SEVEN KINDS OF CHRISTIANS
Updated: Mar 19
The Bible presents us with seven spiritual role models. As we shall soon discover, each of these can represent a different type 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 all of these men. For instance, Cain was a presumptuous character who preferred to offer God what he deemed best, instead of meeting God's requirements (Gen. 4:5-7). Able, on the other hand, was different. He was willing to obey God and follow the rules precisely (Gen. 4:4).
Then there is Jacob and Esau (Gen. 25). Jacob was 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 things. In fact, his devotion to God was so great that he "strove with an angel until day break" in order to secure a spiritual blessing (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 centered on pleasing God. Above all, he wanted God's favour and cared more about God's evaluation of him than man's. But Saul was opposite. He was a real people pleaser and valued men's honor more than God's (1 Sam. 15:30). He was also very proud of his reputation, and when David's fame eclipsed his own, Saul became bitterly jealous and sought to kill him. Ultimately, God rejected Saul and chose David to replace him as king. However, Saul wasn't always that way. According to the Bible, he originally started off very humble, which was why God chose him to become Israel's first ruler (1 Sam. 9).
This leads us to the seventh Christian archetype. You see, while Saul started off well, he failed God miserably at the end of his life. The same could be said of many Christians who initially start well, but over time backslide into apostasy and then finnish poorly. So Saul can also represent 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 and 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 carnal things. They are far too busy pursuing sports and hobbies, or amassing earthly riches to be concerned with 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.
Perhaps after reading the above descriptions you just discovered that your character most closely resembles one of the Bible's bad role models. And maybe, like Saul, you started off well but now find yourself in a backslidden condition. If so, please don't despair. Let me assure you that it's never too late to allow God to fix you. God is able to take any Cain, Esau, or Saul and transform them into an Abel, Jacob, or David. His only request is that we humble ourselves, acknowledge our eror, and permit Him to work the positive changes into our lives.