CHRISTIAN OR NOT A CHRISTIAN
(Acts 11:26) "... And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch."
It has been said that the name "Christian" was given by the enemies of the Lord in derision. That is not so. No more glorious name could have been given God's people therefore Peter declares, "If a man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God in this name" (ASV 1 Peter 4:16)
The suffix "ian" attached to a word means, "relating, resembling or belonging to." We see it used in the words, Galatians, Corinthians, Colossians, etc. So, in attaching the suffix to the name of Christ we have a group of people who belong to, relate to, and/or resemble him.
Isaiah told of a time when God's people would be called by a new name. The name Christian is the only exclusive name by which they were ever called. They were called disciples but this word means a learner. One could be a disciple of Plato, Hermes or Homer. They were called friends but that word can be used to indicate friends of the world or of Satan. They were called saints but that word merely means they were a separate people.
There were not different kinds of Christians in the New Testament. They were either Christians or they were not Christians. The word of God is the seed of the kingdom. When that seed is planted in good and honest hearts, it produces Christians. Whether in 33 a.d. or 2001 a.d. when that happens the result is the same. Christians are produced. They belong to Christ. They do what he says. They worship him the same way they did 2000 years ago. They teach the same doctrine they did 2000 years ago.
"Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. 29 And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds" (Acts 26:28).
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