ARE YOU JUST RELIGIOUS OR A CHRISTIAN?
Leo B. Plyer
There are many who would contend that those who are religious are Christians. This would, no doubt, be the contention of the denominational world. Even Webster’s Dictionary (which gives the meaning to words as they are commonly used), give as, one meaning, “one who believes or professes or is assumed to believe, in Jesus Christ…” Thus it is seen that the word is defined so as to embrace most all religious people. (At least in this country). However, neither the dictionary nor the belief of men establishes the will of God and it is by God’s Word that man will be saved. (Mt. 7:21).
Let us not accept what we read or hear unless it is in accord with the Bible. The Bible is the “perfect law” (Jas. 1:25), therefore we cannot rely on any source of information which disregards or contradicts God’s Word.
First, Christ did not come to call upon man to become religious, but to obey. You will recall that Saul of Tarsus and Cornelius were very religious, as were the Athenians (Acts 17:22). Yet, Christ provided a special arrangement in which a gospel preacher preached the gospel to these religious people. Thus, Saul and Cornelius, though already religious, obeyed the truth which made them Christians.
No one can be a Christian (like Christ wants him to be) who does not obey the commands of Christ. Christ was obedient (Heb. 5:8,9). Christ commands us to BELIEVE His Word, that we must REPENT and BE BAPTIZED for the remission of our sins (Acts 2:38). We are thus born into the family of God and become a Christian. ARE YOU A CHRISTIAN, OR JUST RELIGIOUS?