Defining Christians – What Does It Mean To Be A Christian?
Defining Christians can be a very tough thing to do with all of the seemingly conflicting definitions offered by society. The simplest definition of Christian is “christ like”. To know what that is, we need to understand who Christ is. Read: Mark 1:1-13
John baptized people in the Jordan river telling them he would baptize them in water to cleanse their sin, but when Christ would come, he would baptize them in the Holy Spirit, eternally cleansing their sins.
This commitment does not come without a cost, though. It comes with a series of new responsibilities which carry some pretty powerful titles:
Prophet – Priest – King
As John baptized Jesus, Heaven opened and a dove appeared, signaling God’s anointing of Jesus as a prophet, priest, and king.
A prophet is defined as a person regarded as an inspired teacher or proclaimer of the will of God. They are thought to convey messages from God. The message they deliver is called a prophesy.
Notable prophets in the Bible are: Abraham, Moses, Daniel, Elijah, Elisha, Isaac, and Samuel.
The prophets in the Bible were used by God to deliver his messages to his people. Sometimes they carried messages of hope and deliverance. Often, though, they carried messages of warning and destruction. Prophets were rarely well thought of and often lived in seclusion.
A priest is a religious leader authorized to perform sacred rituals, and is a mediatory agent between humans and God. Priests guide and mentor the people they take charge of. They also lead and teach them.
Priests have a higher standard of ethical and moral code placed on them. While still human, they are to live a life free from sin, modeling how to follow Jesus’ commands, and calling others to God’s message of hope and redemption.
A king is the male monarch (ruler) over a group of people. Kings provide protection and lead the nation. They are sought for their judgement in certain matters, and are looked to for knowledge and wisdom. Their decisions impact their nation and nations around them.
Good kings lead by keeping the best interests of the people in their nation at heart. They think about the impact to their nation, and the nations around them for every decision they make.
Kings also provide protection, building for themselves armies, walls, and defensive measures to protect his people.
God called Jesus to all of these roles. If we are to be “christ-like”, we must also assume these three roles.
Jesus then said in his ministry that Christians should be the hands and feet of Christ. God calls us to the roles of Jesus’ anointing, also, we are to tell God’s plans to the world. Finally, our calling to guide and council those we come into contact with is paramount. We are to rule over resources and people God may send our way to work for His purpose.
With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
As a true follower of Christ, you will take on these three roles throughout your life. I can offer you this warning, be sure in all decisions you are in His will. Working toward your will and not His is grossly mishandling His power, as a result, you will hurt others. In everything, give God the credit and acknowledge his role in your life.
Remember that the world is watching you. God does forgive your sin, but the world often will not. Do not damage your witness by letting your actions be about you and not about God.
“As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove” – Mark 1:10