When a person becomes a follower of Jesus Christ, he gets a new name. In Antioch (in Syria), the disciples of Jesus were called Christians for the first time [Acts 11:26]. Some say it was a derogatory term, but it was necessary. The world of the early church was divided into Jew and Gentile.
With the coming of Jesus Christ, Jewish people accepted Him as their Saviour. Likewise, Gentiles were converted, so the old terms of Jew and Gentile no longer accurately described the new converts. So the name Christian was coined.
What is a Christian? Literally, a Christian is a Christ-One, just as a Canadian is a person who belongs to Canada. So a Christian is a Christ-one, one who belongs to Christ.
How does a person become a Christian? A person’s citizenship is determined primarily by birth. The great difference in Christianity is that we are not born into our faith by birth in a Christian country, attendance at a Christian church, or fellowship with Christian people.
We become Christian by the new birth that Jesus spoke about to Nicodemus when He said, “Ye must be born again” [John 3:7].
We are born into natural life by one never-to-be-repeated physical birth. We enter into spiritual life by being born again by a one-time operation of the Holy Spirit.
How is one born again? R. A. Torrey said there were two things to know and one to do in order to become a Christian. We need to know that we are sinners and that, in Jesus, there is One who can save from sin and its consequences. What we need to do is to call upon Him.
“Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” [Romans 10:13].
Have you called? Are you a Christian?