What Is A Christian?

3 Jan

What is a Christian…

The answer to the question “What is a Christian?” will vary greatly depending on whom you ask. To some, it means you were born in a “Christian” nation or you come from a “Christian” family. To others, it means you believe in Jesus or the religion that is based on Jesus’ teachings. Yet others use the word “Christian” to speak of a deep personal relationship between Jesus Christ and an individual.

Since the Bible is the authority for the Christian faith, let’s see what it says about the word “Christian.” The word is only used 3 times in the New Testament and each instance is referring to the first “Christians” of the early church.

    “…So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch” (Acts 11:26).

    “Then Agrippa said to Paul, ‘Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?’” (Acts 26:28).

    “However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name” (1 Peter 4:16).
    They were called “Christians” because their behavior, activity, and speech were like Christ Jesus. The word Christian means, “follower of Christ” or “belonging to the party of Christ.” So, what made them part of this group called “Christians.”
    The Bible says that good works do not make us acceptable to God. In other words, a person can live to a high moral standard, give money to feed the poor, go to church, and serve their neighbors, and yet not be a Christ follower or “Christian.”

      Titus 3:3-6 says, “At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.”

      Ephesians 2:8-9 explains further, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”
      These verses clearly share that salvation (being born again) is a gift of God. Nothing we do can earn us salvation. A true Christian is a person who has accepted God’s gift of salvation and put their faith in Jesus Christ. This includes accepting Jesus’ death on the cross as payment for our sins and His resurrection as proof of His power over death.

      This is all well and good, but does it completely define a Christian? The answer is no!

      Some people believe that going to church on Sunday and Wednesday makes them better Christians than those who only attend Sunday services. Some believe that being a Christian doesn’t extend into their daily life or business, but it does. A Christian is the same person 7 days a week 24 hours a day.

      A Christian is non-judgmental about people who don’t believe the way they do, they reach out to gently lead them to God. It is not always easy, but you are the example they will be looking at.

      Jesus was very clear in the bible about what he expects from us. Love your neighbor as yourself and as I have loved you. As I understand it your neighbor is everyone else in the world, not just the guy next door or across the street.

      He says care for the poor, the children and the widows. Does that mean you can talk about then not deserving a hand up? Or does it mean you can talk about someone behind their back because they are too overwhelmed to find help?

      I often wonder how with so many “Christians” in the world there is so much discontent. So I ask this question:

      Do you follow the commandment Jesus said that above all follow? If not ask yourself if you really are a Christian and what you can do to make things right.

      This reminds me of something Grandfather said. He said the church is not God’s house, it’s a place where people get together and worship. God’s house is inside your heart.

      That sort of proved itself when I asked the pastor about something he was doing at the church. He said it was his church and He could do what he wanted.

      Can you truly call yourself a Christian?

      Walk daily with God at your side!

      Love always,

      Ed

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