Olsen Park Church of Christ


Introduction. The name “Christian” is used often, but what does the Bible say it means to be a Christian?

I. The Name “Christian” in the New Testament.

A.    One who suffers for the name of Christ (1 Peter 4:14-17).

1.      Who turns from sin (4:15).

2.      Who has obeyed the gospel (4:17).

B.     One becomes a Christian (Acts 26:1-29).

1.      It involves persuasion to accept belief and practice (26:28).

2.      It is not a condition of birth.

3.      It is not partial acceptance, but “altogether” (26:29).

C.     A Christian is a disciple of Christ (Acts 11:19-26).

1.      It involves turning from sin to the Lord (11:21).

2.      It involves continuing with the Lord (11:23).

3.      To understand what a Christian is we must understand what it means to be a disciple.

·         One must bear his cross (Luke 14:26-27).

·         One must deny self (Mark 8:34-35).

·         It involves Baptism and obedience (Matt. 28:16-20).

II. How the Name “Christian” is Not used in the New Testament.

A.    As a category or genre. It is used to describe people, not things.

1.      Music, books, or schools may or may not  hold to truth.

2.      This concern led the college some brethren operate as individuals to no longer be called “Florida Christian College” but simply “Florida College.”

3.      Some would argue that it cannot be used as an adjective at any time. Can “Christian” be used as an adjective? Properly, it is an adjective used as a noun. Latin ending –ianus  came into Greek –ianos  as an equivalent to the possessive (cf. kuriakos  “Lord’s Supper” 1 Cor. 11:20; “Lord’s Day” Rev. 1:10).

4.      Christians are the people that belong to the Lord.

B.     Of those who accept part of the gospel, but not all of it.

1.      “Altogether” (Acts 26:29).

2.      Turning to the Lord and from sin (Acts 11:21).

3.      Obedience to Jesus’ commands (Matt. 28:20).

4.      It communicates the wrong thing to call those “Christians” who do not match the biblical definition of the name.

Conclusion.  Are you a Christian?

Kyle Pope 2012

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