January 24, 2023

What is a Christian, Anyway?


And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. Hebrews 10:19-20

“You’re very religious,” my friend commented. “Would you call yourself a Christian?” “Well… yes,” I answered. “But what do you think a Christian is,” I asked in return.

Before there were people called Christians, there were followers of something called, the “Way.” Of Himself, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). The term “the Way” shows up in the Bible book of Acts (Acts 9:2,19:9,23, 22:4, 24:14,22) and it’s how people referred to those who were following Jesus, especially those who wanted to snuff out this revolution. The Apostle Paul said, “I worship…God…as a follower of the Way” (Acts 24:14) and the Bible book of Hebrews calls it, “the new and living way” for us to relate to God (Hebrews 10:19-20).

When a person surrenders control of their life to Jesus Christ, when they commit to trying to live like Jesus did, the Bible says that a transformational change takes place in a person. It literally says that “anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

So, calling oneself a Christian should mean that everything about me—my thinking and my living, reflects Jesus’s way and His words. Thankfully, followers of Jesus aren’t just people who are trying harder to be good. Scripture says that God’s Spirit comes to live within us and “helps us in our weakness” (Romans 8:25). God’s Spirit gives the life, peace and direction that we need to live this different way, to follow the one Who is the Way (Romans 8:6,15), to be a Christian.