I THOUGHT you were a CHRISTIAN!
Recently I have heard people say - I thought he or she was a Christian! In times of disappointment or a confrontation people tend to say Well, I thought they were a Christian but they sure didnt act like one. I have heard that said over and over lately to the point of asking someone NOT TO SAY THAT. This devotion came out of those circumstances. We need to have an understanding of what a Christian is.
What is a Christian?
A Christian is a person who has accepted Christ into their heart- a person that was drawn by the Holy Spirit to the point of making a decision and the person said YES to Christ. At that moment of belief and acceptance according to Romans 10: 9-10 when they confessed Jesus Christ with their mouth and believed in their heart that God has raised him from the dead, they are saved. At the time of salvation, there are some things that happen that are never reversed.
The Holy spirit comes to dwell in you!
You are SEALED!!!
You are MARKED!!!
1. Read Ephesians 1 13-14 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your
salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit
guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are Gods possessionto the praise of his glory.
People that choose to follow Christ were first called Christians in Acts 11:26, 26:28 and 1 Peter 4:16. We can know this for sure once a person has chosen to follow Christ and take HIS name, they are indwelt with the Holy Spirit, sealed and marked!! You can and should never say of them I thought you were a Christian. That is a blasphemous thing to say of another believer.
What we can know is that not all Christians are at the same level of growth in their journey. You can read through the Bible and find that Christians are described as various types. For example: (read these scriptures in different versions of the Bible)
SPIRITUAL Man 1 Corinthians 2:15 The spiritual man has an insight to spiritual things. He thinks differently than the world
CARNAL Man 1 Corinthians 3 1-3 Remember that Paul is writing to Christians in this verse He is saying that they are acting
like babies, unspiritual, carnal and looking just like the world looks. (it is hard to tell this Christian from the world)
BABY - Hebrews 5 12-14 Paul is talking to Christians who have not grown up he thinks they should already be teaching and they
are still having to be fed milk. This baby has had an opportunity to move on to meat, but they have remained a baby on
milk. They are being taught over and over.
BABY- 1 Peter 2 2-3 Peter is telling Christians that when they act in evil and deceit, jealousy and slander they are acting like
babies when they should be crying out for growth in the Lord.
SPIRIT FILLED - Ephesians 5:17 This Christian lets the Spirit stimulate his soul.
FRUIT FILLED Galatians 5 22-23 The Spirit produces wonderful fruits when a Christian yields to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
So, we can see that Christians range from babies to mature world filled to spirit filled and everything in between. And, we can act like the world at times and yield to the Holy Spirit at other times. The more mature we become, the less we will yield to the world and the ways of the world. To become mature is a constant journey of being transformed by the Word of God (Romans 12 1-2) Transformation comes only from renewing the mind. It does not come from any other source. It is Gods Word (Hebrews 4-12) that can come into our inner man and change us from the inside to the outside. We can change our physical appearance, but only God can change our inner man. A baby Christian needs a time of growth to become a mature Christian.
It is the same way when we are training our young horses they start into training not knowing anything. For a trainer to take them from a green horse to a fully mature Rodeo Ready horse takes a lot of time, hauling, patience and work. It is disappointing when we get them up to maturity to have them let us down. When I was hauling War Leo Dude for the World Championship, I was in the lead for the year and the year was coming to a close. I drove all the way to Abilene, Texas to the pro rodeo there. Dude ran on the WRONG side of the second barrel. I was shocked and devastated. It cost me a lot of time and money I depended on him because he was seasoned (mature). Christians can do the same thing they can let us down, shock , disappoint and devastate us but we have to remember that like Dude was on a rodeo journey we are on a journey to Heaven. We are not perfect yet. When we mess up, we need to repent and get back on track a horse that continues to mess up is of very little value in winning a championship. A Christian that chooses to willfully sin is not much use in building the kingdom of God but they are still a Christian-indwelt with, sealed and marked with the Holy Spirit.
Next time you are tempted to say I thought he or she was a Christian, instead you can pray that they become a mature Christian that refrains from all appearances of evil and becomes salt and light to the world that lies in darkness. The world is looking for people who live what they believe.