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Opinions of Saturday, 24 March 2018

Columnist: James Quansah

70% Ghanaian Christians: Who are they?

IT is reported that 70 per cent of Ghana’s population are Christians. How true is this statistical fact? How can any man determine who a Christian really is in the true sense of the word? Clearly, the natural man cannot see far; he walks by sight and makes judgment by sight.

A Christian is not someone who is merely a member of a denomination and regularly participates in its public services and activities. Being a member of an Orthodox, Protestant, Evangelical, Pentecostal or Charismatic Church does not make anyone a genuine Christian. There are Christians and religious folks.

The way and manner people determine who a Christian is differ from God’s. People’s popular views even if they are revered spokespersons of God are sometime inaccurate. Recall how Elijah, a man many theologians call a Major Prophet, erred in presenting inaccurate statistics of Israelites who were loyal to God (1 Kings 19: 14- 18).

So who is a Christian? Simply, a Christian may be described as a person in whom the Spirit of Christ Jesus dwells and does the will of God. Now, who accurately knows the percentage of Christians in Ghana or who a true Christian is? Sometimes, people may be called Christians based on their church attendance and commitment to church activities. But people’s opinions may be correct or incorrect.

However, there are three persons whose knowledge about people’s relationship with God holds true. They know whether or not a follower of Christ Jesus is genuine and are blessed with eternal life. True Christians know it all by themselves.

If you are a genuine Christian, you know it yourself. A person may know he is a Christian if he knows who a Christian is scripturally. The Bible says every true Christian receives confirmation of their adoption by God through the Holy Spirit. We receive confirmation of Christ’s abiding presence in our hearts.

“For his Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we are God’s children” (Romans 8: 16, NLT).

“But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them are not Christians at all)” (Romans 8: 9).

The Word of God teaches us that a person can know whether he is a Christian or not. You know yourself better than anyone else. In his letter to the Corinthian church, Paul said, “For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person which is in him? (1 Corinthian 2: 11).

People who are genuinely converted by the Holy Spirit know who they are before God. They are convinced in their spirits that they are God’s children by the revelation of the Holy Spirit as they are controlled by the Spirit. Then scripture makes it emphatic that if a person does not have the Spirit of Christ he is not a Christian at all. That is, he does not belong to God.

Moreover, the greatest person who knows the true population of Christians in Ghana is God. Is there any person in the world who is not known to God? When I read my Bible and see the uniqueness of God, His ability to know the heart of each one of us, I get amazed at His omnipotence, omniscient and omnipresence. Who is like God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Creator of the universe?

So great and amazing is His omnipresence that David asked: “Where shall I go from your Spirit or where shall I flee from your presence” (Psalm 139: 7)? Man cannot hide anything from God. God cannot be deceived or tricked. Nothing can be hidden from the LORD God because He is everywhere and sees all things.

In the days of His flesh, Jesus Christ knew the conditions of the hearts of people who believed in Him. He was not happy that many were following Him because of His miracles instead of His message of salvation. Jesus Christ knew them all.

“But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because HE KNEW ALL PEOPLE and needed no one to bear witness about man, for HE KNEW WHAT WAS IN MAN” (John 2: 24- 25).

Today, many people throng church meetings, and we say they are all Christians. How beautiful it will be if we or the entire people of the world belong to Christ. But certainly not all church goers are Christ’s; there are children of the devil. The interesting truth is that God knows those who are His; He knows them by name and by their seal of the Holy Spirit.

“But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are his… (2 Timothy 2: 19). The Bible says God knows people who are His. He knows those saved; He knows those who have humbly believed in the gospel of Jesus Christ and walk with Him faithfully.

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