The western world is now described as “post-Christian.” At one time, society took its values from Christian, Bible-based values. Today that is no longer true.
This does not mean that the word “Christian” no longer has any relevance in our world. Thirty-one percent of the world still identifies with the term “Christian” to some degree or another.
Unfortunately for most of our world, being a Christian is merely seen as the identification for one of the world’s major religions. It is just one of several faith options. By that standard, there are a lot of Christians — but are they really “Christian”?
What is a Christian and how do I become one?
The root word of Christian is the title given to Jesus when he became the “Christ” — the anointed one of God.
The first time the word is found in the Bible is the reference to the believers at Antioch. They were defined as “Christians” by the pagan culture because they exhibited faith in Jesus Christ. This transformed their lives.
The Antioch believers were not an unbalanced, misguided group of fanatics. They were people who had faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins, had been born again, and were alive spiritually. They were living in relationship to the living God.
That was why they were different. They knew God personally. They were changed, transformed, living out that relationship with God in their real world.
They were also persecuted, rejected, ostracized, imprisoned, tortured, executed, and rejected for their faith in the living Jesus Christ…but they were completely unashamed.
The community looked at them and said, “These people are like Christ was!” Christian. Little Christs.
These people earned this name at great personal cost. They were willing to give up anything and everything to identify with Jesus Christ.
What do you think? Would many of us be willing to give it all up for Christ? Would we be Christians by the New Testament standard of behavior?
Forget the title and identification. Let’s go back to the Bible. People did not call themselves Christians. They called themselves “believers.” Has our faith in Christ affected the way we live? Are we really different than the world around us?
In a world where there are still 7441 unreached people groups, where multitudes in our civilized societies know nothing about Jesus nor the Bible, it is time for the followers of Jesus to stand up and unashamedly live like Christians. It is time to live the example and preach the gospel.
Little Christs. That is our standard. We need to live like Jesus did and people will know we are like HIM.
Are you living like Jesus? Are you standing up, unashamed of who you are? Are you preaching the Gospel and leading others to Christ?
Ephesians 5:1-2, Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Reading Plan: Genesis 43-49
Heavenly Father, I commit to living my life as a believer. I will intentionally share the Gospel with those who aren’t saved. I choose to live as Jesus did and to walk in love and service to others.
Live as Jesus did! It is possible — because you are being transformed by the Holy Spirit to become more and more like him. Share the good news to an officemate, a friend, or a family member. Be of service to your community. Give cheerfully and willingly. Your standard of living should be Jesus!