What Are The Attributes Of Being A Christian?
“Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.” (1st Peter 4:16)
In a personal evaluation, see how your life as a Christian line up with the Word of God, as we explore the attributes of being a Christian. Some of the attributes of a Christian can be found in Romans 12:9-21. The Word of God declares that a Christian loves freely and without hypocrisy. He loves his neighbor and even his enemy with brotherly kindness. In a willful act, a Christian gives food and drink to those who may hunger or thirst, without reservation.
They are very dedicated in meeting the needs of other Christians and hospitable to strangers. It is common for the Christian to honor others above himself. A Christian serves the Lord with diligence and fervency, always rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation and faithful in prayer. He blesses those who persecute him and never curses. The Christian is so tenderhearted that he rejoices with others and weeps with those who mourn. A Christian is a humble and harmonious creature, who is not prideful or conceited. Although a Christian loves everyone, he hates that which is evil and adhered to that which is good. He never repays evil for evil and set to live peaceably with all mankind. He is not revengeful, but rest in the assurance that God avenges.
There are numerous scriptures throughout the Bible that offer other attributes of a Christian. In exploring some of the others, continue to compare the Scriptures’ list of attributes with your own characteristics. You will discover where you fall short in being the Christian God has called you to be. Through studying these Scriptures, you will learn how you can improve your walk with the Lord, enhance your relationships with others and be all you can be in Christendom.
A Christian does not waver in faith, for in James 1:8 states that a double minded man is unstable in all of his ways. He is faithful to the principles of God and committed to his beliefs. There is an understanding that various trials come to strengthen his faith, which also produces patience (James 1:2-4). For he knows, faith without works is dead
(James 2:17) and without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrew 11:6). Christians are full of wisdom, for they know God gives it liberally to those who ask (James 1:5) and to those who are good in His sight (Ecclesiastes 2:26). Wisdom teaches him how to be swift to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath (James 1:19) and how to endure temptation (James 1:12). He is a doer of the Word of God and not just a hearer. He remembers all that he has heard and applies it to his own life. Because of this, he is blessed in what he does (James 1:22-25).
Voluntary submission to a spouse, to authority and to God is preeminent in the life of a Christian. They show reverence to those in leadership and esteem those over them (1st Thessalonians 5:13). They give honor and respect to their parents and their elders. They do not provoke their children to wrath, but bring them in the training and admonition of the Lord. (Ephesians 5:22 – 6:4). Christians are not men-pleasers, but God-pleasers. It is their sincere desire to do the will of God (Ephesians 6:5-6). Obedience is an absolute with the Christian, for he is aware that it will bring him prosperity (Isaiah 1:19; Deuteronomy 28:1-14).
It is the characteristic of Christian to present himself as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God for he knows that this is his reasonable service (Romans 12:1). He does not practice sexual immorality; render lewdness, idolatry, sorcery (astrology, horoscope and fortune telling), contention, hatred, jealousies, heresies, selfish ambitions, envy, drunkenness (alcohol or drugs) or murders (Galatians 5:19-21). “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of
you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not passion of lust, like the Gentiles [heathen] who do not know God…For God did not call us to uncleanness, but holiness. Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit” (1st Thessalonians 4:3-8).
The Christian lives life according to the fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23 and they walk after the Spirit and not according to the flesh. They are spiritual minded (Romans 8:4-6) and mortify the deeds of the flesh (Romans 8:13). Perfect peace is always with them because they keep their minds stay on the Lord (Isaiah 26:3). “…Aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing” (1st Thessalonians 4:11-12).
Finally, Christians are not lovers of the world, nor the things of the world (1st John 2:15). They are hated foes of Satan, because of their testimony of Jesus Christ (Revelation 12:17), but beloved friends of Jesus Christ for they keep His commandments (John 15:14). It is my prayer that you may succeed in living up to the attributes of a Christian. If you have compared yourself with this list and fell short; do not worry, ask God for forgiveness and strive to do better. Pray and ask the Father to deliver you from those things that are contrary to His word and teach you how to achieve those characteristics you lack. Remember, Jesus said, “If you ask anything in my name, I will do it” (John 14:14).
What Does God Expects Of A Christian?
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people:
that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into
his marvelous light.” (1st Peter 2:9)
First and foremost, a Christian must recognize that s/he was predestinated in Christ before the foundations of the world. The Lord tells Jeremiah in verse 1:5 that He knew him before he was formed in the belly. This indicates that at least our souls existed with God in the beginning, which also means that our souls will exist in the end. According to Isaiah 46:10, God knows the end at the beginning, in fact He “declared the end from the beginning.” The Apostle Paul informs us that God predestined every Believer to be conformed to the image of Christ in Romans 8:29. God also reveals in Ephesians 1 that He chose and predestined us, Christ redeemed us and the Holy Spirit sealed us, making us total and complete in our calling, with an inheritance. Paul continues that we were not only predestined but we were also called, justified and glorified (Romans 8:30).
Let us examine our call to ministry and the expectation of the Christian, uncovered in 2nd Peter 1:3-11. In this Second Epistle of Peter, he gives precise instructions to making one’s calling and election sure so s/he will never fall (v.10). There are seven things Peter asserts must be added to one’s faith, recognizing primarily that one must have faith first. Faith is the root of the Christians life and without faith it is impossible to please God. If these seven things are demonstrated in a Christian according to verse 8 they will achieve prolific knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, which provides a well-rounded fruitful life as a Christian. First, one must add virtue to his faith. Although
virtue in a pure sense is difficult to be attained by man, Christians are to pattern themselves and life after the characteristics of Jesus Christ. Secondly, a Christian must add knowledge to his faith. Paul points out very poignantly that we must stu
dy to show ourselves approved unto God, being not ashamed, but rightly dividing the word of truth (2nd Timothy 2:15). Knowledge is obtained through committing oneself to learning God’s word and understanding the truth. Temperance, being self-controlled is the third thing that must be added to a Christian’s faith. Being able to control one’s emotions and not one’s emotions controlling them provides strength and courage to a Christian’s character. The book of Romans in chapter 8 reminds a Believer, that the deeds of flesh must be mortified daily.
The next thing that must be added to a Christian’s faith is perseverance. We are encouraged by the writer of Galatians 6:9 to be not weary in well doing, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Godliness is the fifth thing one must add to his faith, being constantly aware of God’s presents, knowing His supreme desires and expectations of every Christian and adhering to His commandments. Godliness is closely connected with the sixth thing that must be added to faith, brotherly kindness. Jesus commanded in John 15:12 that we are to love one another as He has loved us and Paul repeated this in Romans 12:10, “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another…” Finally, Peter instructs that a Christian must add to his faith charity (love). Once again, Jesus commands that first Christians must love the Lord their God with all of their heart, soul and mind, which is the first and great commandment. Secondly Christians are instructed to love their neighbor as themselves,
Matthew 22:37-38. Also, in 1st Corinthians 12:13 the scripture declares that charity is even greater than faith and hope.
These seven things that a Christian must add to his faith are reasonable and obtainable expectations. If God did not believe we could achieve them, then He would not expect them of us. We must always remember that there is a standard in Christendom. A Christian is expected to carry himself in a manner that is opposite of the world. We must very diligently follow the principles that are provided in the Scriptures for spiritual growth and abundant living. God expects every believer to be obedient to His commands, for as richly explained in Deuteronomy 28:1-14, that Christians will be blessed for their obedience. The final 54 verses explain the curses disobedience will bring upon the rebellious.
As we examine in another area of the Bible where expectations of Christians are located, we travel to the book of Ephesians. Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus is divided into two sections. The first three chapters focus on the blessings Christians enjoy, and the final three chapters outline what God expects of Christians in light of what He has already done for them. God expects Christians to keep the unity of the Spirit; affirming that there is one body, one hope of their calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism and one God and Father of all. He expects the Christian to use his abilities for the benefit of the church, by building it up and edifying each member. There are the expectations of growth and maturity.
Christians are expected to put away old sinful ways, be filled with the Holy Spirit and permit Him to guide them through life. God expects Christians to speak honestly and purely and be imitators of Him. He expects Christians to walk in love, be submissive to one another and have marriages that honor Him. There are also the expectations of honoring God in the Christian household and demonstrating integrity in the workplace. Finally, God expects Christians to be diligent in finding what is acceptable to the Lord and stand strong against the forces of evil.
The blessings that God has given to the Christian surpasses the expectations He has of them. God has provided so much to the life of the Christian, that He guarantees that if they meet His commands, He will not only fulfill ever promise He has made, but He will even grant their hearts’ desires (Psalms 37:4). In God, every Believer has an eternal inheritance in the kingdom. It is really up to the Christian whether or not they chose to meet God’s expectation and receive that which He has stored up for them.