Being a Christian

Lesson 1

What is a Christian?

There are many definitions of the word "Christian" in our world today. They include:

* "anyone who is not a communist or cannibal"

* "anyone who claims to be, without affiliation to any religious group"

* "anyone who is at least nominally associated with a 'christian' group"

How would you define a "Christian"?



According to the dictionary the suffix "tion" means "of, belonging to, having the characteristic of." So the definition of "Christian" would be "of, belonging to, having the characteristic of Christ." How does this compare to the definitions mentioned earlier?

To understand the New Testament definition of a Christian, we must look at other words with the same meaning. ("Christian" occurs only in Acts 11:26, Acts 26:28 and 1 Pet. 4:16.)

disciple

Acts 6:7

Acts 9:26

Acts 13:52


citizen of the Kingdom

Revelation 1:6

Ephesians 2:19

Philippians 3:20

Hebrews 12:22-23


saint

Romans 1:7

Romans 8:27

Romans 15:25,26


brethren

1 Peter 1:22

1 Corinthians 1:10

Hebrews 3:1


Notice how the terms are used interchangeably. Here are some other passages from the Bible to help us understand the concept:

John 8:31

Acts 4:4

Acts 6:7

Acts 11:26

James 1:27

1 John (much of letter)