What is a Christian?

Excerpts taken and adapted from , “What is the Christian?”
Written by, David Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981).


The man who is not a Christian is a man who is…

…dead in trespasses and sins. He is being led about according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience. His conversation is in the lusts of the flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; he is under the wrath of God by nature. That is the non-Christian.

What is the Christian?

He is the exact opposite of that—quickened, alive, raised, seated in the heavenlies, entirely different, the complete contrast. The “but” brings out everywhere this aspect of contrast. Obviously, we cannot truly understand our position as Christians unless we realize that it is a complete contrast to what we once were. You see how important it is in interpreting the Scripture to take everything in its context. We must be clear about our state in sin because, if we are not, we shall never be clear about our state in grace and in salvation.

If that is the truth about us as Christians now, two main matters must occupy our attention. The first is, “How has all this happened to us? How has this come to be true of me as a Christian?” The Apostle answers the question: it is “together with Christ.”

Do you notice his constantly repeated emphasis? “When we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” Here we are undoubtedly face-to-face with one of the greatest and most marvelous of all the Christian doctrines, one of the most glorious beyond any question at all. It is the whole teaching of the Scripture with regard to our union with Christ. It is a teaching that you find in many places. I would refer you to the fifth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, which is in many ways the most extended statement of the doctrine to be found anywhere. But it is to be found in exactly the same way in the sixth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans. It is likewise found in 1 Corinthians 15, the great chapter that is read so often at funeral services; but it is seen equally clearly in 2 Corinthians, chapter 5. Similarly it is the teaching found in those beautiful words at the end of the second chapter of the Epistle to the Galatians: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Gal 2:20). This is the most wonderful and the most amazing thing of all, and to me it is always a matter of great surprise that this blessed doctrine should receive so little attention!

For some reason or other, Christian people seem to be afraid of it… Yet according to this teaching in Ephesians 2 and elsewhere, you are not Christians at all unless you are joined to Christ and “in Him”…