Who Do These Christians Think They Are?
When someone wants to know something about you, they might ask “who are you?” When someone is angry and wants to challenge you, they’re more likely to say something along the lines of “who do you think you are?” The implied message here is “how dare you?” and “what makes you think you’re so great?”
All words have a dictionary definition (denotation), but also have other meaning (connotation). The connotation is the surrounding stuff, the ideas and feelings that we have in association with the word.
Some people have really deep negative feelings toward church and Christianity. The words alone bring up strong emotion and powerful memories. If you’ve been burned by bad experiences, or grew up in a family with views hostile to the church or Bible, then you’ve perhaps asked the question that is the title of this blog.
But I think it’s time to clear the air. Who do these Christians think they are?
First, we recognize truly who we are, and that’s a humbling experience. To come to God, we have to know that we are in a wretched condition because of our sins, and can do nothing about it by ourselves. We aren’t sitting back gloating in our perfection. We are rejoicing that our sins have been washed away (Romans 6:4).
Second, we give credit where credit is due. It’s not a false pretense when we say things like “if God wills” or “I’m grateful for my blessings”. We know that everything good comes from God, and we just want to honor Him by making that clear (James 1:17).
Third, this amazing thing called redemption is what we rely on, not ourselves. This isn’t some kind of acting. We can’t just sweep sin under the rug. And sin is still a thing we struggle with. But you see the difference is that we are redeemed, and if we have the blood of Christ, and walk in the light (and return when we’ve gone away), we are saved. It doesn’t mean that we live these perfect lives. It means that Christ’s perfection is taking care of that (Ephesians 5:8).
Fourth, yes, there are hypocrites, but don’t let that stop you from eternity in heaven. I’d encourage you to read Matthew 13:24-30. Jesus talked about wheat and tares. Tares are plants that look like wheat for a while as they are growing, but are really just weeds. The point I want to emphasize from the parable is that it all gets sorted out by God at judgment. Just because people are in a building doesn’t mean they are right with God, but just because there are hypocrites in the building doesn’t mean you shouldn’t come to God with a whole heart and end up in heaven.
So who do these Christians think they are? Well, we’re the broken, the humbled, the repentant, the determined, the imperfect human gathering of redeemed, healed, blessed, and restored people of God.
Please don’t let this world or old ideas stop you from seeking God. Come and see. Open His Word. You can be welcomed in the body of Christ.