What is a Christian

22. February 2012 17:43

What is a Christian

By definition, Christian means “follower of Christ”. A 2010 survey showed that 83% of Americans consider themselves to be Christian. But what does this actually mean? By asking people on the street, you may get a wide range of answers to this question. Some believe being a Christian means going to Church, praying, being baptized, or growing up in a Christian home. All of these are important, but none of them alone make someone a Christian. Many believe that all of the people in or at least the writers of the Bible were Christians. In fact, the term Christian was not mentioned in the Bible until the New Testament. "And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians" (Acts 11:26). The Church of Antioch was the first Gentile Church founded by the Apostles St. Peter and St. Paul.

Now that we know what a Christian is and where the term comes from, what does it mean to be a Christian? As stated earlier, a Christian is a follower of Christ. Before you can be a follower of Christ, you must be a believer. This means that you believe in God the Father and Jesus Christ the son, who died on the cross and was raised from the dead to pay the penalty for our sins. Once you have a belief, how do you follow Christ? This is where the real work comes in. Truly being a Christian, and truly being a follower of Christ takes work and conscious effort. I know, you may be thinking you are already too busy and can’t handle more work. Work may be a deceiving term. There is great importance and benefit to spending your time reading the Bible every day, going to Church every Sunday, going to Bible study weekly, etc. but even if your schedule doesn’t allow this, you can still be a follower of Christ.

Being a Christian is more mental than physical. It does not matter where your physical body is located or what building you are in, what matters is in whom you put your trust. Ephesians 2:8 tells us “For by grace you have been saved, through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is a gift of God.” 1 John 2:4 tells us “Whoever says ‘I know him’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him” . Being a Christian means putting your trust in God, obeying his commands, living your life to glorify him, show love to all around you, even your enemies. The following is a list of common misconceptions to being a Christian.

A Christian is not;

  • Spending all your time praying
  • Going to every event the Church has
  • Going door to door, telling everyone you know about God
  • Wearing a cross around your neck
  • Memorizing and often quoting Bible verses
  • Being perfect

In fact, the last cannot be further from the truth!

John 1:12 “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God”

Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”

John 3:16 “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”

If you have not yet accepted Christ as your Lord and savior, I encourage you to do so now. Please continue to the following article to learn How to become a Christian.

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