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Are You a Christian? (4 of 5)
Series: Summer Nights Revival
It came as something of a surprise to me many years ago when I was studying on this subject, to discover that the word "Christian" occurs only three times in the New Testament. It occurs in these verses here, "The disciples were called Christians first in Antioch." It occurs in Acts 26, verse 28, where King Agrippa said to Paul, "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian." Then it occurs the third time in I Peter 4, verse 16, where it says, "Yet, if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God on this behalf."
The question is "What does it mean to be a Christian?" Jesus, when He referred to His followers, used a number of terms. He referred to them as disciples, which means someone who is a learner of the Lord Jesus Christ. He referred to them also as friends. One time He said, "I call you friends." Sometimes He referred to them as His sheep. Jesus had a number of terms of endearment for those who believed in Him.
The early Christians also had some names for themselves. Sometimes they referred to themselves as believers. Many times they called themselves "those of the way." Often they would refer to themselves as brothers and sisters.
I was in the children's area tonight and they were giving testimonies about being saved. One of them said that he went to the counseling room and prayed to receive Christ and was saved. He said the counselor called him brother. Isn't that a beautiful thing that when you and I come to know Jesus we are brothers and sisters in the Lord?
The word Christian was used for the first time in the city of Antioch. It was not used by the Lord. It was not used by believers to describe themselves, but rather it was used by those around who observed them and said, "These people are Christians."
What is a Christian and what does it mean to be a Christian? The word Christian itse ...
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