Someone would usually answer the above question with, “Someone who has been baptized,” but the proper answer runs deeper. There are five characteristics of a genuine Christian.
First, one who has life in Christ (John 6:37). We were alienated from the life of God (Ephesians 2:1), but now we are by faith engrafted into it. Through obeying Him who is the “bread of life,” life has been imparted, a new creature formed, and a partaker of the divine nature born.
Second, one who has fellowship with Christ (1 John 1:3). This fellowship is sweet because there is intense love on both sides. “Lord, to whom can we go?” (John 6:68). There is none on earth the newborn soul desires besides Him. “If Thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence” (Exodus 33:15). Jesus exhorted, “Abide in Me” (John 15:4). Abiding in Him depends on keeping His commandments (v. 10) and walking in the light (1 John 1:7).
Third, one who has all resources in Christ (Colossians 2:9-10). All the fulness of the Godhead is in Him, and the Christian is in Him. Abiding in Christ we receive all the fulness of Him who is our life, strength, and power. We possess the unsearchable riches of Christ (Ephesians 3:8).
Fourth, one who works for Christ (2 Corinthians 6:1). God is the One “… whose I am, and whom I serve” (Acts 27:23). It is my privilege to work for Christ because I belong to Him and live for Him. This is the more excellent way: God working in us “both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). We are truly delivered to truly serve.
Fifth, one who spends eternity with Christ (John 17:24). This great privilege is promised in John 14:3, prayed for in John 17:24, and realized in Revelation 5:9. Our fitness to be with Him will be our likeness to Him (1 John 3:2). What an indescribable blessing it will be to exist forever with the Lord (Revelation 22:5)!
Are you a Christian? Do these attributes appeal to you? If they do and you have not responded to the call of the gospel (2 Thessalonians 2:14), then act on your opportunity!