What if I told you the word “Christian” was not a revelation? It wasn’t. Your mantra, your go-to label, your safe little box that you tick on forms was no revelation of the disciples of Christ. It was, in fact, most likely coined by the unregenerated, carnal minds of the world.
So what’s the harm, since it means “Christ-like” doesn’t it? Yes, the same way that I could tell my crush that her beauty is like a dove (singular similarity) or my nemesis that he moves about like a roaring lion looking for whom to devour.
In both these instances, I am stating, matter of factly, that the one is not the other.
My crush, who is like a dove, does not have wings, she cannot fly, doesn’t have the brain of a bird and is not a specie of birds. My adversary is merely making pretenses, like a child after watching Lion King.
But scripture reveals to us that it is closer to the truth to say that you are Christ than it is to say that you are Christlike.
In Daniel, after Nebuchadnezzar threw Shedrach and his crew into the burning furnace, he said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” You see how he used his limited world view to describe Jesus? Now imagine Jesus went on to adopt the name “like a son of the gods”, what an understatement it would be and that’s exactly what we have done with “Christian”.
There are numerous scriptures which assure us that we do not merely share some properties similar to Christ, but that we are, in fact, essentially the same.
Paul says he no longer lives but Christ lives in him, is Christ a Christian 😕?
There is a lotta Greek translating I was going to do here, but I won’t. Like how symmorphoō is the adjective of morphe (oh look, I did it anyway). So when the Bible says we should be conformed to the image of Christ, it is more or less using the same word it uses to ascribe Jesus as being God. In other parts of the Bible, the word “form” is used as a link between us and Christ as it is between Christ and God. So to say that you are like Christ is to say that Christ is like God 😮😱😲🤯
In case you didn’t catch that heresy, what I’m trying to say is, Jesus isn’t like God, He is the very same as God. And we? We don’t exist. Not on God’s radar anyway, the only thing He picks up is Christ. When you come up on the monitor, it is Jesus He sees, not someone who looks like Jesus, or acts like Jesus, but Jesus. No simile, not even a metaphor, but a literal sameness.
As purely a descriptive term, there is no issue, as even Peter later refers to believers as Christians, but it is never once used in the Bible as a piece of revelation. And in a world where Christian is quickly becoming synonymous with a blindly faithful homophobe, it is important that we get past labels and know who we truly are in Christ.
You are not Christian. You are Christ. And when I say you I mean Christ, because you died, you’re gone. That selfish, carnal person no longer exists. God burnt down the hospital that birthed you, the police report that condemned you and even the cemetery that buried you. There is no record of you anywhere. All that is left, is Christ!