by Jerry Vines

Acts 11:19-30
Dr. Vines 9/21/86
If you were in the 8:00 service this morning, you know that I took the last
sentence of the 26th verse of this chapter and spoke on one word, that word
Christians. That is the first occasi(on in al,lI of the Biibl1e where believers in
the Lord Jesus are called Christians. It was at the city of Antioch that the
disciples of Jesus were called Christians for the very first time. I said to
you th at the word, Christian really means, one who belongs to Jesus Christ.
So, I spent a little time this morning talking about what it means
individually to be a Christian. What it means to belong to the Lord Jesus
Christ. The term, Christian, was not given by the Christians to describe
themselves, but rather it was a term that was used by the people in Antioch to
describe the kind of conduce and lifestyle which they saw demonstrated by the
believers in the Lord. It was really kind of a word used in scorn. It was a
word of ridicule. It was a word of rebuke. Yet as is so often true, the Lord
took a word that was intended to be a slang word, an insult, and turned it
around and has made it to be probably the most popular description ever used
of those who are followers of Jesus Christ. Those who know Jesus Christ
tonight are very glad to be identified as Christians -- those who belong to
What I want to do tonight is to move just a step further in our study of
what it means to be a Christian. I want to point out to you that when the
people in Antioch used this term, they used it in its plural form. Look again
at verse 26, the last sentence.
"And the disciples (plural) were called Christians (plural)
first in Antioch."
You will notice there that it is a plural word used to describe the body of
believers. Christians were the disciples called. This means that when
individuals came to know Christ and were saved, they became a part of what we
refer to as the church of the Lord Jesus. There ...

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