Friday, December 10, 2021
Acts 11:25-26 “Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.”
The term Christian is used only three times in the entire Bible, and yet it has become the world’s primary term of identification for those who have chosen to be followers of Jesus Christ. But so many people use the term loosely and do not understand the personal implications of such an identity. I think it would be good to be reminded of what the term Christian really means and what should be true in the life of a person who is so identified.
In the very front cover of the Bible I have been using this week from my youth, on a page nearly disintegrated by the acid from ink, I found this acrostic of the word CHRISTIAN, and want to share it with you. Every one of these titles is given to you by God. They are your identity.
Child – John 1:12-13 “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”
Heir – Romans 8:16-17 “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”
Redeemed – 1 Corinthians 6:19b-20a “You are not your own; you were bought at a price.” 1 Peter 1:18-19 “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”
Instrument – Romans 6:13 “Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.”
Soldier – Ephesians 6:10-11 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” 2 Timothy 2:3 “Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.”
Temple – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”
Influence – Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” 1 Peter 2:12 “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.”
1 Peter 3:15 “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”
Ambassador – 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.”
New Creation – 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
Isn’t that refreshing? For the past two weeks we have been studying Christian maturity and successful Christian living. This puts a wonderful cap on it. I hope you have been encouraged and challenged to grow in your faith. Growing in faith is important, because even though little faith will bring your soul to heaven, great faith will bring heaven to your soul.