A Peculiar People

An interesting note for Christians from Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones:


“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”
John 17:3

“The end of salvation is that we should have eternal life. What is a Christian? What is Christianity? The definition given by the New Testament is that a Christian is a person who possesses eternal life. Perhaps the best way of emphasizing that is to consider how it is that we hold such a low view of Christianity and the Christian life. What is the average person’s conception of a Christian and what makes one a Christian?

Some people seem to think of it in terms of country. They still speak about Christian countries and non-Christian countries, as if the whole country could be Christian. Others think in terms of church membership. Others think in terms of living a good life, following Christ and His teaching, trying to apply it personally, and getting other people to do the same.

But according to the New Testament, all that does not even begin to make one a Christian, and the world is very often quick to detect the hollowness of the claims in such people who call themselves Christians.

I was reading of a distinction that I think was common among many Chinese people in past years. They called all the ordinary foreigners Christians, but others they called “Jesus people.” What they meant was that they regarded everybody who went to China from the West as Christians, because they came from so-called Christian countries, and most of them claimed that they were Christians. But the Chinese saw that they were often drunkards and immoral and so on, and they felt that if that was Christianity, they did not want it. Then they found that there were other people who came from the same countries and people but were altogether different, and the Chinese began to call them “Jesus people,” because they seemed to be like the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.”

What does it mean to me personally to be called a Christian? Am I a CINO(Christian In Name Only)? Am I a political Christian? Maybe a cultural Christian? A church Christian?

Or a Bible Christian?

A bible Christian is one who is not a hearer only, but a doer. They practice the presence of Christ in their daily life. They read and meditate on the word and integrate it into their thoughts, values and life to the best of their understanding. They understand they are a peculiar people who are possessors of eternal life. They truly believe they are sojourners only in this realm, and their foremost goal while here is to serve Christ and help people in their daily life. -gw

10 thoughts on “A Peculiar People”

        1. Yes, Luther thought it contradicted Paul’s teaching on grace. He initially wanted to remove it from the Protestant bible but relented upon many protests. I suspect Luther didn’t initially understand the message. As a new Christian disciple I didn’t understand it in the beginning and hated it. But I kept getting drawn to it and was finally able to reconcile it with Paul’s message of salvation by grace alone. But it took long study for the two to come together in my understanding.

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  1. Someone years ago said to me ‘There are Christians’ and ‘There are ians’. The ‘ians’ are Christians who do not have Christ within them but just go about ‘looking and doing’ Christian things ….. I like what the Chinese say though gw ‘Jesus people’. Now that is a compliment! Loved your article! jacqui x

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