Thank God the two words that framed the topic are not strange to us, as they are both everyday words, used especially in the present state of the country and even the world as a whole.
A day will not pass without talking about Christian(s) or Christianity, either to be criticised or oppressed, faced with the weapon of words or war.
Weapon is an instrument used in every part of the world, as Nigeria is not exempted. We receive reports often of how the weapon is used against people because of who they are, where they live, what they want and even who they profess to serve. That is the extent to which weapons can be used against humanity. But this writing is aimed at giving clarity of who a Christian is and a distinction between a Christian weapon and the weapon used against the peace of humanity.
Who is a Christian?
A Christian, according to the English Dictionary, is an individual who seeks to live his or her life according to the principles and values taught by Jesus Christ. The English Dictionary has helped us to simplify the personality of a Christian. The second definition from the same source states that a Christian is a believer in Christianity. Very concise description, that’s why we will need to evaluate it better by using the latter to complement the former.
A believer in Christianity then is one who seeks to live his or her life according to the principles and values taught by Jesus Christ. Do you know there’s no place the Bible defines specifically who a Christian is? But interestingly, the Scripture gave us enormous pieces that witness to each other a clear picture of who a Christian is. And it’s great too, to have academic or secular writing attesting to the Scripture. We will be elucidating on the above definition given by the English Dictionary and the Scripture simultaneously.
A Christian must be a believer: Being a Christian is not by birth nor is it conferred through genetic traits neither through spiritual impartation. It is an individual, intentional decision to accept the Lordship of Jesus Christ, that is; Living according to the principles and values taught by Jesus Christ. It simply means SALVATION First! A man cannot be void of salvation and claim to be a Christian or believer! Salvation is the identity you bear to be approved of the name Christian.
Salvation is not a mere event that happened to you once in your lifetime. Rather, it is a conscious experiential knowledge of acknowledging and accepting what Christ had done on the cross of Calvary. John 3:16 does not just drive you into emotional and dramatic threats of going to hell if you do not accept Christ. Rather, you understand the essence of Jesus Christ, Who left His Kingdom in heaven because of His Love to save man from perishing, due to the Adamic nature man bears and the consequences of sin. ‘Everyone has sinned and is far away from God’s saving presence’ Romans 3:23. Salvation then brings us into the understanding of the efficacy of His blood that was shed to give us life and reinstate us to the Kingdom of God, where we could be called His Children – that is a CHRISTIAN! The core value of Christ is the experience of Salvation! “But by the free gift of God’s grace, all are put right with him through Christ Jesus who set them free” Romans 3:24
The Rt. Rev. Dr. Isaac I. Oluyamo, JP, is the Bishop of Ijesa North Diocese, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)
TO BE CONTINUED.