Last week I wrote an article about Love and Compassion being the hallmarks of a "True" Religion. I also noted that there is also a distinction between "True" and "False" followers of these religions. Now I will discuss this idea as it pertains to Christianity.
We then need to ask what it means to be a "True" Christian. Christianity is a religion based on the life and death of Jesus Christ. This is detailed in four different Gospels within the Bible. My answer to this question then is fairly simple. To be a "True" Christian is to follow the example that was set forth through the life and death of Jesus.
While this answer is simple, becoming what we have defined to be a "True" Christian is not. In fact, it is a very daunting task. In Romans chapter three, Paul writes that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
This presents a major problem. If being a "True" Christian requires that we live a life by Christ's example then we must remain perfectly blameless in God's sight just as Christ was. But at the same time we have all sinned and failed to live up to Christ's example.
Now, I must make an important distinction before I continue. Although we have all sinned, this does not mean we are never "True" Christians. I see it like this: there are times when people act like Christ and are very much "True" Christians and there are times when they sin and fall short of that title. So it is not impossible to be a "True" Christian, it is simply impossible to be one in your entirety.
So then our next question arises from this: if none can live up to the example of Christ, then who can be saved?
But Jesus said in Matthew chapter nineteen that "with man this is impossible but with God all things are possible." And just so, God has made it possible for us to be "True" Christians.
Then how has He done this?
To find the answer to that, we return to what Christianity is based on. I said this was the life and death of Christ. We have already said that Jesus's life set the example for a "True" Christian, but how then does His death play a role?
We know that we are saved by grace alone and not by works. This means that no matter what we do or what we believe, the grace of God has saved us. But in order to do this, He had to remove our sin from us. In the Old Testament, this was done by sacrificing unblemished animals for each sin. Likewise, God sent Jesus, who was through his life unblemished and without sin, to die and take our sin away.
So, although we cannot hope to live as "True" Christians in the entirety of our lives because of sin, every time we sin and step away from that, the grace of God through Christ removes that sin and returns us to being sinless and "True."