What is a Christian?
Acts 11:26
Jimmy Chapman

 

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Introduction:
I. A Christian Is One Who Stands Out From Society
...A. A Christian is distinct from other people
...B. A Christian is discussed by other people
II. A Christian Is One Who Speaks Out For The Saviour
...A. Consider the people God elects.
...B. Consider the plan God embraces.
...C. Consider the power of God to equip.
...D. Consider the period God's enablement.
III. A Christian Is One Who Sings Out In Their Suffering
...A. Think on the shame of rejection endured by them.
...B. Think on the sounds of rejoicing expressed by them.
Conclusion:

 

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What is a Christian?

 

Acts 11:26

 

Jimmy Chapman

 

Victory Baptist Church

 

?/?/2001

 

 

Introduction:

1. A Christian is a person who realizes that he/she is a lost sinner, recognizes what God has done for them through the lifted Saviour, and then receives by faith Jesus Christ to Christ to be his lasting salvation.

2. One of the most challenging questions people often ask is "What does it mean to be a Christian?"

One author has said, "the meaning of the word Christian has been reduced to practically nothing." What he was stating is that the word "Christian" has been devalued. The word is used often; however, the Bible records the word only three times in the New Testament.

3. The word "saints" is used (about sixty times), "disciples" (about thirty times), "believers" (about eighty times) and "brethren" (about 200 hundred times) Though all of these refer to Christians, the word Christian is used far less.

Is this significant? I believe it is. In this message let us confine ourselves to the three times where the word "Christian" occurs and let us also note what a Christian is. Consider the distinguishing characteristics of a Christian. That consideration will shed valuable light upon a misunderstood word.

I. A Christian Is One Who Stands Out From Society

Acts 11:26

The word Christian was coined by the heathen population of Antioch to distinguish the followers of Christ from the worshippers of Caesar. It was at first a nickname given in derision and was a name given in contempt. The contempt is still prevalent in our age but the name should be worn in honor.

The Christians of Antioch were a new sort of people who had sprung up among the inhabitants of the city. It was difficult to understand these of "The New Way." The name Christian was given them by those from without. Here was a group of people who do not come under any of their categories; therefore, a new name was needed to describe them. The world of those at Antioch had the same impression about believers which Haman had about the Jews - "Their laws are diverse from all people."

There was a little lad who was once marching out of sync with the rest of the band. Someone inquired as to why and they discovered that he was listening through the use of a set of ear plugs to different music than the rest of the band - he was marching to a different tune.

Why would the people of Antioch call those in "The New Way" Christians? It was because of their evident attachment to the Lord Jesus Christ. The new term "Christians" identified the believers with Christ and Him with them.

How would you describe a man from England? What about a man from Russia? And what about a man from China? A man from England would be described as an Englishman while a man from Russia would be called a Russian and a man from China would be a Chinese. Each of these men would be so called because they belong to that particular group of people.

Therefore, a Christian is a man that belongs to Christ.

Are you recognized as a Christian? One who belongs to Christ? What manner of people ought we to be who carry the name "Christian?"

What should a Christians character be?

What should a Christians conduct be?

What should a Christians conversation be?

Oh, that it might be said of me,
Surely thy speech betrayeth thee
As a friend of Christ of Galilee.

2 Timothy 2:19

Those who carry His name should be easily recognized by the holiness of their walk.

Are you recognized as a strange person? It is a poor commentary on our consistency if we can go through life unrecognized as a Christian by those that are without. The eye of an outside observer may be unable to penetrate the secret of the deep tie that unites us to Jesus, but there should be no possibility of the most superficial and hasty glance overlooking the fact that we are His. That should be plain for all to see whether we speak or be silent.

Is it true that your allegiance to Jesus and the supreme authority which He exercises upon you and upon your life cannot be hid. Are you as David said, "a wonder unto many?"

A. A Christian is distinct from other people

B. A Christian is discussed by other people

II. A Christian Is One Who Speaks Out For The Saviour

Acts 26:28

In Acts 26:28 the apostle Paul is making his defense before King Agrippa and Festus the governor acknowledged he was witnessing to them of the power of the Lord Jesus Christ who had so wonderfully changed and satisfied him ever since the met Jesus on the road to Damascus. Paul observed the king's attentiveness and the anger of Festus.

Festus pronounced Paul to be mad, but the king stated "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian."

One man triumphed by the truth, another was almost persuaded by the truth while yet another was tormented by the truth.

One mark of a true Christian is that whatever his circumstances, he is ready and glad to witness for his Lord. Every person that Jesus saves, He calls to confess Him publicly. It is in the Lord's plan and purpose for His followers to witness for Him. There is no such thing as a secret disciple. Paul said "I am ready to preach the gospel......I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ."

Christians in the early church were marked with a burning zeal to make Christ known to all they came in contact with. "They that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the Word." It was not just the apostles but the rank and file of the church that went forth broadcasting the gospel.

Jesus said "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." If you are not fishing for men, then you are not following Him.

"Ye shall be witnesses unto me"

God's plan for world evangelization is that His own people should be witnesses to His saving grace, wherever they are and wherever they go.

A. Consider the people God elects.

Witnessing is a necessity of a truly saved soul.

B. Consider the plan God embraces.

It is simply giving a testimony that is based on personal experience.

"For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard." A testimony unto Him.

C. Consider the power of God to equip.

D. Consider the period God's enablement.

Until He takes us home or He comes to get us in the rapture.

III. A Christian Is One Who Sings Out In Their Suffering

1 Peter 4:12-16

Peter simply states that Christians must expect to suffer simply because they are a Christian. Persecution is not something alien to the Christian life.

Christians are different from unbelievers and that difference will bring persecution. Religious people are sometimes persecuted but not persecuted on the same level, frequency or intensity that Christians have been and shall be again.

Philippians 1:29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake.

There are many kinds of suffering such as a common suffering (Job 14:1), a carnal suffering (1 Peter 4:4-15), and Christian suffering (2 Timothy 3:12). A godly life will always attracts the devil's attention. Trusting Christ and becoming a Christian does not mean the end of battles; but, it does mean the beginning of new battles. "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake."

The early church was threatened, maligned, despised and persecuted simply because of their love for and loyalty to Christ. See Acts 5:40-42 as it relates to punishment, praise, and proclamation. What can be done with men who, when they have been beaten, thank God for the favor just bestowed on them?

A. Think on the shame of rejection endured by them.

B. Think on the sounds of rejoicing expressed by them.

Acts 16:23-25

Matthew 5:11-12

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. rejoice and be exceeding glad….

Why is it that a real Christian must suffer? It is because he is different from a non-Christian. In the early church there were two kinds of people - pagans and Christians; but today the standard has been lowered. It is time that we raise the standard and dedicate our all to Christ in living a separated life. If we do, this will inevitably bring misunderstanding and suffering.

Conclusion:

1. The marks of a real Christian is clearly seen in that he/she stands out from society, speaks up for the Savour, and sings out in their suffering.

2. Are you a Christian? If so what kind of a Christian are you?

3. Are you so aligned with the world that your Christian experience has lost its joy, your Christian influence has lost its effectiveness, your Christian example has fallen by the wayside?

 

 

© 2001 Jimmy Chapman All Rights Reserved.

Victory Baptist Church

(retorne a http://solascriptura-tt.org/Sermoes/
retorne a http://solascriptura-tt.org/)