There are many matters concerning which total ignorance and complete indifference are neither tragic nor fatal. I am sure that there are few of us who can explain all the processes by which a brown cow eats green grass and gives white milk – but we can still enjoy the milk! Many of us are totally ignorant of Einstein’s theory of relativity, and if we were pressed to explain it we would really be in difficulty. And not only are we ignorant of Einstein’s theory but most of us are quite indifferent; yet our ignorance and indifference are neither tragic nor fatal.
There are some matters, however, concerning which ignorance and indifference are both tragic and fatal. One such matter is the answer to the question, “What is a biblical Christian?” In other words, according to the Scriptures, when does a man, woman, boy or girl have the right to the name “Christian”?
One must not make the assumption lightly that he or she is a true Christian. A false conclusion at this point is tragic and fatal. Therefore I want to set before you four strands of the Bible’s answer to the question, “What is a biblical Christian?”
1. According to the Bible, a Christian is a person who has faced realistically the problem of his own personal sin. The apostle Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 1:15, “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.”
2. A biblical Christian is one who has seriously considered the one divine remedy for sin. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
3. A biblical Christian is one who has wholeheartedly complied with the terms of obtaining God’s provision for sin. What are the divine terms for obtaining the divine provision? We must repent, and we must believe in Jesus. We must not think that repentance is ever divorced from faith or that faith is every divorced from repentance. True faith is permeated with repentance and true repentance is permeated with faith.
4. A biblical Christian is a person who manifests in his life that his claims to repentance and faith are real. Paul preached that men should repent and turn to God and do works consistent with repentance (Acts 26:20).
By Albert N. Martin