James 2:15-17 ESV

Yes, we need to help those in need, but don’t be fooled into thinking that this act alone will get you to heaven.

Even people who do not love God give to the poor when it will benefit them personally.

 9. I am a Christian because I am a Christian artist, or I sing Christian songs

Photo of people in a crowd with their hands in the air - The may believe "I Am A Christian" because of singing spiritual songs.
Singing spiritual songs does not make you a Christian

We have seen over the years some artists who called themselves Chrisitan depart from their original roots. Then there are those in other music genres who cross over to make more sales. Singing Spiritual songs does not make you a Christian. 

10. I am a Christian because I am not some other faith

You are not a Chrisitan by default. God does not look at what you checked off for “religion” on a medical form. Your heart is what matters to Him. 

What makes you a Christian? 

Being a Christian is quite simple, though not always easy.

  • You have a realization that sin has separated you from God (1)
  • You realize that apart from Jesus Christ you can not save yourself (2)
  • You make a profession of faith. (3)
  • You are committed to love and serve God because of His mercy and grace (4)

Our desires clamor for our attention and gratification. Yet when we are Christians we no longer belong to ourselves.

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,  for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV

If you don’t know Jesus, you probably have questions. The people at Chat About Jesus have answers. You can text, call, or chat with them online any time of the day or night.

References:

  1. Ephesians: Our immeasurable blessings in Christ
  2. Isaiah 59:2, Romans 3:23, James 4:17, 1 John 1:8
  3. Romans 6:23, Isaiah 53:6, John 14:6
  4. 1 John 1:9, Romans 10:9-11
  5. Matthew 22:37, John 14:15, John 15:4-9, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
  6. If you do not have a Bible, you can look up all these Scriptures at Bible Gateway. It is free.

Be sure and also read:

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