What is A Christian? (25 Pack)

by J.G. Hutchinson

A discussion of what a Christian is according to the Bible, as opposed to commonly held beliefs. This is an 8 page tract.


The word "Christian" is a word frequently used, but often misunderstood. God only uses it three times in the whole Bible, and this alone should make us careful in our use of it, lest we use it when we should not. Let's consider three questions concerning the word Christian, and try to answer them - not from my understanding, or yours, or even the knowledge and understanding of scholars and experts. Let's see what God says. The first question is this... Is everyone a Christian If I had no bible, or any religious books to help me consider this question, I could still answer it easily. If everyone is a Christian, why do we carry our keys in a safe place? Why do we lock away money and valuables? Why are there so many thousands of people making a living from maintaining law and order? If everyone is a Christian there is clearly something wrong somewhere. Let's see what God says. Romans 3v23 informs us that not only is it untrue to say that everyone is a Christian, but that the opposite is true - we are all sinners, and each one of us needs a saving change in our lives (Acts 4v12). The second question is as follows... What can a person be, and still not be a Christian One of the most costly misunderstandings you could make is in regard to this question. Some people argue that being brought up in a so-called 'Christian country' is enough to make a person a Christian. They maintain that because a person isn't brought up following pagan or tribal religions - that is enough to qualify them as a Christian. The Lord Jesus once told a story of a man who was born and brought up in the Holy Land - the home of God's chosen people. In the course of the story, Jesus spoke of this man and said "he died, and in hell he lifted up his eyes" (Luke 16v23). It is clear from the Bible that Christians don't go to hell, quite the opposite, they go to heaven; but this man did not have that experience. Like the man in Jesus' story, we could live in a land of Bibles, gospel services and religious activities, and not be a Christian. Other people will contend that going to a Christian church will make a person a Christian. Probably the best group of Christians the world has ever known was the small group of men who followed the Lord Jesus during His time on earth. Yet Jesus Himself said of one member of that group that it would have been better for him if he had never been born. Let's remember that Judas wasn't just a fringe member of the disciples. He wasn't a hanger on - he was the treasurer, and active member who heard Jesus preach on a regular basis. He heard Jesus praying. He saw Jesus healing the sick and raising the dead, and yet he was not a Christian. Like Judas, it is possible to spend virtually all your time in the company of Christians, and still not be one. What about belonging to a Christian family? Surely that makes a person a Christian? That is the firm belief of millions of people who are trusting in the heritage and tradition of their families, and have no experience of their own. David was one of the great men of the Bible. God said that he was "a man after mine own heart". One day, David wept with a broken heart and said, "O Absalom my son, would God that I had died for thee." What is wrong with David? It's quite simple - David was a man of God, a Christian if you like. His son, Absalom, was not and had died on the battlefield. We can live in a Christian land, attend a Christian church, and belong to the finest of Christian families, and still not be a Christian. This is the plain and simple teaching of God's word - the Bible. Finally, let's consider this question... What is a Christian A Christian is... ? Someone who is "born again" John 3v5-7 ? Someone who is "saved" Acts 4:12 & Acts 16v31 ? Someone who has "received Christ" John 1v12 ? Someone who "loves Christ" 1 Corinthians 16v22 ? Someone who "becomes like Christ" Acts 4v13 It is critically important that as you read this tract that you ask "Am I born again?", "When did it happen?", "Have I received Christ - no confirmation, communion or baptism, but Christ?" These issues are so important because they have eternal consequences. Getting it right means heaven. Getting it wrong means hell. Perhaps some reader is now asking, "How can I become a Christian?" Thank God it is possible and simple to become a Christian. Our sins deserve to be punished, and no amount of effort on our part can deflect that judgement. No ceremony or ritual can avoid God's fair and reasonable punishment of our sins. But God loves us, and has no desire to punish us, and because of that love He sent His son to Calvary. On the cross "Christ died for our sins". All the judgement and the punishment of God fell on Jesus Christ instead of on you and me. The apostle Peter says of Jesus, "who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree" (1 Peter 2v24). God is holy, fair and just, and could never sweep sin under the carpet - but on the cross, Jesus satisfied God's holiness, and said just before He died "It is finished". The Bible tells us that God was satisfied with this sacrifice for our sins and raised the Lord Jesus from the dead. That's how our salvation is provided. Perhaps the best known verse in the Bible tells us how we can experience and claim this salvation. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3v16). The answer to our third question is this. When we acknowledge that we have offended God with our sins, and put our trust fully in the Lord Jesus and what He has done at Calvary - then, and then alone do you become a Christian. 



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