What Is A Christian?
We use the term Christian extensively. It is used only three times in the New Testament. It is used in our text. It is used in Acts 26:28, "In a short time you will persuade me to be a Christian." And, in 1 Peter 4:16, "If any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed."
Two out of three times the term was used by unbelievers as a term of derision. Today we would call it a political sound bite. Today the term might be a right wing fundamentalist. NBC did a poll and suggested that the Tea Party largely consisted of Right wing Christians.
-The way it is used by many today is not a compliment. It is contempt. It is stigma.
The popular term in the New Testament for Christian were terms like believers, people of the way, disciples, and brothers. Not until the Third Century did the term become popular with followers of Christ.
Those who first used it misunderstood what it really meant. Many do not have a clear understanding of what it means today.
I have learned over the years not to ask people if they are Christians because most of them will say yes. Instead of being general, I think we have to be specific.
People will answer the question based on assumptions. They agree with some of the virtues and moral principles of Christianity, therefore, they must be Christians. They were born and raised in a Christian family, therefore……. They belong to a church, therefore… They have been baptized, therefore…
Many people think catechism, confirmation, or church dogma will make them a Christian. But it will not.
What is a Christian? Our second question will be just as important. Are you a Christian?
-2 Corinthians 13:5 says "Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith." So let's take a test this morning.
1. A CHRISTIAN IS SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN SAVED.
I believe the word saved in one form or another is used over eighty times in the New Testament. That would make it a prominent word. As Baptists ...
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