“For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it… how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” (Hebrews 2:1,3; NASB).
The greatest affliction of the Christian life, in my opinion, is drift! Drift occurs when we neglect our Christianity, our relationship with Christ, our salvation!
The reason I know this is because I, too, suffer from drift. I don’t always apply to my life what I’ve been taught in church since I was a child. I don’t always read and study my Bible regularly. I get busy and neglect my prayer life. And consequently, I neglect my salvation. Then I start to drift.
“The disciples were first called Christians at Antioch.” (Acts 11:26, HCSB)The term “Christian” occurs only three times in the New Testament.
Besides this verse, in Acts 26:28 King Herod Agrippa asked if the Apostle Paul was trying to persuade him to become a Christian and in 1 Peter 4:16 the Apostle Peter referred to suffering for being a Christian.
The word for Christian in the Greek is Christianos and comes from christos, meaning “anointed one” with a modifier borrowed from Latin to denote adhering to, or even belonging to, as in slave ownership.
“And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.” It is the dispensing of the Spirit to believers that is the mark of incorporation into the redeemed community of God. This promise of the Father, the gift of the Holy Spirit, is the distinguishing feature of your salvation (see Luke 24:24, John 14:16, Acts 2:33). It is what identifies you as belonging to Christ–a Christian. The Spirit is your spiritual ID and membership card. The indwelling Holy Spirit makes the creative and redemptive work of God personal to us as God’s people both individually and collectively. The indwelling Spirit is God’s guarantee that He will give us the eternal life He promised us through the sacrifice of His Son. Our understanding and experience of God, however, often centers on God as Father and God as Son and not so much on God as Holy Spirit. But God is best known from a trinitarian perspective—God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The role of the Holy Spirit in identifying us with Christ as God’s sons and daughters and bringing the presence of God into our lives is often not as well understood or experienced by Christians as is the creative work of the Father or the redemptive work of the Son. Yet, it is the active presence of the Holy Spirit in your life that affirms you are saved! Your eternal life begins when God gives you the Holy Spirit. “And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30).