Why not be just a Christian?

If we receive the Bible as the Word of God, then we should recognize its authority. Paul wrote unto the brethren in Thessalonica, "For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe" (I Thess. 2:13).

We read in the New Testament in Acts 11:25-26, "Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul: 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." The disciples of Christ were called Christians because they were followers of Christ. Why shouldn't His disciples be "just Christians" today? Why should any Christian wear a denominational name to divide and set himself apart from other Christians?

So much of the religious world admires Martin Luther, but they fail to listen to what he taught on the subject. Martin Luther said, "What is Luther? After all, the teaching is not mine. Nor was I crucified for anyone. St. Paul would not permit Christians to call themselves Pauline or Petrine, but Christian. How then should I -- poor, stinking sack of maggots that I am -- be entitled to have people call the children of Christ by my wretched name?" It is evident from this quote that Luther was against anyone calling himself a "Lutheran." I have no doubt but that John the Baptist would feel the same way had he lived to enter into the Lord's church or the kingdom of Christ.

When Paul reasoned with King Agrippa he said, "King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest. Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian" (Acts 26:27-28). Even King Agrippa realized that the disciples were called Christians. There is no way he could have said in the first century, "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Lutheran!" If Martin Luther could understand the subject so clearly, why can't so many understand the subject today? Could it be because tradition has taken the place of the authority of the Word of God?

Peter also used the name "Christian" to refer to the disciples of Christ. We read, "But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters.

16  Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf" (I Peter 4:15-16). It is obvious that the name "Christian" glorifies the Savior. If that is the case, who does the name of Luther or John the Baptist glorify?

God foretold prophetically that He would give a new name to His children. "And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name" (Isaiah 62:2). This prophecy was fulfilled when "the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch" (Acts 11:26).

My friend, if you love God, love the Bible, and love Christ, why not be just a Christian?

 

That Sacred Name

A Christian is not ashamed of Christ,

His Word, His blood, nor His sacrifice.

He gladly wears that sacred name.

He seeks no honor and seeks no fame.

Let each a Christian only be,

For Christ our Lord has set us free.

We gladly wear that sacred name,

For Christ we honor and Christ proclaim.

 




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Staff

Jerry Barlow
Minister
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Mike Gafford
Member
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Cecil Gandy
Member
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