IF YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN…
(This is 2 in a series of blogs on the names of Christians in the Bible)
Remember when you first heard name “Christian”? What did it mean to you? What does “Christian: mean to unbelievers today? How do they define it? How do we define it?
The name “Christian” was first used for believers in Antioch (Acts 11:26). Mockers labeled them “Christians” to identify them as followers of Jesus. It was not a complement but said in ridicule. The term is used only two other times in the Bible: Acts 26:28 and 1 Peter 4:16). “Christian” is based on “Christ,” the Greek word for the Hebrew word “Messiah.” Literally it means “The Anointed One of God” (Acts 10:38; Luke 4:18). “Christ/Messiah” was not a name of Jesus, but rather the title of God Himself come to earth as a man to pay for the sins of the world. Through usage it became synonymous with Jesus.
When you became a Christian, you took Jesus’ name as your identification: “Christian.” It is the same as a woman who takes her husband’s name when marrying. She becomes identified with him. How she lives reflects honor or shame on that name. The same is true of us as Christians.
Unfortunately, not all those who go by the name ‘Christian’ today are really followers of Christ. Not all ‘Christians’ are “Christians.” How can someone reject the authority of the Bible and the deity of Jesus and still claim to be a Christ-follower? They are following a religion of their own making and labeling it ‘Christian.’
Many of those who identify as “Christian” do not bring honor to His name or further the work of His Kingdom on earth. He will reject many who claim His name when they stand before Him (Matthew 7:21-23). Calling yourself a Christian does not make a person a Christian any more than calling yourself a surgeon, professor, or accountant.
There was a time when identifying as a Christian was a positive thing. Now many see it as negative. Classifying yourself as a Christian can result in rejection and criticism. That’s why it is important we live in such a way as to always bring glory to Him. There is no greater honor than being called a Christian.
1 Peter 4:16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.
Do you wear the title proudly? Are you glad to be a Christian? Do others honor Christ because they know you as a follower of His?
INDIA UPDATE & PRAYER REQUEST: Prayer requests:
-Pastors and Christians in India, for food and faithfulness
-Books being translated into Hindi and Spanish, for wisdom and insight for translators
-Someone to assist with this ministry, to help me in the USA and Pastor Moses in India
-Money to keep buying food for pastors in India
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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