1 Peter 4:16 says, “If anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.” What is a Christian? Very simply, a Christian is a follower of Jesus Christ.
The word was first used at Antioch when the Greeks called Jesus followers Christians. Before that the followers of Christ referred to themselves as disciples. So, what is a disciple then? Well, a disciple is… a follower of Jesus. But what does that mean to follow Jesus?
Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits himself? Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words,” I will be ashamed of him on the day of judgment.
Jesus also said, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” Meaning that you must value Christ above everything. After all, Jesus gives us everything, dying on the cross for our sins, so that all who believe in Him will live forever in heaven.
Being a Christian means you follow Jesus with your whole life. You turn from sin and be holy. You obey His word, the Bible. You love His people, the church. You love others and share His gospel.
Following Jesus is not easy road. Jesus Himself said people will hate us just for His name. But praise God, we’re following the one who rose from the dead. He will bring us into His kingdom. Being a Christian will cost you everything. But it’s worth the cost, when we understand the text.