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Christian, evangelical

As I was considering this week a thought to ponder, I was reminded of something I heard said the other day. Words have meanings in spite of what some are doing today as they change the meaning of a word to suit a particular need or position. I found that statement very true because I have been saying the same thing for a long time. Words are defined as to mean a particular thought or idea. The purpose is so that we can communicate with one another in conveying our thoughts and observations.

In many ways it is not only the definition of words but also the way things are even explained. Today we find words given a meaning that is not consistent with the original definition. So I am a person who considers a word to say what it means and means what it says.

Does that mean that everyone will agree? Certainly not but that is the prerogative for one to be wrong. To be clear, this is a very common occurrence in every part of life. In the home, the work place, society and yes even in the church.

There are two words which we can use to describe what is happening today and they are Christian and evangelical. The Merriman-Webster Dictionary defines these words as follows:

Christian (n) one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ

Evangelical (n) one holding evangelical principles or belonging to an evangelical party or church.

I am a Christian and an evangelical and these definitions certainly would and could be used to describe who I am. Yet, they can also be used when describing someone who might think they are a Christian and even evangelical but are not. They meet the definition for Merriman-Webster but a Christian and an evangelical from a Biblical perspective is more. More that is not simply expressed or aligned with a belief in the teaching of Jesus Christ. More than holding to principles or membership.

In order to fulfill what it is to be a Christian and an evangelical, there is more that is required. You see most world religions give recognition as to Jesus Christ and His existence. Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism to name just a few each recognize Jesus in some way and with some differing as to His attributes and accomplishments.

In order to focus and truly know who a Christian and evangelical are, it is imperative that one look to the Bible. God’s Holy Word in which He spoke through His own words as in Old Testament declarations. Then through His own Holy Spirit to men to convey His direction and encouragement to man as we see in the New Testament.

In order to be a Christian and then to be an evangelical is to be saved. As Paul said through the leading of the Holy Spirit to the church in Rome. In Romans 10:9 NKJV-

that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Is that hard? Does it require something that is beyond our ability? No, it is simply faith. We have been watching The Chosen series. I have found it very encouraging, although not perfectly Biblical. The reason is there is much we don't know because the Bible does not address it so we are left to consider what might have occured in a certain sitituation or time. Yet, there are so many times when we can know exactly what happened and why.

Matthew, Mark and Luke all record the encounter of the woman who has an issue with with blood. Matthew 9:20-22 NKJV tells us-

20 And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment.

21 For she said to herself, “If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.”

22 But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, “Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And the woman was made well from that hour.

Jesus also says, “Your faith has made you well,” to a leper He had healed in Luke 17:19 and a blind beggar in Luke 18:42. Other times Jesus links faith and healing without using the exact words, “Your faith has made you well,” such as in Matthew 8:13 and 15:28.

In just these few examples, we learn a very poignant and important lesson about how God works so that we may be saved. It is through faith and Hebrews 11:1 begins the Hall of Fame of Faith when it says-

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

It is noted that Biblical faith takes present-day possession of things not yet seen with our eyes but hoped for in the future. What God has revealed in His Word becomes our inner reality today. Rather than looking at life with our earthly eyes, faith sees through the lens of God’s promises as stated by

Simply professing belief in Jesus Christ teachings, as many do, does not make them a Christian. It is the faith that a person has in Jesus Christ expressed and acted upon in order that they as Paul said-

that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

So what about you? Are you a true Christian? If not, please take seriously these thoughts today and do as Paul said through faith.

In God’s Grace,

Elbert Nasworthy

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