A Christian is a person who has accepted the undiluted gospel that God has revealed himself through Jesus and accepted Him as his Lord and personal savior, lives in communion with God and in the power of the Holy Spirit, taking his/her place in the fellowship of Christ’s church . He/she has been called to trust and follow Jesus Christ, to keep company with him, to learn form his word and to share in his mission in the powr of the Holy Spirit and in company with other Christians. The roots of the word Christian is traced to Antioch where the disciples, after the ascension of Jesus Christ, propagated the gospel of the Lord. Act 11:25-26. Here the name Christian was given to them because they lived a Christ-like life. A Christian life is a process of growth. The new Christian becomes like ababty who has to grow. Growth therefore is influenced by the type of food the baby is fed on. Similarly the Christian needs spiritual food to enable him or her grow.
Category of People under Christianity.
In this world today, it seems any person is called a Christian because he/she attends a church or belongs to a group of people what are believers. But Christianity goes beyond that. There are category of people under Christianity. Let’s see them. They are;
1. Enquirer 2. Attender 3. Believer 4.convert 5. Disciple 6. Engaged.
.1. Enquire: a new comer to our church is an enquirer many a times. We see new faces during our services. These people are said to be enquirers. Since we don’t know the person, and we can’t tell his personal faith just by his first look , we consider him to be an enquirer. This person may be simply looking for a convenient place to worship. Someone who comes for the first time in our church might have little or no knowledge of the Christian faith. It could also be that the person has a need or problem and comes in hope that the church has an answer. An enquirer may decide to stay or not.
2. ATTENDER; someone who has first come to the church as an enquirer may decide to stay and become an attender. That is an enquirer who stay with us becomes attender. This person attends the weekly worship more or less regularly. She/he may register his or her name with the church. ie he becomes a member of the church. But beyond this she/her does not commit him/herself to anything like tithing, group affiliation (no group) or involvement in church activities beside the Sunday services.
If some goes so far as attending teaching sessions she/he may proceed to the next level by rowing in faith and become a believer.
3. BELIEVER: a believer has moved from merely attending church as a social activity to learn more about the basics of faith. this person has heard many of the bible stories has idea about who God is Christ is heaven or hell etc. and has listened to presentations of the gospel and may be a regular and committed attend of the bible studies prayer meetings (group), fellowship groups and all the relevant meetings of the church. The person has probably given intellectual assent to the claims of Christianity and particularly the church but has not yet recognized the need to enter into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. This means, he has still not completely surrender his or her life to Jesus Christ as savior and lord you may be wondering, yes he has no place in eternity though he passed the above character. Now, let continue the journey is quite long.
4. Convert. (I like this person) a convert has a place in eternity. this is a believer who completely surrenders, has the characteristics of a believer, he has openly confess his/her sin and have accepted that Jesus Christ is his lord and personal savior and enter into a personal relationship with Christ is the one mediator between god and mankind and is convinced of her/his eternal future with God. Such a person lives in the power of the Holy Spirit and is always lead by the spirit. He/she is ready to tread the path of discipleship, so you see why most people claim to be Christians but are not? The fact that you possess the first 3 features doesn’t make you a Christian, yes it doesn’t you need to shine your eye for you don’t have a place in eternity if you belong to the first 3 category. Come with me and lets continue never give up , God is your helper.
5. DISCIPLE: A Disciple is anyone who is following Christianity, a learner who may be an ordained or lay member of the church. Such a person seeks to live out the Christian life on a daily basics touching the lives of others for Christ sake. This person is unlikely to engage in continuous Christian education organized by the church evangelism etc. on his/her own to deepen his/her own faith and to widen his/her horizon about the church universal and the own particular denomination. Discipleship continue from conversion until the end of earthly life. People who are so committed we can call them engaged.
6. ENGAGED; to be engaged means not only to be occupied but giving one’s time and energy in the service of Christ and his church with full commitment when people are engaged here means to be on the way to Christian maturity which will only be completed in the final face to face encounter with god like a person who holds the plough (Luke 9:62) the engaged Christian recognizes there is no turning back to the old life.
Reference : Chrisian Education manual for catechism.