March 23, 2022

Is God A Christian?

Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.  Matthew 28:19-20

“Dear Dr. Sala,” wrote an eight-year-old friend, “Is Jesus and God a Christian, or don’t they have to be one because they’re the God?”  Out of the mouths of babes come some of the most profound issues.  Were Jesus and God “Christians” or “don’t they have to be one?”  Our eight-year-old friend is doing some serious thinking, and to be honest with you, that’s a tough question to answer, but let me see what I can do.  Let’s begin by identifying what “God” we are talking about.  Sometimes we use language and assume that everybody understands, when in reality they are talking about something entirely different.

In striving to answer that question, I’m going to be talking about the God of the Bible, the one of whom Moses wrote when he penned these words, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…” (Genesis 1:1).

Does God consider Himself a Christian, or a Jew, a Moslem, or a Buddhist?  God is God.  He is the Giver of life, the Creator of our world, the highest power that you can imagine.  He is neither Christian, nor Jew.  He comes before Abraham, the father of the Jews, and certainly the birth of Christianity, which followed the coming of His Son, Jesus Christ.  Yet this powerful Person – for He is a Person, not an it, a thing, or a power – chose to reveal Himself to man, and He did so in two ways:

First, nature reveals the fact that our world was created.  It didn’t evolve from lower forms of life, nor did the order and precision of our universe result from chance any more than a dictionary would result from an explosion in a print shop.  The book of Romans, chapter one, tells us about this as it says, “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so they are without excuse:”  (Romans 1:20, KJV).

The revelation of God in nature–in the world about us–isn’t enough.  It tells us that there is a God, and surely, we need Him, but to know what God is like, God chose to send His Son, Jesus Christ, who is the express image of the Father.  “Like Father, like Son.”  The hard thing for us to understand is that Jesus was not created and did not just happen to come into existence, as your baby brother was born.  He always was, and always will be.  How do I know this? Confirming His revelation in nature, God told us more about Himself in the Bible, which is a very special Book given by God.

Now, there is one more part to the answer that you need to complete the picture.  Was Jesus a Christian, or did He become one?  Sometimes kids ask if He was a Baptist, or a Catholic, or a Methodist, or what?  Do you know what it means when we say somebody has the cart before the horse?  Naturally, if you put the cart in front of the horse, you can’t pull the wagon, and to call Jesus a Christian is something like getting the cart before the horse.

Believers in Jesus Christ were called “Christians” first in Antioch, more than 30 years after the resurrection of Christ.  It was actually a mocking name meaning “Little Christs,” and was spoken in a bad sense.  The important thing is not what you call yourself, but that you have followed Jesus Christ and know that He has become your personal Lord and Savior.  Only then can we really consider ourselves to be “Christians.” Now, that was a tough question. I hope that this answers it. I hope it drives away some of the darkness rather than create more confusion!

 

Resource reading: Matthew 28:19-20