Acts 11:19 - 30
ESV - 19 Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except Jews. 20 But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who on coming to Antioch spoke to the Hellenists also, preaching the Lord Jesus.
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Great question, Vijaya! A Christian is a person who is saved ("Who hath saved us and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace" -- God's purpose and God's grace --which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began." This verse I memorized as part of a Scripture memory program. And I loved it right away, and I still use this verse when I’m sharing Christ. -- 2 Timothy 1:9 You see, God loves us, called us, and sent Christ to die for us. We can have eternal life through faith in Him, who broke the power of death by His resurrection (see 2 Timothy 1:10). And it is "not according to our works." I.e. we don't deserve to be saved, but God offers us salvation anyway. What we have to do is believe in Him and accept His offer. And then a Christian is one who will see the Lord (1 John 3:2), and at that time we shall be “like Him” (1 John 3:2). Our privilege has been to be brought out of darkness into Light (Col. 1:13; Jn 8:12). And then we have become ‘children of God’ (1 John 3:1). Our practice should be “pure” (1 John 3:3), pure in thought (Phil. 4:8), pure in word (Eph. 4:29), and pure in deed (1 Tim. 5:22).
I would say that Christians are people who: 1) acknowledge their own sinful imperfection, as well as the estrangement between themselves and a holy God that their sin has caused; 2) recognize Jesus as God incarnate and as the only means that God has provided to address the estrangement of humanity from Him caused by sin; and 3) who depend completely upon faith in Jesus' atoning death and resurrection (rather than in anything that they have done or can ever do) to obtain forgiveness of their sin by God and to be granted eternal life in God's presence. (Christians' assurance of that salvation gained through faith should also then motivate them to perform good works out of gratitude to God for it (as well as in imitation of Christ), but it is not those works that save them.)
A Christian is the word for a person who acts like Christ would - as an actor studies the role and then performs that part. Like an actor pretends, and it is understood the Christian is not the real Christ. The credits are the "book of Life". When speaking of all the Christians, they are called Christ's Bride. With intercourse being some kind of metaphor for worship. Sometimes another metaphor is used, with Christ being a vine and the actors are the branches.
I like to use Acts 2:37-42 when thinking about this. At this point, new converts came to Peter and the apostles and asked, “Brethren, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him.” And he testified with many other words and exhorted them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. So I would say a Christian is someone who is baptized into Christ; rejects the crookedness of secular things; and devotes himself or herself to the teaching passed down from the Apostles, to the breaking of bread (the Lord's Supper), and praying.
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