What is a Christian? – A humble attempt at a brief and basic definition.


And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians – Acts 11.26

christian.jpg

 

 

 

What is a Christian?

 

  1. A Christian is one who believes God exists, and that He created all things.
  2. A Christian is one who believes what God has said is true and orders their lives accordingly.
    1. That God created us in His image.
    2. That through rebellion as a race we sinned against God and are lost.
    3. That the world is the way it is because of these things.
  3. A Christian is one who has come to see the reality of their personal guilt and ruin before God, and their need of a Savior.
  4. A Christian is one who has believed that Jesus Christ is the God/man, and that He died on the Cross historically to bear the just punishment for sin due to fallen mankind.
  5. A Christian is one who has personally trusted in Christ’s death at Calvary as their substitute, and God’s only means to be reconciled to Him – through faith in that death.
  6. A Christian is one who is now living their lives in loving gratitude and service to Jesus Christ as their Lord, proclaiming the grace and mercy that saved them, to others.
  7. A Christian is one who is ever moving toward Heaven as their final home and their highest joy in being with God and Christ Jesus eternally.
Advertisements

5 thoughts on “What is a Christian? – A humble attempt at a brief and basic definition.

  1. I will not debate that this isn’t ALL a Christian is, but I am aiming for the idea that a Christian is AT LEAST – these.

    For discussion’s sake, which of these do you think we can safely discard – or – how would you modify it?

  2. although i personally agree with substitutionary theology, i dont think i would refuse to call someone brother if they didnt agree completely about what kind of atonement Christ provided.

    as far as an at least thing, i think there really can be nothing more than Christ Himself. if we are christians (followers of Christ) then we are joined by our belief in Him as Messiah, lived, died and resurrected.

    i personally agree with your other points, but i dont believe they are necessary for a person to be a christian. cuz that is all about Christ.

    peter

  3. Peter – interesting thoughts – lets work them through backwards.

    1. Can a person be a Christian, and be an atheist? That would be the essence of the first part of point 1.
    2. Can a person be a Christian, who self-consciously does not believe what God says? That would be the 2nd part of point 1.
    3. Can a person be a Christian, who does not take what God has said seriously enough, to be the basis for how one lives their lives? This is the essence of point 2, and is basically the concept taught in Heb. 11;6.
    4. Can a person be a Christian who is not aware their need of a Savior is directly tied to their problem with personal sin separating them from God?
    5. Can a person be a Christian who does not believe Jesus Christ came in the flesh, is God (Jesus is Lord) and died in their place for salvation?
    6. Can a person be a Christian who is not trusting Christ to have dealt with their sin problem?
    7. Can a person be a Christian who is a recipient of God’s grace and mercy, and yet have no devotion to God and to proclaiming His grace to others?
    8. Can a person be a Christian who does not believe in the resurrection? (If in this life only…)

    Show me how you might work through any of those as being non-essentials in terms of what Scripture teaches. I’m not saying I cannot be controverted here – I am simply saying at this point that I cannot conceive of eliminating these given the way the Bible presents the issues.

  4. PB & J,

    Your tag reminds me of this –> http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/banana.php

    But seriously…

    You say Reid is “reductionary”!? Can I have you take a 2nd look at what you wrote? “i think there really can be nothing more than Christ Himself.” That seems just a tad bit more reductionary than Reid’s list, wouldn’t you agree?

    And what about, “if we are christians (followers of Christ) then we are joined by our belief in Him as Messiah, lived, died and resurrected”? It is 4 ideas more than your earlier “Christ Himself” statement, but still less than Reid’s “reductionary” list of 7. So, who’s “reductionary”?

    Let me throw something out here. Would you also agree that you can reduce the definition of a doctor to any one who believes in “medicine itself”? What about expanding it to simply include all those who are joined in their belief in exam rooms, white coats, stethoscopes and prescription pads? Sounds silly, doesn’t it? There is clearly more to being a Dr. than these ideas. I suggest that everyone familiar with modern medicine “knows” what a Dr. is. And there are in fact a minimum objective set of definable standards to determine what makes a Dr. If this is so for doctors, why not so for the far more important definition of Christianity? We don’t get to self-define Christianity. We have the Bible which is pretty clear about what it means.

    I think your smaller (reduced) set of what makes a Christian expands the definition too broadly, almost to the point that any one walking into a not-some-other-religious-system church build could call themselves a Christian.

    “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, and broad [is] the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Matt. 7:13-14

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s