What is a Christian?
The term “Christian” was first applied to the disciples of Jesus in the city of Antioch in the years following Jesus’ death and resurrection. You can read about it in Acts 11:26.
The term was used in a derogatory fashion (Acts 26:28; I Peter 4:16) to describe those who had come to believe that Jesus was the Son of God, the promised Messiah, and who had chosen to follow him. They had come to believe that, through Jesus death on the cross and his rising again, our sins could be forgiven, and we could enjoy a deeper relationship with God as a loving Father. They were people who not only believed, but who also fashioned their lives on the example Jesus had left them. They described themselves as “followers of The Way”. They continued to speak out God’s message and do Jesus’ miracles empowered by God’s Holy Spirit. They often had to risk everything to do this – as many do today in different parts of the world. They did this, not on their own, but as part of God’s people, members of a body, with brothers and sisters alongside them. They were living “the life that is truly life”.
A Christian is a disciple of Jesus.
To become a Christian is to
- Accept our need of a saviour, a rescuer.
- Believe that Jesus is God’s Son, sent to be our saviour.
- Ask him to take away our sins and help us to live a different life.
- Know God’s love in our heart.
- Receive his Holy Spirit into our hearts and lives.
- Follow him every day as a disciple, seeking to do his will.
- Live as part of the body alongside other Christians.
If you would like to explore this further.
You might enjoy joining in an Alpha Course. Alpha is a ten week introduction to the Christian faith in a relaxed and informal setting. You can find out more about Alpha here
. Details of the next Alpha Course at St. John's are here
To explore further what it means to be a Christian, do read this article
by Archbishop Rowan Williams.
If you would like to grow as a Christian, there are four key things that will help:
- Prayer. A conversation with the God who loves you more than you can imagine.
- The Bible. God’s truth revealed and available to you today. Help with reading the bible is available here.
- Fellowship. Find a group of followers of Jesus with whom you can grow. Find a church here.
- Service. When we serve God we grow the most. What is God calling you to do?