The word “Christian” literally means “Christ Like.” Therefore, a person who calls himself a Christian should exhibit Christ like characteristics both in their personal life as well as in the way they deal with their fellowman. Being a Christian is more than just going to Church on Sunday. It is an every day way of life. Let’s take a closer look at the characteristics of a Christian.
A “Christian” is a person who is in Christ, his sins are forgiven, and his guilt is gone. He is a new creature. In 2 Corinthians 5:17 we read, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” Christ lives within the surrendered Christian, cleansing and filling him with His Divine love. He is there to lead, guide, protect, and direct the footsteps of the Christian. He has already marked the pathway that the Christian must follow and He will give him the strength to endure all trials and to serve Him faithfully. In Philippians 4:13 we read, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
The desire of every Christian should be to act as Christ would act, to do the things that He would do, and to speak the words that He would speak. In any situation that the Christian finds himself in, he should pause and ask himself the question, “What would Christ do in this situation?” Christ is our Great Exemplar. In 1 Peter 2:21 we read, “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps.” If we would learn to follow the Master’s example, we should be triumphant in every situation that we encounter in life. We learn of Christ’s example and become more like Him by reading the Scriptures daily, praying often, and treating others with kindness and compassion.
The Christian is for Christ as a good soldier is for his country. A Christian is willing to stand up for what he believes no matter how great the adversity. He is willing to endure afflictions and persecutions for Chrsit. The Christian should be ready at all times to share his testimony with others and to give his time, talents and treasures for Him. In 1 Peter 3:15-17 we read:
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.
Here and now and forever more, the Lord is with the Christian. He has promised that He would never leave nor forsake His own. Hereafter, with Christ, there will be no burdens, no trials, no suffering. The Christian shall forever be with the Lord. In 1 Thessalonians 4:17-18 we read, “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”