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What is a Christian ?
The term "Christian" was first used as derogatory name in the first century AD at the seaside town of Antioch at the east end of the Mediterranean. It was given to the followers of Jesus Christ (see Acts 11,26).
Becoming a Christian in that time had severe consequences varying from being ostracised to being driven from your home or even death in the arena. It was not to be undertaken lightly and those who became followers of Jesus had to have found something very special to accept the consequences of their new faith.
Jesus gave his followers two commandments to adhere to: Love God with all your heart and soul and your neighbour as yourself ( see John 14,15 and Matt 22, 36-40). A difficult standard to reach !
The Bible teaches that everyone fails to reach the required standard and the things we do which are not in accordance with this standard are called "sin". (See Romans 3,23). Nobody who has sin can go to heaven for heaven is a perfect place and we are not perfect — by a long way
So God sent Jesus, the second person of the Trinity, to live a SINLESS life, be crucified for OUR sin and to rise from the dead and return to heaven having paid the penalty for our sin.
A Christian is someone who :-
- Acknowledges before God that they have sinned
- Believes that Jesus died and rose again as payment for their sin
- Has asked God, based on what Jesus did, to forgive their sin
- Has changed the focus of their life to following Jesus
- Is daily seeking after righteousness
Note» Nothing we can do “earns” salvation as a Christian. It is freely available to all who believe. Doing “good” is very commendable but counts for nothing (see what God says about our good deeds Isaiah 64,6)
The Bible says that when we do this the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, comes to live within us and teaches and trains us in the way He wants us to live. Being a Christian is an active, daily, activity.
Sadly many have had a spiritual experience but are not Christians. Christians exhibit certain traits... Love of God and fellow man; an inner joy; forbearance with others; kindness and goodness to all; faithfulness and dependability; gentleness and self-control; humility.
There is no such thing as a passive Christian. Becoming a Christian is life changing... literally!
See more under BIBLE STUDY > THE CHRISTIAN LIFE