What It Means To Be A Christian

Samuel Matthews | Oregon, USA

“King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest.  Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds” (Acts 26:27-29). KJV

What is a Christian? The name is God-given (lsa. 62:2; Acts 11:26). We are to glorify God in this name (1 Pet. 4:16). The name “Christian” properly means “a follower of Christ.” This name honors Christ.

Becoming a Christian and living the Christian life is important and not to be taken lightly. It must involve the heart—the intellect, emotion, and will. It must be done sincerely and conscientiously (Rom. 6:17-18). Becoming a Christian means that “all things are become new” (2 Cor. 5:17).

The Christian Has A New Relationship

When a child reaches the age of accountability he becomes a man of sin—guilty of sin. To be forgiven and have hope of salvation, he must change his relationship.

By the grace of God the man of faith receives his New Relationship as a Christian when he confesses his belief that Jesus is God’s only begotten Son, repents of his sins, and is immersed in water for the forgiveness of his sins by the blood of Jesus (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 2:38; Matt. 26:28).

When one becomes a Christian, he puts to death the old man of sin, and becomes a new creature in Christ (Col. 3:3-10; Rom. 6:3-6).

His New Relationship means coming into Christ, being made a part of His spiritual body – the church(es) of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13, 20, 27; Rom. 16:16). He becomes a child of God, having been born into God’s spiritual family (Jn. 3:3-7; Gal. 3:26-27; Eph. 3:15).

His New Relationship means he has been separated spiritually from the world (SAVED) and added by the Lord to the body of Christ – His church (Acts 2:47; Matt. 16:18).

The word “church” (ecclesia) means “called out body.” A Christian is one who has been called (delivered) out of darkness and translated into the kingdom of Christ (Col. 1:12-13). Christians are therefore said to be “sanctified” or “saints,” meaning set apart (1 Cor. 1:1-2).

The Christian Has New Blessings

Christians are blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ (Eph. 1:3). These include but are not limited to: forgiveness of past sins through Christ’s blood (Acts 2:38; Eph. 1:7; Rev. 1:5); reconciliation; that is, we have been brought back into fellowship unto God (Eph. 2:16); constant access to the cleansing blood of Christ, as long as we walk in the light and make confession of our sins (1 Jn. 1:7-9); the Fatherly care, protection, and guidance of God (1 Pet. 5:7).

We may call upon Him in prayer as our Father (Matt. 6:9; Phil. 4:6-7). We may come boldly unto the throne of grace (Heb. 4:16). Through His Spirit living in us (Rom. 8:10-11), our lives are enriched and we become a blessing to others.

The Christian Has New Responsibilities

When we commit sin, we must take the responsibility for that sin. Getting rid of sin involves personal responsibility – REPENTANCE. Serving the Lord as a Christian involves personal responsibilities. Some of the responsibilities we must grow into, but others we take on immediately when we become Christians.

Some of our New Responsibilities are emphasized by terms that are used in the Bible to describe Christians: “Lights” and “Salt” – descriptive of our influence for good (Matt. 5:13-16); “Branches” of Christ and the vine – emphasizing our obligation to bear fruit for the Master (Jn. 15:1-8); “Soldiers” – making plain our responsibility to “fight the good fight of faith (2 Tim. 2:3).

Every Christian has a place to fill and a function as a member of the ONE body or church of Christ (Ephesians 4:4, 16). However, not all are capable of doing the same things in the building up of the body (1 Cor. 12:4-11).

Some may develop into preachers, teachers, elders, deacons, etc., while others may not be able to take a public part but still carry out the Lord’s marching orders by sowing the seed and teaching in an effort to lead others to Christ (Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16).

The Christian’s New Responsibility means we must grow (1 Pet. 2:2; 2 Pet. 3:18). We all start out as new born-again babes in Christ, but must not continue as babes. We must go on unto perfection (Heb. 5:12-14).

We grow by learning God’s word more perfectly and continually applying it in our everyday lives (James 1:22-25). Though we will make mistakes, we must not be discouraged, but be willing to correct them and profit by them.  

Our New Responsibility means we put the Lord first in our lives (Gal. 2:20; Phil. 1:21). We must display a Christian vocation at all time. That means we must exercise patience and perseverance (Heb. 10:35-36) as we walk (live) in a manner worthy of our calling into the unity of the Spirit (Eph. 4:1-3).

As Christians we are commanded to: worship God in spirit and truth (John 4:24; Heb. 10:25). That means each first day of the week (Sunday) Christians are to assemble with the saints to give as we have been prospered, and remember the body and blood of Jesus by parking of the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:23-30; 16:1-2; Acts 20:7). During our worship we also sing, pray, and hear the word of God proclaimed.

 WARNING: Those who are merely “Sunday morning Christians” are hypocrites and lost (Matt. 23:27-28).

The Christian Has New Loves

We are to love the kingdom of Christ above material things (Matt. 6:33) as we are to set our affections on things above rather than things on earth (Col. 3:1-2).

The Christian Has New Hopes

 We are heirs of God (Rom. 8:17; 1 Pet. 1:4). We have the “new Jerusalem” whose builder is God (Rev. 21:1-7). We look forward to the promise of a home in heaven (Jn. 14:1-3).

Dear friends, there is no greater honor or privilege than that of being a simple New Testament Christian. The cost of being a Christian may be thought to be great (Luke 14:28), but the cost of NOT being a Christian is much greater (Matt. 16:24-27).


1. The name “Christian” was a name given to the Lord’s disciples in derision by the enemies of Christ.

2. The name “Christian” means a denominational church.

3. A Christian “saint” is one who is sinless (without sin).

4. All things remain the same when one becomes a Christian.

5. There is no need for further growth after becoming a Christian.

6. Only the leaders in the church have a part to play as a Christian church member.

7. It is sinful and wrong for Christians to enjoy material possessions.

8. Being a Christian means never again having to worry about temptation.

9. Being a Christian involves only a change in appearance before others. 

10. It is a sin for a Christian to exalt God and His Kingdom above all else. (NOTE: False is the correct answer for all the above). The God of Heaven is so good. We love you all with the love of the Lord (John 13:34-35). 

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