Hi friends 👋 Today I am opening a simple question for debate.
What is the best term to describe a born again Christian? Is it believer or may be follower? Which one do you think is the most closest to the correct description?
Two synonymous terms
Many Christians use the terms believer and follower synonymously. If we carefully examine these two terms, then we will realise that both these can’t be used as synonymous. There are minor differences.
By definition, Believer is someone who believes in some certain truth wholeheartedly. In Christianity, a person who believes in Jesus Christ is identified as a believer. So he is a believer because he believes in all the truth concerning Jesus.
James 2:19 NASBS
You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.
James wrote that just believing in God isn’t sufficient. A Faith that is not backed up by faith works (that is obedience) is dead. He wrote that demons also have faith in God but they disobey God. Their faith in God doesn’t help them.
Believer is a nonspecific term, it can be applied to any faith. Even an atheist is a believer.😱 Don’t get upset, allow me to explain! The atheist believes that there is no God. Atheist chooses not to believe in God. In a believers terminology, this is called as unbelief, a person with such kind of unbelief is termed as an unbeliever (without belief in God).
So, I feel that the appropriate term which is more specifically applicable to a born again Christian is “the follower of Jesus Christ.” We are called to follow Jesus Christ.
Matthew 4:19 NASBS
And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
This 👆is the way Jesus Christ called his initial followers. He gave a call to follow him and they followed him. The follower observes, follows what his master believes, teaches and practices.
We are called not just to believe but to obey. We are called to follow him who has set such high standards for us. Therefore a follower of Jesus Christ is a better description of a person who has made a life long commitment to follow him.
These two terms are not contradictory but complementary to each other. What is the relationship between these two terms? The term believer is a subset of follower. Let me explain, if we add obedience to belief then that person has progressed from being a mere believer to a follower of Jesus Christ.
Believer + obedience = follower
This is my equation. You may find this topic as little odd, but I thought it is a good topic for debate. I don’t expect everyone to agree with this explanation. Please do add your comments even if you don’t agree.👆
Thanks for reading. Shalom from Bible blogger. 🕊️