What is a Christian?
Daily Reading: (Acts 11:26):
“And when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. 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.”
In the entire Bible the term Christian is only used three times. The first time doesn’t appear until after Jesus’ earthly ministry is over, He has already been crucified, resurrected and has ascended into heaven. The term was first used in a Gentile city which clearly shows that “Christians” are made up of both Jews and Gentiles.
In Acts 11:26 the Greek word used for Christian “Christianos” means a follower of Christ.
There is a straightforward answer of “what is Christian”? A Christian is a person who is a follower of Christ. Now the better question instead might be “how does one become a follower of Jesus”? Anybody could fill out a survey and say, “I identify as a Christian because my grandparents or great grandparents were.” Identifying as a Christian, isn’t the same thing as knowing Christ. Salvation is a free gift, you have either received it by faith, belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, making you a follower of Jesus or you haven’t. Your good works isn’t what saved you or keeps you saved, your salvation once you believed is secured in Christ.
Here are the other usages of the term “Christian” in Scripture.
“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).
So, what does it mean to be a follower of Jesus? What the world needs is not more people who check the box identifying as being Christian but believers who actually follow Jesus. People who are actively engaging on a rescue mission, sharing the Gospel with the lost and hurting people of the world. We need more and more people who reflect the very love and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, letting His light shine, and showing the Way to salvation. I want people to know what it means to follow Jesus.
We can learn what it means to follow Jesus through His first interactions with His disciples. “The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me” (John 1:43).
Here is the good news for anyone who decides to become a disciple of Jesus is that when a rabbi asked someone to follow him, it was an incredible honor. This invitation was an offer of unlimited access to the rabbi. “Following Jesus” is unlimited access to Him, (He lives in the hearts of every believer).I will never leave you Jesus said, meaning unlimited access because Grace is a person, not a doctrine. This means that every blessing that we would ever need is inseparable from the person of Jesus!
The Lord being with you is all that you need in this life, because the Lord Himself is the One who blesses you. In Genesis 22:1–14 we discover that God is Jehovah Jireh. Jehovah is Jireh! God is my provider! You cannot separate your blessings apart from God, because He is your Provider. Did you see what this means and how awesome the invitation is to be a Christian, a follower of Jesus? We have access to God’s grace and provision in our lives all the time.
In Exodus 15:26, God is referred to as Jehovah-Rapha at the place where God healed the bitter waters of Marah, so that the children of Israel could drink. In Hebrew, it means “I am healing, I am health”! God is telling us “I am your health! I am your healing!”
Relationship with Jesus is a life of abundant victory and favor with God forever, who wouldn’t want this? Anyone who understands this would also want this for others.
For Jesus’ disciples (Christians) following Jesus included sharing in the enthusiasm of declaring the good news (Matthew 4:19).
What is a Christian? A Christian is a person who has been undone by the love of God in Christ Jesus, that while we were sinners, Christ died for us. He offered His life for mine so I might become the righteousness of God in Him and be highly favored by God. I am now a child of God; holy, royal, beloved with access to the Kingdom. I am a follower of Jesus which means that I am a Christian.