What Is A Christian?

by  Robert  Brow  (www.brow.on.ca)       Aurora, Ontario      May 2008


 In the New Testament it is disciples (learners) who are named Christians.
 Paul and Barnabas "taught a great many people, and it was in Antioch
 that the disciples were first called 'Christians'"(Acts 11:26, see
 Acts 26:28, 1 Peter 4:16). As in the case of Peter and the other
 eleven disciples, when they begin learning, Christians may know very
 little, and still be behaving badly. So the word 'Christian' does not
 mean a good person, or someone who knows a lot about the Bible, or
 even someone who has made the right decision of faith. A decision
 based on informed faith (as with Peter in Matthew 16:16) may come
 later as a result of having been taught by the Holy Spirit.  But even
 after making this great decision Peter actually denied he had ever
 known the Lord.

 Having made this clear, we can also use the language of belonging to a
 Christian community.  In India for example people are called Hindus,
 Muslims, Sikhs, or Christians based on their family allegiance, quite
 regardless of whether they believe or practice their faith.  But we
 should work with the primary meaning which is simply someone who is
 currently learning to follow Jesus the Messiah.   The teaching need
 not be in a formal setting.  It is by the Holy Spirit, not by cerebral
 or rote instruction (1 Corinthians 2:4-5, 13  see the book GO MAKE

 e-mail : browr@brow.on.ca

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