Saturday, 22 April 2017

Christian and Loving It

"And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch" (Acts 11:26).
The text doesn't state who initiated calling them that - whether it was non-disciples at first, or whether it was initiated by the disciples themselves - it only states that the disciples were called Christians.
"Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian" (Acts 26:28).
But the term stuck, and didn't only stick but it spread - it even came to Agrippa's knowledge!
"And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds" (verse 29).
So Paul didn't deny the term 'Christian', nor deny that he was one - he even wanted Agrippa to become as he was - that is, called a Christian.
"Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf" (I Peter 4:16).
The title, and any slurs its lifestyle attracted, weren't shunned by the Apostle Peter, nor were they to be by the early Church.
Conclusion: the term 'Christian' described true disciples; the term stuck, and spread; the term was not denied; the term itself and any suffering the lifestyle incurred were embraced - by the Apostles, and by the early disciples.
So we can embrace the term too, and its lifestyle. We needn't shrug it off; needn't deny it; needn't avoid any slurs associated with its lifestyle - certainly we need not persecute the term nor those who rightly are called Christians.
The description 'Christians' belongs to disciples!

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