I want to ask you a question. Why be a Christian? Many times people reason, being a Christian requires very much of one. This is true. Being a Christian requires dedication and commitment to God and His will. Being a Christian requires sacrifice. It is not the easiest life one could live. As one looks at these things he may be tempted to rephrase the question. Why would anyone want to be a Christian? Well, I can think of a number of good reasons and we plan to discuss these in future issues of Gospel Power. One of them I shall discuss in this article.
One reason to be a Christian is to wear the grandest name given among men whereby we must be saved: -- (Acts 4:12). Let me ask you, How does it feel to wear the name "American"? or to be an "American"? Just the mention of this thrills us and we rejoice. How grand and glorious it is to be an "American." But may I emphasize that this grandeur and glory is multiplied again and again when we think about wearing the name "Christian." In Jas 2:7, speaking of those who persecuted Christians, James said, "Do not they blaspheme that worthy (honorable, ASV) name by which ye are called?" We want to emphasize, the name "Christian" is a "worthy" name! The name "Christian" is an "honorable" name.
Someone may ask, "WHY?" Some believe the name "Christian"
was given to Christians by their enemies, in derision. They tell us the name
was given as an object of ridicule. This is not the case.
In Acts 11:26 we read, "...the disciples were called Christians first at Antioch." The words "were called" in this verse are from a word meaning a "divine calling."
So according to the passage God was the One who did the calling. J.H. Thayer
in defining the word here translated "were called" says, "to
give divine command or admonition, to teach from heaven, to be divinely admonished,
instructed." So, ladies and gentlemen, this calling was not by their enemies
in derision or ridicule but rather it was given to them by God. When we wear
the name "Christian" we wear the name God gave to His people. It is
a shame that many people today wear a name in religion that has come from man
and not named by God. When
we are Christians we can wear the grandest, greatest name given among men.
This is the name in which the apostle Peter strongly affirms in which we can glorify God. "Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf or in this name" (1 Pet. 4:16). In your work for Christ do you glorify God in the name Christian or do you call yourself by some other name? All men need to give this their serious and sober consideration.
The apostle Paul said that the name of Christ is above every name. "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him and given him a name which is above every name" (Phil. 2:9). He zealously and earnestly sought King Agrippa to become a Christian. "Then Agrippa said unto Paul. Almost thou persuadest me to be Christian" (Acts 26:28).
We must realize that there is something in a name. We should gladly wear the name God has given us. In religion we need nothing more, nothing less, and nothing else.
By Cecil F. Cox in Gospel Power, Vol. 15, No. 33, Aug. 17, 2008.
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