15 “Beware of the false prophets! They come to you wearing sheep’s clothing, but underneath they are hungry wolves! 16 You will recognize them by their fruit. Can people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every healthy tree produces good fruit, but a poor tree produces bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, or a poor tree good fruit. 19 Any tree that does not produce good fruit is cut down and thrown in the fire! 20 So you will recognize them by their fruit." Matthew 7:15-20 CJB
Do you identify yourself as Christian? What does it mean to you? Better yet, what does it mean to others? Let's talk about it.
Identifying As A Christian
I find it difficult to identify as a Christian because it doesn't mean the same thing to everybody. Technically, it means "follower of Christ," which means it should be applied to someone who follows the teachings of the Messiah. However, many people claim the title without following the teachings of Christ—a large number of Christian get their sole teachings from a pastor not the scriptures and therefore don't actually know the teachings of Christ. Yet still, even for those of following the teachings, there are many things people disagree on which means following the teachings of Christ can look different. The person hearing me identify as a Christian defines what he/she believes that means and that may or may not be what I mean.
By The Fruit
Matthew 7 tells us a true prophet is known by the fruit; this applies to disciples too. Anyone can call themselves a Christian but it is the fruit of the Spirit that proves us to be His. My grandfather used to say "let the deeds I've done speak for me." That's how I identify: "let the fruit I bear, speak for me."