The word “Christian” is attached to everything imaginable. Christian t-shirts, bumperstickers, coffee cups, radio stations and tv stations. There are Christian hospitals and universities. Yes, there is even a Christian toilet paper.
One would think with all of the ways we use the word “Christian” that this would be a word frequently found in the Bible. Not so. It is found in the Bible exactly three times.
Acts 11:26 The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.
Acts 26:28 Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be 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.
Though it is used and abused, the truth is that it is a privilege to wear the name “Christian”. This week I want to share with you some reasons why Christian is more than a name!
There is Great Honor in Wearing That Name!
Some names carry a distinct dishonor. In the New Testament times most of the Jews looked down on non-Jews. That someone was identified as a Gentile or a Samaritan was an insulting name. To be a Nazarene was to be looked down upon. Paul even made a disparaging remark about those Cretans. Even today I have never met a woman named Rahab or Jezebel!
On the other hand, the name Christian is the greatest and most distinguished name of all. It is not the only name by which believers are identified in Luke’s writings. He calls them disciples, saints, brothers, believers, those being saved, and people of the way. But this name Christian honors Christ because unlike those others, it contains the name of Christ.
It at least emphasized the Christ-centered nature of discipleship. ~John R. W. Stott, The Spirit, The Church and the World
Paul wrote in Galatians 6:14, “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus
Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” To wear the name of Christ is something to boast about! Not about ourselves, but about His power to save and adopt us.
More in the next post. Below are some free Kindle finds for your enjoyment!
Books and DVDs in Regard to the late Phyllis Diller