Do you call yourself a Christian? You may be using this word/label incorrectly. A Christian, according to the Bible, is a "follower" or "disciple" of Christ Jesus. A disciple is one who dedicates their life to following Jesus, and His Word. So a Christian is a follower/disciple of Jesus Christ.
We get the English word "Christian" from the Greek word "Christianos". "...and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch." (Acts 11:26b) Notice - the disciples were followers of Jesus before they were called Christians. Here's another very interesting fact: The word Christian does not occur in the New Testament as a name commonly used by Christians themselves. In other words, those who were called Christians didn't refer to themselves as Christians.
In the above verse the words "were called" means "to be directed by God" as if by divine oracle. This same verb "chrematizo" was used involving the magi from the East, who were divinely informed not to return to tell Herod where the baby Jesus was. (See Matthew 2:12,22) As the writer of Hebrews names Noah to the great "Hall of Faith", he uses the same word. God divinely instructed Noah to build the ark. (See Hebrews 11:7) The point is, the folks who first called the disciples "Christians" were divinely directed to do so by God Himself. This blows away the idea that the disciples were first called Christians as an appellation of ridicule, as commonly taught.
To be clear, the folks who were not yet followers of Jesus were the ones who (by divine direction) first began to call the early followers of Jesus Christians. And I'll add that the "divine direction" was the obvious hand of God on the early believers. Who could deny that they were followers of Christ? Thus they were Christians!
This little study has challenged me! So let me challenge you. If you never said you were a Christian, would your coworkers know you were a Christian? Do others who observe your life at home, at school, at work, or in public observe that you're a Christian? By God's hand upon your life, does He speak to others to divinely inform them that you are a Christian (follower of Jesus)? My prayer is that He does. And having been challenged, I am more eager than ever to live for Jesus in such a way that others will not only notice that I'm an Christian, but that they will call me a Christian, without me ever having to give them a hint!
|The Magnolia Story
By Chip & Joanna Gaines with Mark Dagostino
Stars of HGTV's Fixer Upper, Chip and Joanna Gaines have garnered fans across the country with their creativity, humor and their wholesome example of marriage and family. In The Magnolia Story, they share their journey of how they met, their first renovation project, business ups and downs, and the fateful day when Joanna's design work caught the eye of a television producer. Since then, they've not only flipped houses and made people's dreams come true, they've become America's favorite real-life couple. Reading their story, you'll feel like you're sitting at the table with friends you've always known.