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It’s Possible To Be A Good Or A Bad Christian

For some, the title of this post may seem odd. After all, the word “Christian” is a positive word. It’s how we identify followers of Christ. It follows that a Christian’s behavior will be Christ-like. Therefore if you’re Christian you must be good. That’s why we get halos, isn’t it? No, that isn’t necessarily the case. One does not become a Christian by adhering to godly rules of behavior. The word Christian was first used in a church to describe those who were followers of Christ Acts 11:26. A person is not a follower of Jesus because he or she chooses to emulate Jesus’ behavior. No one is good enough to successfully do that Ephesians 2:8-9. Rather, a Christian is one who believes in Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection as the payment for one’s personal sins 1 Corinthians 15:3-4. It’s true that becoming a Christian changes you.
  • Your sins are forgiven Colossians 1:14.
  • You are a new creation 2 Corinthians 5:17.
  • You have the Spirit of God Romans 8:9 and Jesus Colossians 1:27 living within you.
There are many more things that could be added to this list. Your faith in Jesus has had an impact on you. On the other hand becoming a Christian doesn’t guarantee that you will live a morally pure life. You may still be a good or bad Christian. Anyone who is a Christian already knows this by experience. Here are some verses that support this.
  • Anyone who says he doesn’t have an inclination to sin is deceiving himself 1 John 1:8.
  • Anyone who says he doesn’t sin makes God a liar 1 John 1:10.
  • God has told us what to do to be forgiven when we sin 1 John 1:9.
  • Jesus is our advocate, defending us before the Father when we sin 1 John 2:1-2
So Christians sin. Since it’s understood and even assumed that Christians still sin, what then is a “bad Christian?” It’s not simply someone who sins. [Tweet "A bad Christian is one who consistently disregards the biblical standards for Christ-followers."] It’s one who knows what is right to do in God’s eyes but intentionally and consistently rejects it. It’s possible to be a Christian and blatantly not show it in your behavior. Here’s what Paul told the church at Corinth to do about people like that.

“But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother [is a Christian] if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.” 1 Corinthians 5:11

The terms above, sexual immorality, greed, etc., are broad and can include just about any sin. Is there an area of your life where you aren’t acting like Christ and you know it but you refuse to confess it or seek God’s help to stop? Then you’re a bad Christian. The good news is that to go from bad Christian to good Christian takes but a moment. Humble yourself, confess your sin. God will forgive you, smile upon you. You’re back on track! Don’t give up. God hasn’t given up on you. What do you think? I'd love to hear from you below.

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Ward Cushman

My journey of faith started when I was nine years old when I realized that Jesus died and rose again to pay for my sins. At the age of thirteen I felt the call of God on my life for ministry.

I have been fortunate to work in the marketplace for over ten years and in full-time Christian ministry for over thirty years.

My passion is to teach God's Word in such a way that it is easy to understand and so that God uses it to bring about life change in those who hear it.

It is my greatest joy to see God work through me to produce fruit for His glory!