SEVEN KINDS OF CHRISTIANS
Updated: Jan 19
The Bible presents us with seven spiritual role models. As we shall soon discover, each of these may represent a certain kind of Christian. These role models are the following biblical characters: Cain and Abel, Jacob and Esau, and David and Saul. In case you were wondering about the seventh figure, we will get to that later.
There are important lessons to be learned from each of these men. For instance, Cain was a presumptuous sort of character who preferred to offer God what he deemed best, rather than meeting God's terms and guidelines (Gen. 4). Able, on the other hand, was rather different. He was a more compliant and submissive individual who was willing to obey God and follow the rules exactly as requested (Gen. 4).
Then there is Jacob and Esau (Gen. 25). Jacob was most certainly no Saint. But he was different than Esau where it really counted. While Esau's value system was materialistic and physical, Jacob valued spiritual matters of importance. His concern was to illicit God's favour and secure a spiritual blessing even if it meant "striving" with God till day break (Gen. 32; Hos. 12:4).
The final two characters are David and Saul (1 Sam. 17-18). David was a humble man who's chief concern was pleasing God. Above all, he wanted God's favour and cared more about God's evaluation of him than man's. But Saul was different. He was a people pleaser and valued men's honor (1 Sam. 15:30). He was also very proud and his reputation meant everything. As a result, when David's fame eclipsed his own, Saul became bitterly jealous and sought to kill David. Ultimately, Saul was rejected by God and David was chosen to replace him as king. But it wasn't always that way with Saul. According to the Bible, he originally started off very humble and was chosen by God to become Israel's first ruler (1 Sam. 9).
This leads us to the seventh Christian archetype. You see, while Saul started off well, in the final analysis, he finished very poorly. And the same could be said for many Christians. They start off well at first, but ultimately end bad. So it could be said that Saul represents the Christian backslider.
Now when taking into consideration all of our Biblical role models, we end up with seven kinds of Christians that can be described as follows:
1. Abel type Christians are those who revere God's authority and obey Him no matter what is required of them. They have a profound respect for the Bible and diligently seek to understand God's will for their lives. Theirs is a lifestyle of full surrender. And they are motivated to serve God without any reservations or holdouts because they are deeply in love with Him and exceedingly grateful for Christ's sacrificial death on their behalf.
2. Cain type Christians presume they can do things their way and still retain God's favour. They are unwilling to comply fully with God's laws and statutes. They maintain a theology of "easy believism" and are bent on testing God's grace to the limits with their ungodly lifestyle. Nevertheless, they are confident they have a backdoor entrance into heaven awaiting them.
3. Jacob type Christians believe in maintaining a spiritual value system and order of priorities. They are non-materialistic in their pursuits because they set their affection on things above (Col. 3:2). They are zealous by nature and know how to persevere in order to secure heavenly blessings. Theirs is a spiritual inheritance and they have the heritage of the Saints of God.
4. Esau type Christians are addicted to the vain pursuits of the flesh. They are worldly minded and materialistic. And far too busy pursuing sports and hobbies, or amassing earthly riches to be concerned for spiritual matters. They simply have no time for God.
5. David type Christians are wholeheartedly devoted to God. They yearn for God's presence and chiefly regard His evaluation of their character. They are humble and therefore content with their lowly status so long as they secure God's favour. They are not looking to engender men's honour or provoke the admiration of others. When success comes their way, God always gets the glory.
6. Saul type Christians are those who are proud and crave men's honour and respect. They seek to be admired and placed on a tall pedestal before others. God's estimation of their conduct and character simply doesn't matter. Yet they are jealous of God's anointed, just as Saul was jealous of David and actively persecuted him.
7. Christians who have started out well, but finnish poorly and now fall into one of the three categories of BAD role models.
As Christians, we must carefully consider all of the above examples. It is never a bad idea to practice a healthy amount of introspection when it comes to analyzing our lives in these areas. That way we can distance ourselves from the bad character types and wisely emulate the good ones.