Vol.V No.VII Pg.3
September 1968

Christians Are ..

Robert F. Turner

Joe Fitch says, (see editorial) "If one takes "Christ" out of "Christian" that leaves only --ian, which stands for "I ain't nuthin'!!" We borrow more from bro. Fitch for this article.

Enoch, Abraham, and Moses were not "Christians". Christianity has a time element; is clearly related to "these last days" of the New Covenant. (See Heb. 9:14-17 1:1-f. Acts 2:16-f) The "Christian" is also related to Christ by far more than name and dispensation. Various designations used for followers of Christ help us to grasp the scriptural definition.

For example, Christians are disciples. (Acts 11:26) These are learners and followers, a relation to the teacher and the things taught. In the early use of this word among Greeks, the disciple often lived with the "Master" feeding on his wisdom and imbibing his spirit. This "new name" (Isa. 62:2) richly describes something wholly incompatible with the casual "churchgoer".

Christians are saints, (1 Cor. 1:2) in relation to the old and sin. The word means "holy" or "set apart from that which is common." Making "Saint" an honorary or official classification, as in the Roman church, is unwarranted by scriptures, and harmful. All true Christians are saints. This describes their response to a "call", hence "called-saints", indicative of self-dedication, commitment.

Christians are "different" — like a "holy" vessel in the Jewish temple was different; i.e., reserved to holy use. Of course the Christian exercises, will in taking such a position — giving himself to the service of God. He is cleansed from sin through the offering of the Son of God — "sanctified in Christ" "bought with a price" (1 Cor. 1:2 6:19-20)

In relation to other Christians, a Christian is a "brother" ("sister"). This is no more a "title" than is "saint"; yet my wife and I have been introduced as "Bro. and Mrs. Turner." Why not "St. and Mrs. Turner"?? I'll have you know my wife is both saint and sister.

Christians love one-another, and enjoy the closeness of a spiritual family relation. "Love the brotherhood" (1 Pet. 2:17) enjoins individual relations, not "church" associations. Notice how often James evokes the warmth of brotherly love. Jas. 1:2f)

Christians are "believers" in relation to Christ, and to truth. Timothy was to be an example to believers by showing his love for and fidelity to truth. (1 Tim. 4: 12-16) How sad it is that many religions have limited "faith" to a sort of mental acceptance of the historical existence of Christ. Love for what the Lord said scarcely enters the picture - yet we can not find scripture that separates Christ from what He exemplified and taught. His words shall judge us in the last day. (Jn. 12:48) How can one be a "Christian" who has no respect for the authority of His word ??

And Christians are "sons" of God (Jn. 1:12) As such chastening is not grievous. We bask in the Father's love and inherit heaven. (Heb. 12:1-f.)