Thursday, January 16, 2014


According to Webster's New World Dictionary, a Christian is:  1. A masculine name; 2. The main character in Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress; 3. A person professing belief in Jesus as the Christ; 4. A religion based upon the teachings of Jesus; etc.  I find these definitions both humorous and telling!  First of all, the order seems to focus upon the definition of least importance; it is a male's name.  Then, it is the name of a character in a book.  Followed by someone who professes to believe in Jesus (not necessarily believes, but professes to believe)!  And finally, the name of a religion.  That is so sad!

And, what do these definitions tell us?  First of all, they reveal that the term is self-applied; that is, all one has to do is say he believes, and poof, he is a Christian.  I do not find that consistent with the Scriptures.  A genuine believer in Jesus Christ must be born again (Jn. 3:3-8).  A genuine believer in Jesus Christ actually believes in Him with all his heart, and he publicly confesses Jesus to be his Lord (Mt. 10:32; Acts 8:37; Rom. 10:9-10; 1 Jn. 4:2-3; etc.).  A genuine believer will declare his faith in Jesus, publicly, by being baptized (Acts 2:41; 8:12; 8:36-38; 9:18; 10:47-48; 16:30-33; 18:8; 22:16; etc.).  And a genuine believer will strive to live according to the teachings of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (Jn. 10:4; 10:27; 12:26; 21:19-22; etc.).  A genuine believer is a member of God's family, not a religion (Mt. 5:9; Lk. 20:36; Jn. 1:11-12; 11:52; Rom. 8:16; Gal. 3:26; 1 Jn. 3:10; etc.)!  We are His adopted children, His family, not a religion (Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:5; Eph. 1:5; etc.)!

The word "Christian" is from the Greek Χριστιανός (Christianos), which occurs three times in the Bible (Acts 11:26; 26:28; 1 Pet. 4:16).  What can be learned from these verses is:  non-Christians labeled Christ's followers as Christians (Acts 11:26).  Being a Christian meant one must be converted from believing in someone or something other than Jesus (Acts 26:28).  And, if you were to allow yourself to be identified as a believer and follower of Jesus, there was a good possibility that you would be persecuted (1 Pet. 4:16).  That is still true in many parts of the world, and is becoming true more and more today in America!  So hang on; we will soon find out who is professing to be a believer, and who actually is one!

I am not a member of a religion; I am a child of God by faith in Christ!

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