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Online In-Depth Biblical Content by Dr. Andy Davis
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What is a Christian?

How would you define a Christian? How would you describe a Christian to unbeliever?

by Andrew Davis on July 27, 2021

“For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh.” - Philippians 3:3  

There are many aspects to a Christian life, and therefore, perhaps, much confusion on what it means to be truly a Christian. If you ask the average person, “What is a Christian?” you might get answers like, “Someone who loves his neighbor,” or “Someone who believes in God,” or “Someone who tries to follow the teachings of Christ.” Now it is certainly to be granted that a true Christian will seek to love his neighbor, will believe in God, and will try to follow the teachings of Christ.  But the core of our faith goes deeper than any of these. The essence of being a Christian centers on a conviction that, were it not for Jesus Christ, we would be eternally lost; that our own efforts can accomplish nothing toward the payment of God’s penalty for sin; that salvation has been amply supplied through the finished work of Christ on the cross; that, through faith in Christ we ourselves have been saved; and that now, through the Spirit we can worship God.


"The essence of being a Christian centers on a conviction that, were it not for Jesus Christ, we would be eternally lost..."


All of this gives us incredible joy! To “glory in Christ Jesus” means to exult in Him, to rejoice in Him from the very bottom of our personality. Our praise is energized by the Holy Spirit and is focused on the person of the Savior, who took our punishment on Himself. A Christian has a joy that an unbeliever could never touch. It is the joy of relief from a danger averted, and equally, of future experiences that words cannot begin to express.  All of this comes only through Christ, as a true “Christian” truly knows. In Philippians 3, Paul discusses the tendency we all have to build a spiritual resumé, a list of our good works that we trust in. We talk about being “basically a good person,” or about “all we’ve done for the church.”  Paul had no use for that, calling it “rubbish” (Phil. 3:8). A Christian has forever turned his back on his own accomplishments, and seeks only to trust in Christ, to exult in Christ, and to worship Christ.  Christ is his favorite topic, his motivating force, and his eternal reward. This is the definition of a true Christian.

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