What Does It Mean to Be a Christian? | reflections
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.
For some, being “Christian” is primarily cultural and traditional, a nominal title inherited from a previous generation, the net effect of which involves avoiding certain behaviors and occasionally attending church.
For others, being a Christian is largely political, a quest to defend moral values in the public square or perhaps to preserve those values by withdrawing from the public square altogether.
Still more define Christianity in terms of a past religious experience, a general belief in Jesus, or a desire to be a good person. Yet all of these fall woefully short of what it truly means to be a Christian from a biblical perspective.
Interestingly, the followers of Jesus Christ were not called “Christians” until ten to fifteen years after the church began. Before that time, they were known simply as disciples, brothers, believers, saints, and followers of the Way.
The name was initially coined by unbelievers as an attempt to deride those who followed a crucified Christ. But what began as ridicule soon became a badge of honor.
To be called Christians (in Greek, Christianoi) was to be identified as Jesus’ disciples and to be associated with Him as loyal followers.
In a similar fashion, those in Caesar’s household would refer to themselves as Kaisarianoi (“those of Caesar”) in order to show their deep allegiance to the Roman emperor.
Thus, to be a Christian, in the true sense of the term, is to be a wholehearted follower of Jesus Christ.
How well does this definition match the way you have defined being a Christian?
John MacArthur is a profound teacher of the word of God, a zealous preacher of Christian doctrine, a renowned writer and speaker, and Pastor and Teacher at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California