Where in the Bible Does it Say “Christian”?
The word Christian is commonly used in the Bible to describe Jesus, but there are only three times that the word appears. These are in the Bible’s book of Acts and the Book of Hebrews. It’s not clear why the word “Christian” is used so much.
The Bible says that followers of Christ are called to be imitators. Paul tells the Corinthians to “model yourselves after Christ.” Although these words may sound arrogant and imitative, they are in fact a clear instruction to imitate Jesus. As children, we may imitate our parents’ behavior and attitude toward life.
Imitation is a natural process that happens between children and adults. This is the reason children imitate their parents. However, if we are to become the disciples of Christ, we must be intentional about it. This means that we must seek to imitate the character of the master disciple, Jesus.
The Bible teaches us that Christ-followers have the same goals. Their goal is to draw attention to Jesus and to honor God. They should practice gentleness in sharing the gospel and reverence in addressing others. In Peter 3:14, they are told to preach the gospel without being aggressive. They also pray that the Word of God will give spiritual life to the dead.
When Jesus ascended, He promised to send His Holy Spirit to His disciples. He told them to wait for the Holy Spirit to come. The Spirit is the indwelling presence of God in every believer. Jesus also warned His followers not to testify until they received power from on high.
The Bible gives us many examples of followers. Many of these examples are from Jesus. In fact, all four gospels speak of people following Christ. We can learn from their example about what it means to be a faithful follower of Christ. The Bible tells us that following the Lord is our highest calling. And it is also our privilege to encourage others to follow Jesus.
In Mark’s gospel, Jesus called fishermen to become his disciples. His disciples would later become the apostles, messengers, and true followers of God. Until then, the Pharisees and scribes defined what it meant to follow God. However, Jesus would not turn fishermen into Pharisees.
Jesus’ followers honor his final recorded prayer and his words by living them – and they do so by the power of the Holy Spirit, his Helper. They also expect special graces and miraculous signs from the Spirit. Their lives are radically counter-cultural, characterized by moral purity, relational integrity, humility, love for the neighbor, and trust in the heavenly Father.
Nathanael, one of the most prominent disciples of Jesus, is among those who follow Jesus. Although Jesus is the center of attention in the scene, many others are present as well. This is because they stepped forward and made a public profession of their faith. They had a very personal experience with Christ, which is reflected in their lives.
As followers of Christ, we should seek to emulate their examples. This means spending time in His Word and praying. Christ spent time praying with His disciples and taught His disciples to do so as well. The Bible teaches us that the way to follow Christ is to spend time in His Word. By making prayer a priority, we can remain close to Him.
Imitators of Christ
The Bible often tells us to be imitators of God. In Ephesians 5:1 we are told to imitate God in the forgiveness He gives us. In 1 Peter 5:2-3, we are urged to imitate God by becoming examples for the flock. The Bible also tells us that Jesus chose twelve disciples to be with Him.
The word “imitate” doesn’t appear in the canon gospels, but it is a common translation of the word “follow.” The word is commonly used in the Bible to describe people who believe in Jesus. In several places in the Bible, Jesus requires that we imitate him in some way, including in Matthew 16:24 and Luke 14:27. In addition, we see the concept of imitation in 1 Thessalonians 1:6 and 1 Peter 2:21.
Imitation is a natural process. Children imitate their parents. Likewise, we can imitate Christ through his teaching. In the Bible, the phrase “be ye therefore imitators of God” should be translated as “be ye followers of God.” In fact, we are called to imitate Christ in all areas of our lives, including our faith.