What is a Christian?

1. When was the word “Christian” first used?

In the Bible we are told that the disciples were called Christians. It was not until the 2nd century A.D. that the title became one of honour and began to be sought after. Up to that date, to be a CHRISTIAN was offensive to most members of society.

(Acts 11:26 NIV) and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the ecclesia and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.

2. So, what is a Christian?

Does it mean:

1. Someone who goes to church?
2. Someone who believes the bible?
3. Someone who has faith?
4. Someone who prays a lot?
5. A religious person?
6. Someone who is born again?
7. Someone who talks about Jesus?

You might like to jot down your answer and see how it measures up with later studies.

3. Three Greek words

Chrio (verb) = to anoint (smear on, pour over)
Christos (noun) = an anointed one
Chrisma (noun) = the anointing (the substance poured onto)

4. Some important ideas

The first word of importance in the gospel (good news) of the Kingdom of God is repentance. The second word is faith

(Acts 20:21 NIV) I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.

Repentance is a foundational need in a Christ-like life. It means a change of mind, a change of heart, a change of attitude. Read about the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-24). How did he repent and have a change of mind, heart and attitude?

True faith is the way a Christian looks at life.

(Rom 1:17 NIV) For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

Being Christian requires faith.

(Heb 11:6 NIV) And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Discuss faith with your mentor using Heb 11:1. Notice that faith needs trust, relying on and having confidence in.

5. In whom can we trust?

It isn’t much good accepting someone as Lord and Master, of your life if you don’t trust Him!! The bible teaches….

Trust in the ____ with all your ____ and lean NOT on ____ . In ALL your ____ and He will ____ . (Proverbs 3:5-6 will help fill in the spaces.)

6. Growing a strong Christian

Romans 10:4-17 teaches how we do these things

(Rom 10:4-16 NRSV) For Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes. [5] Moses writes concerning the righteousness that comes from the law, that “the person who does these things will live by them.” [6] But the righteousness that comes from faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?'” (that is, to bring Christ down) [7] “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?'” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). [8] But what does it say? “The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart”(that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); [9] because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. [10] For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. [11] The scripture says, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.” [12] For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. [13] For, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” [14] But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? [15] And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” [16] But not all have obeyed the good news; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?”

7. A Christian is a person who . . .

Write in your own words what you now think is the answer to this question. When you are finished discuss your ideas with your mentor.