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What is a Christian Anyways?

THE BIG QUESTIONS  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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What is a Christian Anyways?

We have looked at the basic questions surrounding our faith.
Who is God
Who is Jesus
Who is the Holy Spirit
Now we ask the question, what is a Christian anyways?
Fair warning… tonight will get HEAVY
Unfortunately Christianity today has been diluted to the point that we don’t even know what it truly means to be a Christian.
Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian anymore that being in a garage makes you a vehicle.

First lets look at what a Christian is not.

A Christian is not a perfect person
Galatians 2:11-14
Galatians 2:11 KJV 1900
11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
Peter is rebuked by Paul for his hypocrisy
A Christian is not loved by the world
John 15:18–20 KJV 1900
18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. 19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. 20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
A Christian is not merely a believer in God.
James 2:19 KJV 1900
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
James 2:
Therefore, we can conclude believing in God (Jesus) does not make one a Christian.
The term Christianity is not meant to be a nice term
It was initially used as a derogatory term to describe the followers of Jesus.
Christian means a follow of Jesus, or quite possibly little Christ.
Let’s break the word down in english, we have Christ and the ending -ian.
Christ = Jesus
-ian = the same meaning or properties of the word it is used before
Christian literally means a follow of Jesus, or quite possibly little Christ.
Acts 11:26 KJV 1900
26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
Acts 11:
How do we know this was derogatory?
A few reasons.
They did not call themselves that, the title was given to them.
This title was given to them by people that despised them.
Another of the 3 usages in the bible is contextually talking about the abuse of these Christians.
How many
Acts 26:28 KJV 1900
28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.
1 Peter 4:16 KJV 1900
16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
King Agrippa ironically answers that Paul almost convinced him.
It is as if he is poking fun at the idea of becoming a Christian.
The wording her is key.
suffer as a Christian.
This would mean that it is common knowledge that Christians suffer.
The term Christian is used to poke fun at the people who follow and obey the teachings of Jesus.
In so doing they were persecuted and oftentimes killed.
All the while they wore the title as a badge of honor?
Is this different from the way we use the word Christian today?
Throughout history Christians have been severely persecuted.
Christians are the most persecuted people group on the planet.
To be a christian in certain parts of the world you very well could lose you life.. even today.
By the numbers.
We are actually living in a day and age where Christian persecution is at an all time high.
Over 900,000 Christians have been martyred in the last 10 years, a Christian research firm affiliated with Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts estimates.
That is roughly one Christian death every 6 minutes
Example of Nero
This was the occasion of the first persecution; and the barbarities exercised on the Christians were such as even excited the commiseration of the Romans themselves. Nero even refined upon cruelty, and contrived all manner of punishments for the Christians that the most infernal imagination could design. In particular, he had some sewed up in skins of wild beasts, and then worried by dogs until they expired; and others dressed in shirts made stiff with wax, fixed to axletrees, and set on fire in his gardens, in order to illuminate them. This persecution was general throughout the whole Roman Empire; but it rather increased than diminished the spirit of Christianity. In the course of it, Paul and Peter were martyred.
In most of the world this is what it means to be a Christian.
How many of you wold claim to be Christians if these were the stakes???
These Men and Women earned the term Christian, they were faithfully following Jesus knowing that they very well may lose their life for the cause.
They claim Christian yet are most certainly not following Jesus.
They claim Christian yet are most certainly not following Jesus.
How has the usage of the word Christian changed over the ages? Do you think it holds the same meaning today as it did when the term was first used?
Do you think we would have less people claiming Christianity if the stakes were your life?
Do you think we would have less people claiming Christianity if the stakes were your life?
What is the difference in believing in God and being a Christian? (Belief is a head knowledge, even the devils know this, Christians follow Jesus because He has their heart, they will do whatever it takes in order to further the gospel)
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