incmedia.org

Christian Media: Where Truth Meets You

Characteristics of a True Christian

How does one become a true christian according to the Bible and what are the benefits of being in Christ?

 

Characteristics of a True Christian

[02:54] Why is it important to find out what the Bible really says on how to identify a true Christian?

  • [03:32] – Is being a true Christian connected with one’s services being acceptable to God and obtaining eternal life or salvation?
  • [05:58] – What specific steps or actions must be taken by anyone who wants eternal life, and that a person has to take first to become a true Christian in the sight of God?
    • [07:05] – What did the Lord Jesus Christ say about those who receive or fulfill all of these elements or steps?
  • [08:26] – Can people just listen to any preacher to become a true Christian?
  • [10:55] – What is the true baptism that will lead people to becoming true Christians?
  • [12:13] – How is true baptism done, according to the Bible?
    • [12:32] – For those who received the true baptism, do they belong to a multitude of religions and are now considered true Christians?
  • [15:09] – Are true Christians gathered into many churches as other people believe? 
  • [18:47] – Is it true that one just needs to believe in order to be saved?
  • [20:47] – Does the Bible permit denominations and various divisions and strife to exist in the true Church?


[Show open]

[On-screen logo graphic]

INC International Edition

[On-screen text graphics]

Bob Pellien 

Minister of the Gospel

San Francisco, California

Brother Bob Pellien: How can one become a Christian? One quick online search, and a plethora of videos pops up, claiming to have the answers.

[On-screen text graphics]

Today’s Topic: How Can I Become a True Christian 

[Video starts – Source: Youtube/RonnieandMel] 

Ronnie: So you believe in Jesus, you want to follow God to become a Christian, but now what do you do? What’s next? 

Mel: Well, in this video, we are going to break down all the steps you need to take to begin your new life in Christ. So stay tuned. 

[Video ends] 

[Video starts – Source: Youtube/GotQuestionsMinistries] 

Voiceover: How can I become a Christian? Receive Jesus as your Savior. Fully accepting His death as the sufficient sacrifice for your sins. Fully trusting Him alone as your Savior. 

[On-screen text graphics] 

How can I become a Christian? 

Receive Jesus as your Savior

Accept His death as the sacrifice for your sins

Trust Him alone

John 3:16, John 14:6; Acts 4:12

[Video ends] 

[Video starts – Source: Youtube/10MinuteBibleHour] 

Matt: How does somebody become a Christian? It’s as simple as giving it to my eight-year-old and saying, “take that stick and that string and point it at fish, and it’ll work out.” Because to be a Christian, that is to follow Jesus. That’s it. 

[Video ends]

Brother Bob: So, is it really that simple? Get tips online from some random people and take their word for it, like we saw in those video clips? 

Today, we’ll take a close look at how to become a true Christian according to the Bible. And find out also what being a true Christian really is, and what it is not. One opinion that’s most popular is, “Just follow Jesus.” But, has that individual that we saw in the video clip a moment ago, considered that to follow Jesus includes following His instructions? Can anyone say that they’re a follower of Jesus if, in fact, they reject or refuse to follow His commands? Like His instructions in John chapter 10, verse 9, where He instructs all who want to be saved to enter in through Him, into the sheepfold or the flock? Enter into His body, which is the Church, according to Colossians 1:18. And then His apostles identified that Church as the Church Of Christ, written in Acts 20:28. 

So, dear friends, if anyone wants to be a true Christian, what needs to be done? What’s the first thing that they must do? I’m Bob Pellien, and we’ll answer this and much more, right here, on this episode of the Iglesia Ni Cristo International Edition. 

And joining us in this week’s discussion is brother Dexter Manglicmot in Washington, D.C.

[On-screen text graphics]

Dexter Manglicmot

Minister of the Gospel

Washington, D.C.

Brother Bob:  Brother LJ Ricardo there in Washington State, 

[On-screen text graphics]

LJ Ricardo

Minister of the Gospel 

Seattle, Washington

Brother Bob: As well as brother Reuel Del Rosario in New York 

[On-screen text graphics]

Reuel Del Rosario

Minister of the Gospel

New York City, New York

Brother Bob: Brothers, welcome to our discussion, and thank you for being with us.

Brother Dexter Manglicmot: Good day, everyone 

Brother LJ Ricardo: Hello, brother Bob, it’s  good to be back 

Brother Reuel Del Rosario: Hello, brother Bob 

Brother Bob: Brothers, why is it truly such an important conversation to have in the first place – the conversation wherein we have to find out what the Bible really says and how to identify a true Christian? Why [does] so much importance need to be put on that, Brother LJ?

Brother LJ: Well, brother Bob, it is very important, because as we’ve seen in these videos, everyone seems to have their own opinion, their own idea. And, you know, in terms of what is important, what really matters is not our own opinion, but what our Almighty God actually has to say about the subject.

Brother Bob: Right. But first, let’s find out: is being a true Christian, is it connected at all with one’s services being acceptable to God and obtaining eternal life or salvation?

Brother LJ: Oh, yes, it does. Brother Bob.

Brother Bob: Why is that, Brother LJ? Why? What’s that connection?

Brother LJ:  Well, we could read that here in the Holy Scriptures, what our Almighty God inspired the apostle Paul to write in 1 Timothy 2:3-4:

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 

who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 

[1 Timothy 2:3-4 New King James Version]

Brother LJ: So clearly, Brother Bob, it is God Himself who wants everyone to be saved. But you see, salvation is connected, first, to those that come to the knowledge of the truth – those who have accepted what the Bible has taught. So, yes, it is important to have this discussion, so that we can find out the biblical truth about who are true Christians.

Brother Reuel: Exactly, Brother LJ, because so many people nowadays might be confused about this subject. Others already thinking that because they believe in Christ, that they are already a true Christian. Others because they do good works, or others because of their own ideas or opinions, they believe and they feel in their hearts that they are a true Christian.

Brother Dexter: And we see that many people today, they place a high value in going after their own desires and wants, upholding their own opinions. But when it comes to religion, well, for many people that’s low on their list of priorities. However, the value of becoming a true Christian, how to become a true Christian, and all such topics connected to that are of great value, because it leads one to being saved.

Brother Bob: There you have it, dear friends, the value of knowing the truth is important. Why? Because it has a direct connection to obtaining eternal life. What’s more important than that? [Obtaining] eternal life on the upcoming Day of Judgment. 

So then, dear friends, let’s take a look now, what specific steps or actions must be taken by anyone who wants eternal life? Actions that a person has to take first to become a true Christian in the sight of God? Brother Reuel, well, what does everyone need to do?

Brother Reuel: Those steps, Brother Bob, were outlined by our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself. And we can read that here in the Book of Mark 16:15-16:

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 

[Mark 16:15-16 New King James Version]

Brother Reuel: So first, the Lord Jesus Christ mentioned in these verses that we have just read, that hearing the gospel preached is also important—believing in that gospel and receiving the true baptism. What did the Lord Jesus Christ say about those who receive or fulfill all of these elements or steps? The Lord Jesus Christ guaranteed, he will be saved. 

Brother LJ: Well, of course. Well, no one wants to be condemned or punished. So what do many people decide to do? Well, they decide to just proclaim that they are Christian. They decide to just join or attend to any religious organization. And some, just listen to any preacher that’s simply holding the Bible.

Brother Dexter: And you know, Brother, LJ, that’s exactly what we see here in the Washington D.C. area. Many are convinced that they would be a Christian if they attend any Christian-professing religion and follow their own beliefs. It’s a sort of a spiritual free-for-all.

Brother Bob: But wait a minute, brothers. Someone believing like that might say something like this:  “Well, didn’t Jesus mention in the verses that you just read a moment ago, that one needs to believe the preaching of the gospel, then undergo a baptism?” Maybe they would say, “Well, that’s, that’s exactly what I have already done!” That’s what many people are doing, in fact, inside various Christian-professing religions. Right, Brother LJ?

Brother LJ: Well, Brother Bob, they’re missing an important part. What they fail to understand is that they can’t just listen to any preacher. They can’t just listen to anything that they want, but rather, if they really want to become a true Christian, well, they have to listen to what the Bible teaches.

Brother Bob: Wait a minute. What do you mean? What are you saying? What do they have to listen to?

Brother LJ: Well, Brother Bob, allow the Apostle Paul to explain. Here, in Romans 10:14-15:

How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? 

[Romans 10:14-15 New King James Version]

Brother LJ: So, notice in the verses that we read, one can’t just listen to any preacher. Because if they do that, you know, it won’t bring them to be considered as a true Christian. That is why, dear friends, here inside the Church Of Christ, we give great importance to the biblical doctrine concerning the Messenger of our Almighty God, Brother Felix Y. Manalo, which we’ve already discussed in our previous Bible-based programs.

Brother Bob: For full episodes regarding the value of the Messenger that Brother LJ just mentioned, Brother Felix Y. Manalo, go to incmedia.org. There you can see, scroll to the bottom of the page, and there you’re going to find the various programs. Click on this program, the Iglesia Ni Cristo International Edition, the INC International Edition, and you’re going to see, there, the many programs presenting to you the biblical proof, referring to the Messenger of God in these last days. 

So, brothers, the next step mentioned there by our Lord Jesus Christ was about a baptism, wasn’t it, Brother Dexter?

Brother Dexter: That’s right, Brother Bob. And some of our viewers who might be either Catholics, or Baptist, Born Again, what have you – they might say that they also perform baptisms in different ways before one could be considered a member of that particular religious organization.

Brother Bob: That’s really true. Many of them do that. There are some who think like that. But, so far, we’ve learned that it’s not just claiming that we’re Christian, of course. Why? Because, well, there’s a lot of pretenders out there, right? But rather, a person needs to first hear the true gospel taught by the true messengers sent, then believe that truth, and then receive the true baptism. All those elements are required, isn’t it?

Brother Dexter: Yes! And Brother Bob, it’s very clear what you’re trying to emphasize there. The keyword there, Brother Bob, is “true.”

Brother Bob: Why is the word “true” so important, Brother Dexter? Why are we both emphasizing that?

Brother Dexter:  Well, because all Christian-professing religions that practice baptism, well, they have their different ways, or modes, or means, format of baptizing. You could see some though, they’re going to sprinkle a bit of water or pour a small amount of water over the head of the one to be baptized, whether it be an infant, or the one that wants to be a member of their religion.

[12:32]

Brother Bob: Yes, there are so many ways that baptisms are conducted in the world, right? Brother Reuel, will those that undergo the true biblical baptism, however — which is by full immersion into water, because it’s signifying a death and a burial of our former life, it’s described all throughout the chapter of the book of Romans, all throughout chapter 6 — would that be a baptism into a multitude of religions? And then all of them are considered true Christians who have undergone any of those kinds of baptisms? Is that how that works?

Brother Reuel: Oh, no way, brother Bob! Because the Bible is very, very clear about that point. And that point could be read in the book of 1 Corinthians, the chapter is 12, and the verse is 13, and it says: 

Each of us is a part of the one body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But the Holy Spirit has fitted us all together into one body. We have been baptized into Christ’s body by the one Spirit, and have all been given that same Holy Spirit. 

[I Corinthians 12:13 The Living Bible]

Brother Reuel: And so, brother Bob, it is very clear to each and every one of us that anyone who wants to be saved must be baptized into one body. Apostle Paul didn’t mention many bodies, but only one body.

Brother Dexter: Exactly. And it is important again to point out, dear brothers, what that one body into which all must be baptized is. Because no one can just jump to their own conclusion about that point, because it’s very important.

[14:05] 

Brother Bob: Very true, Brother Dexter. So well, what is that one body into which all people must be baptized?

Brother Dexter: Well, it is identified here in the Bible, in Colossians 1:18. This is what the Apostle Paul mentioned: 

And He is the head of the body, the church, …

[Colossians 1:18 New King James Version]

Brother Dexter: So, everyone must be baptized into the one true Church. The Church, according to what we’ve read, is the body of our Lord Jesus Christ. The body is the Church. That is why it’s only fitting, the Church that is belonging to Christ, that is His body is called the Church Of Christ. And we could actually read that in Acts 20:28, where it reads that the Church Of Christ was purchased by the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. So, true Christians are gathered into only one Church, not many, which is none other than the Church written in the Bible, the Church Of Christ.

Brother Bob: But, Brother Dexter, brothers, there are many who believe that ideology you mentioned. Let’s take a look.

[Video starts]

[On-screen text graphics]

Check Out

“The Picky Eater Approach To Bible Study”

A New Short From Crossway!

Do christians have to join a church?

Man: Well, Christians don’t have to join a church in order to be saved, in order to be loved by God and forgiven of our sins. 

[Video ends]

Brother Bob: It’s really true, right? There are many preachers even teaching people that idea that they don’t need to belong in a particular church to be a Christian. But even if they do belong to a church – and there are many Christian-professing organizations, that’s for sure, with differing doctrines, differing practices, differing faith, and belief, and baptism – and they just adhere to fulfilling their own desires, their own opinions. Is that what it means to be a Christian? That, and other important questions like that, will be answered, right here, as the Iglesia Ni Cristo International Edition continues.

[On-screen logo graphic]

INC International Edition

Brother Bob: Welcome back, everyone! As we continue this important discussion on how one can be considered by the Bible as a true Christian

[On-screen text graphics] 

Today’s Topic: How Can I Become a True Christian

Brother Bob: If you recall, dear friends, we discussed earlier already, that true Christians are gathered in the one body of Christ, or the one true Church Of Christ. But, brothers, can one just have their own belief about Christ and have their faith in Him and not have to join a church? As was mentioned in the previous clip, we don’t need to be a part of any church. He said, [we are] considered already part of the Church Of Christ just by believing in Christ. 

Brothers, let me read to you and to our viewers, this prevailing view of mainstream Protestantism. Here’s a quote from a Protestant authority. Well we call him an authority, he’s a Protestant author, let’s say that, by the name of Albert J. Sanders, who writes much about Protestantism. He wrote a book entitled, “Our Protestant Faith.”

[On-screen text graphics]

Our Protestant Faith

Albert J. Sanders

“It is the belief of the Protestants and “Born Again Christians” that all people who believe in Christ and accept Him as Lord and Savior are included in the true Church of Christ regardless of what denomination or church they belong to.” 

Brother Bob: So dear friends, brothers, even more than this one author, let’s take also a look at this video clip.

[Video starts – Source: Youtube/One Reality] 

[On-screen text graphics] 

BELIEVE ON JESUS AND BE SAVED? 

Man 1: It is commonly taught that if you believe in Jesus, that you will be saved.

Man 2: All it takes for you to accept Jesus Christ is simple faith. It doesn’t take works. It’s not about doing anything. But rather, it is simply believing.

Man 3: John 3:16, for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. And everlasting means everlasting, it means forever.

Man 4: What salvation requires that you believe is that you must believe instead of working for this salvation. That He has done what needs to be done, we receive it.

[Video ends]

Brother LJ: And what we just watched is a very common thinking: that one just needs to believe in order to be saved. But if we were to consult the Bible, that is far from the case, the Bible already proves that to be not true.

Brother Bob: That’s correct, Brother LJ, but how is it proven?

Brother LJ: Well, brother Bob, the Bible describes the important characteristics of the one body of our Lord Jesus Christ or the Church Of Christ. And what are some examples? Apostle Paul describes, here, in Ephesians chapter 4, verse 4 to 6: 

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. 

[Ephesians 4:4-6 New King James Version]

Brother LJ: So, several times in the verses that we read, if you notice, Apostle Paul uses the word “one.” Like what Apostle Paul made mention, there is only “one faith,” so,  it’s not many, and like what Apostle Paul said, “one baptism” and not many.

Brother Reuel: Yes, Brother LJ and brothers. That singularity of doctrine – faith, baptism, when Apostle Paul mentioned, one Lord, one God. That kind of absolute unity does not match the mistaken concept that people have nowadays, who try to say that all these different Christian religions or churches are all the same. They are different in all of these elements, therefore, simply different from the Bible’s true Christian model.

Brother Dexter: And as we have already proven, Brother Bob, it is not just claiming to be Christian on our own.

Brother Bob: Yes, okay, brothers. But can it also be, many would say, can it also be that by accepting Jesus as one’s personal Savior, which we all know is taught by so many preachers nowadays and mentioned by the Protestant author that we quoted from earlier – Brother Reuel, what would be the danger? Or would it really be such a bad thing to permit denominations in these various divisions and strife to exist and then still call it Christianity? Could a person participating or agreeing with such division still be, even be considered a Christian at all, then?

Brother Reuel: Brother Bob, may our viewers deeply consider that very question. But first, after hearing what the Apostle James said, written in the Book of James, the chapter is  3:14-16, here is what he said: 

But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. 

[James 3:14-16 King James Version]

Brother Reuel: So, Brother Bob, how could they be considered Christian, when what they’re doing is devilish? Believing in what the Bible calls as, “not from above, but earthly, sensual, and devilish.” Or something emanating from the devil, who is the enemy of our Almighty God.

Brother Bob: That’s why, dear friends, we’re all inviting you [to] join us here, inside the true Church Of Christ. Learn for yourself what it means to be part of the one body of Christ, what it means to be a true Christian. Let’s take a look at this short video of people who have made that decision to do so already. They’ve decided to leave their denominations and divided religious organizations. They’ve left them after realizing they were not being led to salvation. Take a look.

[Video starts]

[On-screen logo graphic]

Get To Know Us

Faye Taylor: One thing that I can say about the Church Of Christ is that the things that you will learn and how to deal with your everyday life is phenomenal because God comes through. It may not be when you want, it may not be what and how you feel it should be, but you will be taken care of. 

Minister: … as the very word of God—which, of course, it was—and it changed your lives when you believed it. 

Tawanda Cochrane: In the Church Of Christ, you actually feel the presence of God.

Peter Kaisara: I knew it because I felt peace in my heart. I felt that God actually showed me the true Church.

Todd Brown: And looking at my life ahead, having God’s promise and having God’s guidance—I’m humbled to have it and I’m grateful that I do.

Narrator: When was the last time you walked out of your church feeling this way? Or lately, does it feel like you walk out more lost, confused, and wondering if you should even keep attending?

Tawanda Cochrane: When I was in the Baptist church, I’m just waiting for the next person to go, “Hallelujah!” Then that’s like a distraction. 

Marda Debnam: I didn’t know that I wasn’t worshiping properly. When I went to different services, whether it was Jehovah Witness, Methodist, other Baptist churches, it just didn’t feel right.

Todd Brown: When I went through that period, I felt I didn’t need a church. It was because of my experience and interaction with churches. It wasn’t necessarily a rebelliousness or I was trying to turn away from God. It was just that a lot of religions didn’t really practice what they preach or there will be hypocrisies in their way of living.

Narrator: Maybe up to now you’ve ignored these feelings, and perhaps you’ve attended the same type of church all your life. So you wouldn’t even know where else to go. All you do know is you don’t want to give up on God. You’re not alone. There is a way to serve God the way the Bible wants you to.

Peter Kaisara: When I started studying the Bible in the Church Of Christ, that really shocked my system. And I said to myself, I was doing all these things the wrong way, worshiping God, praying to God.

Marda Debnam: You realize the way you’re supposed to serve God, and the way you’re supposed to follow, then you have that assurance of salvation, assuming that you follow all those commandments.

Todd Brown: This Church is consistent—it’s consistent in its belief, it’s consistent in its teachings.

Faye Taylor: My first experience at the Bible study, with the minister reading from the Bible, was authenticity. It wasn’t forced. He was reading straight from the Bible.

Tawanda Cochrane: At the Bible study lesson, the true Church, I listened to that and I was like, I need to be a part of the true Church.

Narrator: So what about you? If you’re looking for a church that offers more than just “hallelujahs” on Sundays or a church that doesn’t just fill a tradition you’ve always followed. Or perhaps a church that isn’t just trying to entertain you, but will actually guide you to your salvation.

Faye Taylor: For anybody that’s looking to come to a Bible study, just listen. And I can guarantee you, whatever you hear, you can relate it to somewhere in your life, and see the honesty and the truth in it.

Todd Brown: The reason I would encourage people to give the Church Of Christ a chance and listen is two-part: a) Your salvation depends on it. And b) It doesn’t cost you anything. If you give something a chance, either you gain from it, or your life remains unchanged. So if there’s a gain to be had, why wouldn’t you pursue it?

Narrator: If you’ve been looking for the Church that serves God exactly the way the Bible says you should, maybe it’s time to give the Iglesia Ni Cristo, Church Of Christ a chance.

Narrator: Join us for a worship service this week and discover if this is the Church you’ve been looking for.

[On-screen text graphics]

Join Us For A Worship Service This Week

incmedia.org/study-with-us

[Video ends]

Brother Bob: Dear friends, we truly hope that you also can experience this kind of enlightenment and see the change in your life, here, in the Iglesia Ni Cristo, Church Of Christ. Learn more about the Iglesia Ni Cristo, Church Of Christ. Sign up for Bible studies with us and you will be amazed at what you will learn. 

Well, we’d like to thank Brother Reuel Del Rosario in New York, Brother LJ Ricardo in Washington State and Brother Dexter Manglicmot in Washington D.C., for giving us Bible-based answers so that as the Apostle Peter said to the members of the Church, you will be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you are living the way you are. That’s a quote from 1 Peter 3:15. 

Well, dear friends, that does it for us here on the INC International Edition for today. We hope you’ll join us again next time. I’m Brother Bob Pellien, and thanks for watching. But as we come to the end of our program, as always, we invite you to join us for a short prayer.

Brother Reuel: Our Almighty and loving Father in heaven, we are so thankful to You loving God for this day. mYou have allowed all of us, including our viewers, to hear and receive Your teachings, which we believe will lead all of us to the day of our salvation. May what our viewers heard this day be an inspiration to each and every one of them, and may they be also inspired, loving Father, to learn more about the Church Of Christ, so that in this way, they may be with us and be united with us as we serve and worship Your Holy Name. 

Our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon You, thank you so much, dear Lord, for allowing us to have this program. May it be that always, Lord Jesus, we live in accordance to Your will, and in this way as well, we may receive the promise of everlasting life. 

Almighty God, as we continue to pray to you, may you bless the Church Administration as they continue leading each and every one of us until the day of our perfection. We believe, loving Father, that you heard our humble prayer, for we ask all of these things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

[On-screen logo graphic]

INC Media Services

© All Rights Reserved 2022

Available downloads

Characteristics of a True Christian