“What is a Christian?”
We do not want the world, or a dictionary, to tell us what a Christian is. We want the Bible to tell us what a Christian is. The word “Christian” is used three times in the New Testament.
Acts 11:26 And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
The Bible makes it clear that it was Christ’s disciples that were being called Christians. Thus it becomes clear that a disciple of Christ and a Christian is the same – they are synonyms for each other. If you are a disciple of Christ, then you are a Christian. If you are a Christian, then you are a disciple of Christ.
So if we can know what a disciple of Christ is, then we may also know what a Christian is according to the Bible.
Matthew 10:25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord.
Disciples of Christ, or Christians, will be as their master. Who is their master? Christ. Jesus taught this same lesson in
Luke 6:40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.
Followers of Jesus Christ were first called “Christians” in Antioch (Acts 11:26) because their behavior, activity, and speech were like Christ.
Act 26:28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.
Agrippa said that Paul almost persuaded him to become like Christ.
How is it that we live the life of Christ and truly be Christian?
John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, [then] are ye my disciples indeed
Jesus is too clear to be misunderstood. He says it is keeping His Word that makes one a disciple or a Christian.
Please listen to my lesson entitled 106 – In His Image which clearly shows from the Bible that we live the life of Christ when we obey His Word.
Luke 14:33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
If I am not willing to forsake all of my own ideas, goals, desires and basically my entire life, then I can never be a disciple or a Christian.
But when I die to self, forsake all and live according to Christ’s Word, then I will live His life. His character of love will be seen in me. That is why He says,
John 13:35 By this shall all [men] know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Unfortunately over time, the word “Christian” has lost a great deal of its significance. Many people who do not live the life of Jesus Christ consider themselves Christians simply because they go to church, live in a “Christian” nation or were born into a Christian family. They are Christian only in name. But this is not what makes you a Christian or a disciple of Christ. Going to church does not make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you a car, or going to the airport makes you a plane. The Bible is clear that it is living the life of Christ that makes us true Christians or disciples. The mark of a true Christian is obedience to God’s Word that will be manifested in love towards God and people. A true Christian has been given new life in Jesus Christ.
So what is a Christian? A Christian is someone who has died to self, been born again by God and now lives the life of Jesus Christ. To be a Christian is to be Christlike. If you desire to be a Christian, listen to my lesson 108 – Free From Sin.