Who is a Christian?

The term “Christian” is used very broadly today, but it was not always so.

The name Christian refers to a follower of Christ. It is only used three times in the New Testament: in Acts 11:26, Acts 26:28, and  1 Peter 4:16. There is a similar thought expressed as “I am of Christ” in 1 Corinthians 1:12. In fact some translations fo the scriptures have this as “I belong to Christ.” Therefore, it is understood that the term Christian refers to a person who is a believer and a follower of Christ; not just one who believes in Him, but also one who follows Him.

Out of concern for the error of men following religious leaders, Paul was severe in his correction of such and error. People in the city of Corinth, who were Christians, had begun to set themselves up in camps of people who claimed loyalty to one or another of the men who preached the gospel about Jesus. Some said that they favored Paul, others said that they preferred Peter and still others said that Apollos was the man. So, Paul asked them “Was Paul crucified for you?” and “Were you baptized in the name of Paul?” In other words, he was saying you must only be loyal to the one who was crucified for you. And who was that? There was only one who did – Jesus [see Romans 5:8]. So, the only religious person who deserves to be followed is Jesus Christ.

Also note that Paul asked whether anyone had been baptized into the name of Paul. If that name was to be worn a person would have to believe that Paul had been crucified and raised from the dead and to have been baptized “in the name of,” or by the authority of, Paul. But Paul had not died for anyone’s sins and he had not been resurrected. [Neither had Peter or Apollos]. What is plain is that to wear the name of Christ one must have been baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Also, as He died and was raised again, the form of that baptism must be like that of a death, burial, and resurrection – see Romans 6:4. Only one form of baptism meets those requirements – immersion.

Also, Jesus said that is “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16). Thus, the whoever who is baptized must be old enough to believe for the person believing must be the same person being baptized. These rules out baby christening/baptism.

Are you a believer and follower of Jesus Christ?
Do you believe that Jesus is the Lord of the Universe and thus of your life?
Do you believe that Jesus died to save you?
Have you been baptized in such a way that you were immersed?

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