What And Who Is A Christian?

First time the word Christian is used in the N.T. is in Acts 11:26.
Given after the gospel began to be preached to the Gentiles .
Only used two other times- Acts 26:28 “And Agrippa replied to Paul, ‘in a short time you will persuade me to become a Christian’.”
I Peter 4:16 “but if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not feel ashamed, but in that name let him glorify God”.
Unclear as to whether it was first applied by the disciples or by their enemies in derision.
But it was considered an honorable name by the disciples in the 1st century- James 2:7 “Do they not blaspheme the fair name by which you have been called?”
A name commonly used in this country but not often according to its use in the scriptures
Applied to this nation, schools, organizations and many other things
Let us examine the scriptures and identify who is not and who is a Christian.

Those Who Are Not Christians
All good people are not Christians
Christians will be good people but there are good people who are not Christians
Before his conversion, Cornelius was a good man- Acts 10:2 & 30
He feared God, fasted and prayed
But he needed to hear about Christ to become a Christian
All who claim a relationship to Christ are not Christians.
Jesus said, “in that day” many would claim to have done great things in His name; But He will tell them to depart, “ I never knew you.”- Matthew 7:22-23
Being a Christian requires more than being called by Jesus' name or claiming it for oneself.

A Christian Is A Disciple
A name used frequently in the New Testament
A disciple is a learner and an adherent of the teachings of another person.
In the great commission, Jesus told His apostles to go and make disciples of all nations- Matthew 28:19
Joseph was a secret disciple of Jesus- John 19:38
One who is a Christian today must identify himself with Christ- Matthew 10:32

A Christian Is A Follower of Jesus
There is a difference between a learner and a follower.
Jesus requires those who are His disciples to follow Him- Luke 14:27
And bear His cross.
To be willing to endure rejection, hardship and persecution as he did.
Following Christ requires obeying His word- John 14:15
Not just in the things that are pleasant and easy but in all things
Following Jesus also means imitating His example- I Corinthians 11:1
Becoming more and more like Him every day of one's life- Luke 6:40 & II Corinthians 3:18

A Christian Is A Saint
Another misunderstood and misused word.
It means one who has been sanctified or set apart for a purpose.
Separated from the sinful world to worship and serve the Lord, and live a holy life-
II Corinthians 6:17-18
It requires a dedication and discipline .
Christians are called to holiness-
I Thessalonians 4:7
And God expects us to live a holy life-
I Peter 1:15.
A Christian who lives a holy life is the salt of the earth and light of the world-
Matthew 5:13-16.
Which is what Jesus wants every one of His disciples to be.
A saving influence and an example that will lead others to Christ .

A Christian Is A Stranger and A Pilgrim
I Peter 2:11- Beloved, I beg you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul.
This world is not the Christian's home- Philippians 3:20
Christians are in the world but not of the world.
Our mind must be set on our eternal home in Heaven to which we are traveling – Colossians 3:1-2

What One Must Do to Become A Christian
Believe in Jesus as the Son of God- John 8:24
Repent of all your past sins- Acts 2:38
Confess your faith in Jesus- Romans 10:10
Put on Christ in baptism- Galatians 3:26-27
Faithfulness is required- Hebrews 10:39
Are you a faithful Christian?

By Carey Scott based on an outline by Unknown

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