A Christian is one who believes in and is obedient to Christ. Few on this terrestrial globe truly believe (trust in, cling to, rely on) the fact that Jesus is the Son of God. Fewer still are obedient to Him.
When He was on earth He gave some instructions to His first disciples. He continues to instruct His present day disciples through the Word energized by the Holy Spirit. It is the disciples' work to obey God and His Son Jesus beginning first with the instructions Jesus gave. When a disciple is well on his way to obedience to the words of Jesus then He sends the Holy Spirit to teach us even greater truths and provide further instructions to individuals and to the Church (His body) as a whole.
As an aid for checking our own obedience to the words of Jesus the following is a paraphrased summary of some of Jesus' instructions recorded in the early chapters of the gospel according to Matthew. A Christian -- a follower of Christ -- must begin with Christ. To be worthy of the name the disciple must be true to the person and instructions of Jesus.
"All who listen to My instructions and follow them are wise, like a man who builds his house on solid rock."
"But those who hear My instructions and ignore them are foolish, like a man who builds his house on sand."
BE (Matthew, Chapter 5)
Meek and lowly
Longing for justice and goodness
Kind and merciful
Of pure heart
Striving for peace
Happy when persecuted for righteousness' sake
The world's seasoning -- to make it tolerable
The world's light -- let it shine
DON'T (Matthew, Chapters 5-7)
Be angry even in your own home
Call your friend an idiot
Curse your friend
Misunderstand why I have come
Make any vows
Do your good deeds publicly
Pray publicly to pretend piety
Recite the same prayer over and over
Worry about things
Be anxious about tomorrow
Give your pearls to swine
DO (Matthew, Chapters 5-10)
Apologize and be reconciled to your friends before coming to worship
Come to terms quickly with your enemy
If your eye causes you to lust, gouge it out
If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off
If you are slapped on one cheek, turn the other too
If you are ordered to court, and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat too
If the military demand that you carry their gear for a mile, carry it two
Give to those who ask, and don't turn away from those who want to borrow
Love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you
Be perfect in love even as your Father in Heaven is perfect
PRAY LIKE THIS
Forgive those who sin against you. If you refuse God will not forgive you
When you fast do it for a spiritual purpose, secretly so no one will know
Store your treasures in Heaven and not on earth
Ask and you will be given what you ask for. Seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened
Do for others what you want them to do for you
Choose the narrow gate
Beware of false teachers
Give as freely as you have received
"There are, and will continue to be, further instructions for those who follow Christ's instructions from the Word and the Holy Spirit. For those who are wise, those who listen and obey, are spiritual treasures and a godly inheritance beyond expectation. For those who claim to be Christians, who hear but do not obey the basic teachings of Jesus, there is no future. Except a future jointly inherited with fools."
"Do you want to be truly rich? You already are if you are happy and good. After all, we didn't bring any money with us when we came into the world, and we can't carry away a single penny when we die. So we should be well satisfied without money if we have enough food and clothing. But people who long to be rich soon begin to do all kinds of wrong things to get money, things that hurt them and make them evil-minded and finally send them to hell itself. For the love of money is the first step towards all kinds of sin. Some people have even turned away from God because of their love for it, and as a result have pierced themselves with many sorrows."
1 Timothy 6: 6-10