Who Is A Christian? | The Institute for Creation Research
Who Is A Christian?

“Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf” (I Peter 4:16).

The term “Christian” has become so nebulous today as to mean almost anyone except a Jew, or Moslem, or atheist. When it was first used, however, its meaning was quite specific: “The disciples were called Christians first in Antioch” (Acts 11:26).

Thus, a Christian was a disciple (i.e., a “learner” or “follower”) of Christ. The term is transliterated directly from the Greek, “Christ” being Christos in the Greek, and “Christian” being Christianos. It was probably used in mild derision by the unbelievers of early New Testament time.

This name is used only two other times in the New Testament. When Paul gave his testimony to King Agrippa, the king retorted: “Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian” (Acts 26:28), the sense of the reply (according to Greek scholars) being something like: “With this little bit of persuasion, are you trying to turn me into a Christian?”

What was perhaps mild sarcasm, on the part of the citizens of Antioch and King Agrippa, soon turned into open persecution, and it became quite dangerous, in many places, to be called a Christian. A term of ridicule became a term of scorn and condemnation. The Christians to whom Peter wrote his first epistle were being “reproached for the name of Christ” (I Peter 4:14), and this persecution would soon become a “fiery trial” (v.12). Therefore, Peter sought to encourage them, by reminding them that they would thereby be fellowshipping in “Christ’s sufferings” (v.13).

Then, in the final use of the word in the Bible, he reminds us, even today, that suffering “as a Christian” (v.16) is not a cause for compromise or complaint, but for rejoicing and praising God! We can even “glorify God on this behalf.” HMM

The Latest
NEWS
ICR's New In-Depth Science Book: Chimps and Humans
Evolutionists frequently claim that human and chimp DNA are over 98% similar. They need this percentage to support their hypothesis that humans and...

NEWS
Fossil Chromatin Looks Young
What are the odds that a buried animal would still have intact DNA after 125 million years? Researchers publishing in the journal Communications Biology...

NEWS
Inside October 2021 Acts & Facts
How is the Lord’s handiwork on display at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park? Does the universe look old? What can we learn about science and...

NEWS
Two-Volume Series: Restoring the Truth about Origins
The subject of origins continues to attract interest from the public and the scientific establishment. Understanding our origins informs us of who we are...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Floods Form Fossils Fast
Christy Hardy and Susan Windsor* You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation with...

ACTS & FACTS
A Battle for Hearts
Since the ICR Discovery Center for Science & Earth History opened in fall of 2019, tens of thousands of people have walked through our doors. They...

APOLOGETICS
Eating Bugs Isn't Always So Simple
The Lord Jesus Christ deserves glory for why He made Earth’s diverse creatures, and He also deserves glory for the complicated details of how...

ACTS & FACTS
Does the Universe Look Old?
Since distant galaxies are billions of light-years away, some understandably assume that distant starlight must have taken billions of years to reach...

ACTS & FACTS
Hawaii Behind the Scenes
ICR Research Scientist Dr. Brian Thomas and ICR Video Producer Clint Loveness, with help from friends and family, recently shot footage in Maui, Hawaii,...

ACTS & FACTS
Mutation, Design, and Faith
Any alteration in a cell’s DNA sequence is a mutation. These changes can come from copying errors, exposure to chemicals or radiation, or from...