The Minimum Christian

Bible Book: 2 Corinthians  13 : 5
Subject: Salvation, Grace, Works

What is the least possible requirement for a person to be a Christian? Admittedly, at first glance, this is an unusual question to ask. Who would ask, "What is the least I can do and keep my job?' or "What is the least I can do to have a happy marriage?" or "What is the least I can do and be a good parent?" The more you think about the question, however, the more you realize that millions of professing Christians are testing this very question. Millions are living as near the edge of being a Christian as they think it is possible.

There are two possible tests that can answer this question. I will call them the service question and the salvation question. "Service" signifies a test of works - what must I Do to meet the requirement? This is a test of works to qualify for salvation. "Salvation" signifies a test of Being - what must I Be in order to meet the requirement.

I. Minimum Service Test

A. The Talent Test
1. The Distribution is Unequal

Given according to ability ( Matthew 25:15).

Given according to Lord's decision (Luke 19:12).

2. The Demand is Equal

(Same Scripture sections).

B. The Time Test

The Sabbath Principle requires 1/7 of your time in God's Work and service.

1. The Institutional Practice

If all your church work were counted what % would have given to God?

2. The Personal Practice

If you added all you do for God what % would you give? Bible Study: Quantity and Quality?

Prayer - Quantity and Quality? Witnessing - Quality and Quantity?

C. The Treasure Test

The First-fruits test would require that the first of everything that you acquire belongs to God. The Tithe would require 10% of your earnings to God. The Secular Comparison would show how you spent your treasure.

The Total Tally

The Sin Problem requires you to live without sin. The Ten Commandments requires you to keep all of them all time (James 2:8-10).

The Golden Rule requires you to treat all others as you would have them treat you without exception.

The Total tally shows that the best of us comes up short (Romans 3:23)

The Holiness of God requirement (1 Peter 1:16) gives the final blow to human effort to meet God's requirement.

II. Minimum Salvation Test

A. The Repent Test

Godly sorrow works repentance (2 Corinthians 7:8-11).

Godly separation indicates repentance (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).

B. The Receive Test

The Promise requires reception (John 1:12).

The Person to be received is Jesus (Acts 16:30, 31)

C. The Result Test

New Creature - Nature is changed. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Love other Christians, (1 John 3:14)

Refuse sinful life-style, (1 John 3: 3-6).

Love and obey God, (1 John 4:7; 5:2, 3).


Each person must make his own examination but the test must be true to the Bible rather than of our own making. How do you stand in the Bible test? James Evans (not his real name) came forward for salvation. He felt he had passed the service tests with a good grade but he had failed the salvation test. Sammy Thomas (not his real name)  made a rededication for he felt he had passed the salvation test but was lacking at the service level. What is your decision?