Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Who is a Christian?

Today a Christian is one who is saved by the shed blood of Jesus Christ on Calvary’s cross.  But there were Christians before Paul.  They were members of the Kingdom church—the Jewish baptist church—the Little Flock.

Mark 16:16
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Acts 2:38
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Luke 12:32
Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

They (the Little Flock) believed that Jesus Christ was Israel’s Messiah and they were Christians (Christ ones).  Peter calls them Christians.

1 Peter 4:16
Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.

The world doesn’t define a Christian this way today.  But here is how the Bible defines one in this dispensation of grace:  A Christian is someone from any nation who believes the gospel given to the apostle Paul.

1 Corinthians 15:3-4
For I [Paul] delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

If you believe that message you are technically a Christian.  But being a Christian is more than just salvation (being saved from the penalty of sin); it also includes sanctification and edification. 

1 Timothy 2:4
Who will have all men to be saved [justification], and to come unto the knowledge of the truth [wherein one learns about sanctification and edification…and glorification!].

1 Corinthians 1:30
But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

Ephesians 4:12
For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Romans 8:30
Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

That message also comes from the apostle Paul.  His 13 epistles are in the Bible to teach us how to be Christians – how to follow Christ.

1 Corinthians 11:1
Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

2 Timothy 2:7
Consider what I [Paul] say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.

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