In the same way, the word faith is not a word that stands alone. Faith is not an end in itself, nor the object of our attention. Faith describes a relationship, a relationship that is deeper, longer-lasting, and more powerful than even the relationship contained in the word marriage. When you say "I have faith in Christ" or "I am a Christian" or "I am growing in my faith," you are saying, "By the grace of God, I am committed to someone outside myself. I love and cherish this man/God, Jesus, above my own well-being and immediate happiness. In fact, my happiness is defined by putting Him first in my life. Every decision I make directly and intimately reflects upon this object of love and passion, Jesus. Therefore, every decision I make necessarily takes into consideration Him and the potential impact it has on our relationship. Everything I do takes into consideration my Savior, His wants and desires, His joys and sorrows. This inherently means I will not do things I might have done before I found out about His love for me because our relationship has realigned my priorities. My desires must be tempered by the knowledge of Jesus' presence in my life."
So in the church, when we say that being a "Christian" is about more than checking your name on the metaphorical attendance roster for Sunday or simply paying lipservice by saying, "I'm a Christian," that's what we mean. We aren't saying your lifestyle and priorities in any way determine Christ's love for you or provide for your salvation; what we are saying is they say a lot about whether there is a relationship. Remember what I said about marriage? How long will that be the definition of your marriage if that other person is the focus of your life for a mere hour a week, no matter how desperately your neglected spouse continues to pursue you? It will end, not because they walk away... but because you did. People should be able to tell if you're married.... and they should be able to tell you are in love with Christ.
"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit."