What does it mean when a person says, “I am a Christian”?
In today’s culture, it can mean a wide variety of things. First of all, many people simply mean “I am a good person.” They believe that if they try their best to follow the ten commandments, are basically kind to others, and give to the poor, they can consider themselves Christians.
When others use the term “Christian”, they mean they are not Jewish, Islamic, or Hindu, therefore, by default, they are Christians.
And then there are those who are at church for every meeting and event, making sure they perform their due dilligence and never miss a Sunday. These folks believe that God is keeping score and the one with the most consistent church attendance wins the “Best Christian” prize and entrance into heaven.
Did you know that in other parts of the world people think that all Americans are “Christians”? It’s true. So basically, they understand the term to mean, Americans.
The word “Christian” comes from the Greek word, “Christianos”, meaning “follower of Christ” which comes from “Christos”, meaning “anointed one. The first recorded use of the term is in Acts in the New Testament where Paul (Saul) is teaching the disciples and they begin to be referred to as “Christians”. (Acts 11:26)
In reality, we only become Christians when we come to know Jesus Christ as our Savior and accept his free gift of salvation. It is then that we become Christ followers, as were the first disciples in the book of Acts ( they were literally Christ followers, as well, following him all over the countryside!). But are we Christ followers in name only? What does it mean to really follow Christ in today’s culture?
Read my next blog post to find out.