*I have to say first off, before I get started, that I think that my blogfriend Esthermay, at The Heart of a Pastor's Wife, has an amazing perspective on this quote and I invite you to check her response out.
n. Abbr. n.
1. The part of speech that is used to name a person, place, thing, quality, or action and can function as the subject or object of a verb, the object of a preposition, or an appositive.
2. Any of the words belonging to this part of speech, such as neighbor, window, happiness, or negotiation. I am a CHRISTIAN.
n. Abbr. a. or adj.
1. The part of speech that modifies a noun or other substantive by limiting, qualifying, or specifying and distinguished in English morphologically by one of several suffixes, such as -able, -ous, -er, and -est, or syntactically by position directly preceding a noun or nominal phrase.
2. Any of the words belonging to this part of speech, such as white in the phrase a white house. We should exhibit Christian behavior.
These days it seems that everybody either wants to profess being a Christian (noun) or solidly profess AGAINST being one (due to the distinctive lack of the adjective Christian in the daily walk of most who profess to be one). There is no real "in between". Many people say that they're a Christian because it's expedient for them to do so in order to look better to man, depending on the audience. Much like the Pharisees of old, they "act" the right way to get the attention of man, but what do their actions say? Those who profess to have a saving knowledge of God, and yet, live a life clearly apart from God are what those who are vehemently against anything having to do with Christianity look at and call "hypocrite".
It's easy to give lip service to being a Christian, but what does the Bible say? James 2:20 states that Faith WITHOUT works is dead. But, the only way to heaven is through believing in Jesus as the son of God and accepting Him as your Savior, you say. Yes, that is true. You cannot "work" your way into heaven, however, what is meant in that verse is that Faith is proved genuine by good works coming forth as fruit in the Kingdom of God. That's where the adjective part comes in.
For those who claim to be the noun of Christian and MEAN IT, they will have the adjective of Christian in everything they do, from their rising to their resting and it will be clear that they are different from the rest of the world. God will show in them through their actions via the living adjective of Christian. It's easier to claim the noun of Christian than it is to live the adjective of Christian.
Most of those who claim the noun of Christian do it for approval, for attention, for acceptance. Much like the Pharisees of Jesus' time. Through their "pious" street corner prayers they didn't have the true love of God in their heart. They were saying, "Oh, look at me. Look at how great I am. Look at all that I have done. Look at all I have given." Instead we are to LIVE the adjective of Christian so that everyone will see Christ in us through our actions and love. Those who live the adjective of Christian do so without seeking the attention, without wanting recognition, they do it because they are being an example of what God wants ALL who claim the name of Christian to be like.
Are you merely giving lip service to the name and noun of Christian or are you living the adjective of Christian in everything that you do?
Please visit The Next Step for more perspectives on this In Other Word's quote.