What Does It Mean to Be a Real Christian?

What does it mean to be a "real Christian?" Does it mean obeying all scriptural laws? Does it mean being perfect, like Jesus was? Does it mean you can't make any mistakes? If that's the case, then being a "real Christian" means that you have to be Jesus -- period. Nobody can fill His shoes. We all fall short, and it says so in the Bible. We are flawed through and through, which is why we should be dependent on Him. The word "independent" should be flung into the waste basket. To be DEPENDENT on Him means that we trust in God enough to be reassured that He will guide us. And of course, it's up to us to keep constant communication with Him, even when we fall short, again and again and again.

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not just seven times, but seventy-seven times! --Matthew 18:22

Many people feel like their lives are just way too messy to even consider themselves a Christian. They can't be a Christian living whatever lifestyle they do. It's impossible. YES! It's impossible to be perfect, but it's possible to lay all of your cares onto God -- to trust Him in your worst circumstances -- in your worst stained sins. He is there to heal, restore and forgive. Humans are flawed, which is why Jesus died for us on the cross.

Christ took our punishment. Why can't people understand that?

"But now God has won us a different way of being right in His sight--not by obeying the law but by the way promised in the Scriptures long ago. We are made right in God's sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done. -----BAM!

For all have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious standard. Yet now God in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty. He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins. For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and satisfy God's anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed His blood, sacrificing His life for us. God was being entirely fair and just when He did not punish those who sinned in former times. And He is entirely fair and just in this present time when He declares sinners to be right in His sight because they believe in Jesus." --Romans 4:21-26

You do not have to act all "holier than thou" in order to be a true Christian. All you need to do is trust God with all your heart and communicate with Him as much as you can. My life has changed so much after I gave my life to Jesus. I trust him 100%  -- like that trust game, where if you fall back to see if your friend will catch you or if they'll let you fall to the ground? Jesus will always catch you. Always. Life isn't meant to be perfect, neither is being human. We're meant to make mistakes, we're meant to be flawed. There isn't one perfect Christian out there.

To be a "real Christian" is to be a real human being relying on Jesus. We're not supposed to BE Jesus. Our goal is to treat others the way Jesus would've treated them as best as humanly as possible. We all struggle with some kind of sin or cross to bear. We're not perfect.

This next scripture is about all of us who struggle with being a "real Christian."

"The law is good, then. The trouble is not with the law but with me, because I am sold into slavery, with sin as my master. I don't understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate. I know perfectly well that what I am doing is wrong, and my bad conscience shows that I agree that the law is good. But I can't help myself, because it is sin inside me that makes me do these evil things.

I know that I am rotten through and through so far as my old sinful nature is concerned. No matter which way I turn, I can't make myself do right. I want to, but I can't. When I want to do good, I don't. And when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway. But if I am doing what I don't want to do, I am not really the one doing it; the sin within me is doing it.

It seems to be a fact of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God's law with all my heart. But there is another law at work within me that is at war with my mind. This law wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God's law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin." --Romans7:14-25

There is a spiritual warfare going on that some people toss aside as some kinda 'crazy talk' -- and that's okay. But I take it very seriously, because whether you believe in God or not -- the constant struggle between good vs. evil is there. And just because the evil side won out inside of a "good person" means that the war is just that more intense. When a Christian sins, they automatically feel guilt and most likely, will draw further away from God due to their conscience. That's what Satan wants you to do -- to turn away from God. But if you ever feel guilty about your sin, RUN to God and keep closer to Him. Guilt, resentment, fear, depression, anger, non-forgiveness are not of God -- these are emotions that are only from the devil.

And when you feel too weak and tired to battle against your "sin" -- then remember, "My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness." -- Corinthians 12:9

Some people will say that because you're not "obeying God's laws" that you are not a "real Christian."

Wrong. The law was abolished once Jesus died on the cross for us.

"So we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be accepted by God because of our faith in Christ--and not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be saved by obeying the law." --Galatians 2:16

You will not get a ticket into heaven if all you do is "good deeds." Some good deeds come with an agenda, or an evil attempt. It's about your faith.

Continuing with Galatians:
But what if we seek to be made right with God through faith in Christ and then find out that we are still sinners? Has Christ led us into sin? Of course not! rather, I make myself guilty if I rebuild the old system I already tore down.

*For when I tried to keep the law, I realized I could never earn God's approval.*

So I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ. I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. So I live my life in this early body by trusting the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not one of those who treats the grace of God as meaningless.

For if we could be saved by keeping the law, then there was no need for Christ to die." --Galatians 2:15-21

I wrote that out in parts so you can see how important it is to know that the law will not save you. It's only through your own faith as a struggling Christian that will save you -- an "imperfect Christian" -- which as a result, is a "real Christian." In my opinion and experience, if someone is displaying a "holier than thou" type of behavior, or they are seemingly perfect -- something's brewing. That's only through what I have experienced from witnessing people, all people, who are flawed. Do you know how refreshing it is to sit with someone who is absolutely batsh*t crazy and seemingly sinful and still say, "I LOVE JESUS?" I smile when I see people like this. I absolutely love people who are not ashamed of their imperfections as a human, but most of all, not ashamed to say they love God.

Of course, there are times when people will test you in your walk with God by stating that you're not a "real Christian," just because you stood up for something that was wrong. "Oh you're judgmental and not a real Christian." Wrong. Sometimes, there isn't a need to point out the wrongs of others, but if someone is out to hurt another person and you stand up for them, that's what I call being a "real Christian" is. Fight the good fight and never lose hope that God is on your side. The things that are called out as the 7 Deadly Sins are marked as "sins" that can definitely affect your life in a negative way.

The Seven Deadly Sins

  1. Lust
  2. Gluttony
  3. Greed
  4. Sloth
  5. Wrath
  6. Envy
  7. Pride 
Let's be fair, we've all did the tango with at least one or two of these sins. Some of us are still struggling with some of them, and that's OK -- the term "deadly" only speaks about how unhealthy overall it is to be addicted to these kinds of things. 

Lust: It can be easily tempted. It can come in all forms of sexual pleasure. But the types of lust spoken about in the Bible are forms of the unhealthy nature of lust -- the promiscuity that can bring someone down with sickness, whether in mind or body. So, in turn, it's "deadly."

Gluttony: The habitual greed or excess in eating. This even means hoarding food in various definitions of this word.  Of course this has many risks: cancer, heart problems and diabetes, which can all be "deadly." Who hasn't taken seconds from time to time?

Greed: It's funny how greed and gluttony are pretty similar. It's the desire for wealth, power or food. Maya Angelou said it perfectly. She said, "I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back." When all you are doing is living life in the means to gain something, you will find that your life will soar downhill. Greed has been the ruins of many, and most have failed because they weren't able to give back. It wasn't in their character. Many greedy corporate bigwigs were thrown in the slammer or thrown out in the streets because everyone found out how corrupt they were.

Sloth: This is the avoidance of physical or spiritual work. It's when you do absolutely nothing for anyone but yourself. It's pure laziness. It's lackluster for a life that God gave to you. This can be confused with depression and overall mental health. Sloth is the desire for ease, even at the expense of doing the known will of God. It's the sluggishness of the mind which neglects to begin good, so it oppresses people to draw away entirely from doing good deeds or helping other people.

Wrath: To be short-tempered, angry, resentful, to seek out revenge -- this isn't only unhealthy for your mental state, but it's detrimental for your physical well-being. Have you ever heard somebody say, "Stop! Calm down -- you're gonna have a stroke!" This is very true. It creates high blood pressure, stress, heart issues, and the list goes on. It especially attracts cancer due to blockages. You can Google that on your own. Most cancers are caused by the extreme stress, anger, rage -- it clenches up your entire body creating cells that generate themselves into cancer. So, in turn, this is absolutely deadly.

Envy: The feeling of discontent or resentful longing aroused by someone else's possessions, qualities, or luck. Did you notice that the word "resentful" ties into this, which is also related to wrath. Refer to wrath to see how deadly this emotion can be.

Pride: The Sin of Pride is said by some to the the foremost of the Seven Deadly Sins. Hubris {pride} is the gateway through all other sin enters the mortal soul. Pride is excessive belief in one's own abilities, that interferes with the individual's recognition of the grace of God. It has been called the sin from which all others arise. Pride is also known as "vanity." This is not to be confused with self-love -- a non-conceited type of respect for yourself. When you're prideful, you may feel more superior than God, which is in turn, deadly.

When you rejoice over somebody else's struggles, you are wishing ill will on them. To wish ill will on someone is absolutely evil. It's a deep seated often unexplainable desire to see another person suffer terribly. It's a bitter persistent hatred that is likely to be expressed in malicious conduct (a look of dark malevolence). Ill will implies a feeling of antipathy of limited duration (ill will provoked by a careless remark). spite implies petty feelings of envy and resentment that are often expressed in small harassments (petty insults inspired by spite). Malignity implies deep passion and relentlessness (a life consumed by motiveless malignity). Spleen suggests the wrathful release of latent spite or persistent malice (venting his spleen against politicians). Grudge implies a harbored feeling of resentment or ill will that seeks satisfaction (never one to harbor a grudge).

Have you met this person?

If you have met someone like this, pray for them. They need help. We all need help in various ways, but this type of person will not only wish harm on you, but sometimes, they wish harm onto themselves. And that's how the devil works. With enough bad intent on other people, will come bad intent on yourself. It's just a law -- not an opinion. Hatred for somebody else, is only hatred for yourself. It's Psychology 101. And if all you display is bitterness, wrath, vengeance and greed -- you will receive that in turn. When all of your greed and self-absorbed 'gluttony' of your deep desires trumps (yes I said "trumps) all people of different kinds, especially those who cannot make wise decisions, then you will be defeated by your own hatred.

When you are called out for being a "fake Christian" by someone who hates themselves deeply, just pray for that person. Wish them well. As it says in the Bible, "Pray for your enemies." Some would say, "Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer," which would mean "seek revenge and watch diligently."

I will leave you with these last scriptures...

Romans 12:17-21 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Matthew 5:38-39 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Mark 11:25 And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

Luke 6:27 “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.

Love one another guys!

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