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Why The Name Christian?
Why The Name Christian?
Christians are named after Christ who is the head of the church. This name brings honor and glory to Christ and denotes one as a follower of Christ by adhering and conforming to His doctrine, and not the doctrines of men.
God foretells that He will "Call his servants by another name" (Isaiah 65:15). And, "The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, and all kings your glory. You shall be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord will name" (Isaiah 62:2). Here God foretells that He will give His people a new name after both Jews and Gentiles are involved. Also notice the Lord would give the name. By Acts Chapter 11, the gospel had been preached to both Jew and Gentile and the church in Antioch was composed of both. In fulfillment of this prophesy from Isaiah, we read "And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch" (Acts 11:26). "And in His name shall the Gentiles trust" (Matthew 12:21). It was the Lord who gave the name after the Gentiles began obeying the gospel.
After the apostle Paul had preached the gospel to King Agrippa, "Then Agrippa said to Paul, ‘You almost persuade me to become a Christian’" (Acts 26:28). Almost is not good enough. When we wear the name "Christian”, we give glory and honor to our Lord. "Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God on this behalf." (1 Peter 4:16). We should never be ashamed to wear the name Christian. Jesus says, "For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory" (Luke 9:26).
The term Christian is used very loosely today. One is not a Christian just because he says he believes in Christ. "Even the devils believe and tremble" (James 2:19). Today every kind of church doctrine, tradition, and practice is labeled as "Christian". Even the United States is called a Christian Nation. This is a misnomer.
Christians are only those who have been baptized for the forgiveness of their sins (Acts 2:38) so they can be saved (Mark 16:16). Then "The Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved" (Acts 2:47). Only Christians are in the Lord’s church and have the promise of Heaven when this life is over. Ephesians 5:23 reads, "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the Saviour of the body.” We should give glory and honor to Christ by wearing only the name Christian, which the Lord Himself gave for us to wear.
Adapted: Bro Ron Boatwright
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