It is, perhaps, surprising, to find almost a total absence of the word “Christian” in the New Testament; there are only three references. However, the word is much used today both in the church and in secular society. One dictionary defines “Christian” as “a decent, respectable person” (Chambers Concise). However, we need to remind ourselves that the first six letters of the word spell “Christ”, and that without Him and His sacrifice for our sins, the word is meaningless.
In this booklet the author looks at the origin and meaning of the word “Christian” and the apparent reluctance of those who first believed to accept it as a word to describe themselves. He also considers
- the use of the word “saints” to describe believers,
- the message they preached and believed,
- and their consequent witness in word and life.3