A Christian Is . . .
Christian is a word that appears only three times in the entire Bible. The three references to it are:
Acts 11:26: “And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called [Christians] first in Antioch.”
Acts 26:28: “Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a [Christian].”
1 Pet. 4:16: “Yet if any man suffer as a [Christian], let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.”
Contrary to a popular concept it does not mean “Christ-like.” It is a name that denotes relationship. One may be a Kentuckian or a Rotarian based on the relationship suggested by those terms. The word literally means “of Christ.”
It is never used as an adjective in scripture although in modern communication we hear of “a Christian nation,” “Christian Radio” and similar designations.
Christian always refers to saved persons.
1. The fist time Christian appears in the Bible, the “disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.” The verb “were called” is a special technical Greek verb meaning a divine oracle or utterance. God called the disciples of Christ “Christians” by revealing that as a new name for the saved (Isa. 62:2).
2. After our Lord was raised from the dead he commissioned his chosen apostles to “go make disciples of all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:19-20).
3. Sinners become disciples by baptism into the name of the sacred Godhead, based on their faith in Jesus as the Son of God (John 8:24) and repentance (Acts 2:38).
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