What Is a Christian?

by Roby Ellis          SPANISH/ESPAÑOL

[Scripture Reading: Acts 11:19-30]


A. Most dictionaries define the word “Christian” as “a person who believes in the doctrines of Jesus and acknowledges his divinity.”

B. While man’s definitions of a Christian are diverse and conflicting, the only definition that matters is God’s, for He invented the word.

C. In fulfillment of prophecy (Isaiah 62:2), God gave His people a new name (Acts 11:26)—“Christian.” What does it mean to be a Christian?

I. A Christian is someone who has heard God’s Word and obeyed it.

A. They heard the Gospel (vss. 19-20; cf. Romans 10:17).

B. They believed the Gospel (vs. 21; cf. John 8:24).

C. They turned to the Lord (vs. 21; cf. Acts 3:19).

D. They were added to the Lord (vs. 24; cf. Acts 2:41).

E. They cleaved to the Lord (vs. 23; cf. Matthew 15:32).

II. A Christian is someone who shows the love of God in his heart.

A. They desired to help those in need (vss. 27-29).

B. They put love into action (vss. 29-30; cf. 2 Corinthians 8:10-12).

III. A Christian is someone who follows God’s pattern.

A. They honored God’s pattern for worship (vs. 26).

B. They honored God’s pattern for church authority (vs. 30).


A. Just because you consider yourself a Christian doesn’t mean that you are one: what matters is whether or not God considers you a Christian.

B. If you wish to be a Christian by God’s definition, you must hear the Gospel and obey it, show your love for others, and honor the pattern God has established.

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