What is a Christian?

What makes a person a Christian? Who decides who is a Christian and who is not?

I know where the term was first used, but I am curious as to what might have earned Christians that particular moniker. I am aware of no "inside the Bible" answer, no formal definition, and so I realize that everyone that comes to the table for this discussion will have to go outside of our common source and into their personal sources (whatever they may be).

Personally (and let me know what I miss and what I have right, if you like) I think the meaning of the word Christian is, "one who follows Christ." We might add subordinate clauses, like "one who accepts the Apostle's claims about Christ," or "one who accepts the authority of XXXX regarding Christ." I just want to know what makes us embrace the name "Christian."

What makes YOU a Christian?

(play nice)

cottom's picture

One can study Christ and not be a Christian

This is very true, I experienced it myself. By age 12 I was teaching adult Sunday School in our small denominational country church. I read well, I spoke well, and I had a head full of Biblical knowledge. I could talk the talk, and didn't do that bad of job at walking the walk, but inside I knew something was missing.
It was not until I was 28 years old that I truly accepted Jesus Christ into my spirit, my heart, and made Him Lord of my life. It is at that moment all the knowledge in my head sprang alive, started making sense, I have no doubt that on that day I became a Christian.