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The image of a “Christian”

What do you think of when you hear the word “Christian”? Someone with a cross necklace, with a Bible in one hand, lecturing all the time? A very religious person going to church every week? Someone who talks kind of funny?

Maybe you have met someone who calls themselves a “Christian” before. May YOU are a “Christian”.

There are alot of different people, so it is difficult to explain “Christian” in one word. The Christians in Japan are different from those overseas.

This is not a “Christian”

There are alot of images of what a “Christian” is, but there are some wrong images :

  • Christians are all good people
  • Christians are all serious/diligent
  • Christians are all poor

So if these are your image of Christians, you will probably be quite surprised when you meet a real Christian.

Definition of a “Christian”

Christians are a group of people who believe Jesus Christ as their savior. We see the birth of the church and “Christians in the book of Acts in the Bible. “Christian” means “little Christ”, and was initially used as a word to make fun of the early followers of Jesus.

So what exactly makes a Christian a Christian? The Christians in the beginning did not really have a clear definition of what makes them Christians. They were only people that “obeyed the teachings of Jesus”. However, in 325 A.D., there was a council in Nicaea called the first Ecumenical Council. Here the definition of a Christian was officially established. The description is summarized in what is called the Nicene Creed.

Nicene creed (English version)

We believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of all things visible and invisible;

And in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten from the Father, only-begotten, that is, from the substance of the Father, God from God, light from light, true God from true God, begotten not made, of one substance with the Father, through Whom all things came into being, things in heaven and things on earth, Who because of us men and because of our salvation came down, and became incarnate and became man, and suffered, and rose again on the third day, and ascended to the heavens, and will come to judge the living and dead,

And in the Holy Spirit.

But as for those who say, There was when He was not, and, Before being born He was not, and that He came into existence out of nothing, or who assert that the Son of God is of a different hypostasis or substance, or created, or is subject to alteration or change – these the Catholic and apostolic Church anathematizes.

It looks a bit complicated, but the important points are below :

  • God was existing from the beginning, and is the only God who created the universe
  • Jesus is God, and became man to save men from sin
  • Jesus suffered, died, and rose again on the 3rd day, and is now in heaven
  • The trinity(God the father, son, and Holy Spirit)

All you need is “Faith”

If you believe the things above, and you say it with your mount, you are a Christian. In the book of Romans in the Bible, this is what it says :

“For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 
Romans 10:10

Also when Paul and Silas were talking with a prison guard in a different story in the book of Acts, this is what they said :

“He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” “

Acts 16:30-31

We become a Christian by “faith”, or believing. We don’t become a Christian by “doing” something. Other religions teach that “good deeds” leads to salvation, or paying money is how you “earn” salvation, but Christianity is different.

Many people think that just believing is not enough to quality as being a Christian. Many think that you have to be baptized, go to church, give offering/tithes, do good things, go out and actively evangelize. Of course these are all good things to do, but the only requirement to become a Christian and be able to go to Heaven is to “believe”!

Categories: 生活聖書

1 Comment

Jada · 2021年7月12日 at 7:53 PM

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