The word “Christian” is used three times in the New Testament: Acts 11:26, Acts 26:28, and 1 Peter 4:16.
“and when he found him, he brought him back to Antioch. For an entire year they met [with others] in the church and instructed large numbers; and it was in Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians.”
ACTS 11:26 AMP
“Then Agrippa said to Paul, “In a short time [and with so little effort] you [almost] persuade me to become a Christian.””
ACTS 26:28 AMP
“but if anyone suffers [ill-treatment] as a Christian [because of his belief], he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God [because he is considered worthy to suffer] in this name.”
1 Peter 4:16 AMP
Questions to consider:
Who is Jesus and what does the Bible say?
The Bible proclaims that Jesus is the Son of God, the Word, the promised Messiah, sinless, our Savior who died and rose from the dead so we can be cleansed from sin.
“so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life [after physical death, and will actually live forever].” JOHN 3:15 AMP
Jesus is a humble King who speaks not of an earthly kingdom, but of an eternal kingdom in Heaven. He does not use a military campaign to spread this kingdom, but sacrificed His own life so that everyone could be cleansed from sin and have salvation. Jesus is the redeemer of mankind in Christianity. Some Jews and Muslims know Him as a prophet, but do not believe that He is the Messiah (the Son of God) or that He was raised from the dead. This is explored further in this blog.
Where did “Christianity” come from?
Jesus Christ is the ethos of Christianity. However, according to the earliest sources (the Bible 😉), He did not set out to establish a new religion, and He never used the term “Christian.” Jesus was born as a Jew and lived as a “radical” Jew. His disciples were Jews as well. Christianity emerged as a separate religion, sparked by the disciples of Jesus spreading the Good News after His death and resurrection.
Jesus is the cornerstone of the Gospel (the Good News) a series of books in the Bible famously known as Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, which depict that Jesus is the redeemer of mankind. Those who have a monotheist belief in their heart that Jesus is the Son of God and that God is our Father and the one true God will receive salvation. Christians aim to be “Christ-like” so they can be set apart and identified as children of God on this Day of Judgment.
“By their fruit you will recognize them [that is, by their contrived doctrine and self-focus]. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?”
Matthew 7:16 AMP
The Holy Spirit convicts us to continuously put in effort to have righteous consistency, which is continual ethical conduct, personal integrity, moral courage, and Christ-like characteristics. Therefore, believers of the Gospel should aim to be faithful, true and reflect Christ-like characteristics. This requires a daily renewing of the mind and maintaining a personal relationship with God for guidance because we cannot do any of these things on our own.
What is the Gospel or the Good News?
The Bible prophesied that God will send His Son to be sacrificed and restore the link between God (the Father) and humankind (the creation). On Jesus’s ascension He sent us the Holy Spirit to help us to have spiritual discernment and understanding about salvation. Jesus came to spread the Gospel, a new covenant, which is that He is the Messiah and the only way that we can have eternal spiritual freedom is to believe in Him and be born again. Meaning we have to be transformed by the Holy Spirit as this is the only way that we can truly be transformed to be children of God.
We no longer need to live by the law or make sacrifices as the assistance of the Holy Spirit is sufficient to guide us. The new covenant was prophesied in Jeremiah 31:31-34.
““Behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel (the Northern Kingdom) and with the house of Judah (the Southern Kingdom), not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” says the LORD. “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” says the LORD, “I will put My law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they will be My people. And each man will no longer teach his neighbor and his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they will all know Me [through personal experience], from the least of them to the greatest,” says the LORD. “For I will forgive their wickedness, and I will no longer remember their sin.””
JEREMIAH 31:31-34 AMP