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BRIC House Gathering no5

But God demon!rates h# o$ love for us in %#:

While we were !ill sinners, Ch'! (ed for us.

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What Kind of Christian are You?
CHRISTIAN Greek word Christianos originally applied to the slaves belonging to a great
household. It came to denote the adherents of an individual or party. A Christian is an adherent
of Christ; one committed to Christ; a follower of Christ. e word is used three times in the NT.
Believers “were first called Christians in Antioch” because their behavior, activity, and speech
were like Christ (Acts 11:26 HCSB). Agrippa responded to Paul’s witness, “Are you going to
persuade me to become a Christian so easily?” (Acts 26:28 HCSB). He spoke of becoming an
adherent of Christ. Peter stated that believers who suffer as a Christian are to do so for the
glory of God (1 Pet. 4:16). A Christian is one who becomes an adherent of Christ, whose daily
life and behavior facing adversity is like Christ.1

e follow snippets where taken from an article titled: 5 Kinds of Christians:

To understand the range and differences among American Christians, Christianity Today International
(publisher of Leadership) recently partnered with Zondervan Publishers to commission Knowledge Networks to
conduct attitudinal and behavioral research of U.S. Christians. In September 2006, more than 1,000 self-
identified Christians 18 years of age and older were surveyed on their religious beliefs and practices. e results
reveal a number of significant differences, [removed .ed]. In fact, portraits of five distinct segments emerged from
the study. We have named them Active, Professing, Liturgical, Private, and Cultural Christians.

"Faith is relevant for many people, but church is not," says Bryan Wilkerson, senior pastor of Grace Chapel in
Lexington, Massachusetts. "People want to attend to the spiritual side of their lives, they are interested in God,
but their experience of church has not been relevant. ey say, 'Why do I have to sit through boring sermons and
old music that don't speak to my real needs and problems?'"

"ese days, people can get good teaching, wonderful music, and excellent writing, whether through iPods, TV, or
online," says Wilkerson. "ey learn to shop around and pick and choose. en they expect the same high quality
in their local church. A generation ago, the average person learned to accept his home pastor and was faithful to
his local church. But now, people's appetites for excellence have been heightened."

Active Christians 19%


1. Believe salvation comes through Jesus Christ
2. Committed churchgoers
3. Bible readers
4. Accept leadership positions
5. Invest in personal faith development through the church
6. Feel obligated to share faith; 79% do so.

Professing Christians 20%


1. Believe salvation comes through Jesus Christ
2. Focus on personal relationship with God and Jesus
3. Similar beliefs to Active Christians, different actions
4. Less involved in church, both attending and serving
5. Less commitment to Bible reading or sharing faith

Liturgical Christians 16%


1. Predominantly Catholic and Lutheran

1 “CHRISTIAN,” Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary, n.p.

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2. Regular churchgoers
3. High level of spiritual activity, mostly expressed by serving in church and/or community
4. Recognize authority of the church

Private Christians 24%


1. Largest and youngest segment
2. Believe in God and doing good things
3. Own a Bible, but don't read it
4. Spiritual interest, but not within church context
5. Only about a third attend church at all
6. Almost none are church leaders

Cultural Christians 21%


1. Little outward religious behavior or attitudes
2. God aware, but little personal involvement with God
3. Do not view Jesus as essential to salvation
4. Affirm many ways to God
5. Favor universality theology2

2 http://www.christianitytoday.com/le/2007/fall/1.19.html

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Scriptures
“You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matt 5:48 ESV)
How can we be perfect? (1) In character: In this life we cannot be flawless, but we can aspire to be as
much like Christ as possible. (2) In holiness: Like the Pharisees, we are to separate ourselves from the
world’s sinful values. But unlike the Pharisees, we are to be devoted to God’s desires rather than our own
and carry his love and mercy into the world. (3) In maturity: We can’t achieve Christlike character and holy
living all at once, but we must grow toward maturity and wholeness. Just as we expect different behavior
from a baby, a child, a teenager, and an adult, so God expects different behavior from us, depending on
our stage of spiritual development. (4) In love: We can seek to love others as completely as God loves us.
We can be perfect if our behavior is appropriate for our maturity level—perfect, yet with much
room to grow. Our tendency to sin must never deter us from striving to be more like Christ. Christ calls
all of his disciples to excel, to rise above mediocrity, and to mature in every area, becoming like him.
ose who strive to become perfect will one day be perfect, even as Christ is perfect (1 John 3:2, 3).3

“A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his
teacher.” (Luke 6:40 ESV)
Jesus also pointed out that a man’s words will eventually tell what kind of man he is (vv. 43-45). Just
as people know the kind of tree by the fruit it bears, so people know from what a person says whether he
is righteous or not. In this case fruit stands for what is said, not what is done: out of the overflow of his
heart his mouth speaks.4

“Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know
that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.” (1 John 3:2 ESV)

“We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he
murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous.” (1 John 3:12 ESV)

3 Life Application Study Bible (Accordance electronic ed. Carol Stream: Tyndale House Publishers, 2004), n.p.
4John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck, eds., e Bible Knowledge Commentary: New Testament (Accordance electronic
ed. Wheaton: Victor Books, 1983), n.p.

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Questions
1. Why does thinking about what kind of Christian you are matter?

2. Who influences the way you think about church and other Christians? In other words, who
do you trust to instruct, teach or lead you. Why?

3. When do you consider your impact on others? In church? In sin?

4. Where do you meet (not greet) the most Christians?

5. What kind of Christian are you?

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Homework
If you are so inclined, try to biblically answer the following question and present your answer
next week:

What makes us Righteous?

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