Acts 11: Disciples Called Christians
“The hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.” – Acts 11:21
Thanks again to all of you who keep reading and studying along with me on my journey. As always, I appreciate you! Much love and many thanks.
We’re in Acts chapter 11 now. And we see as a continuation from Cornelius’ conversion in chapter 10 (and his family’s) that Peter is explaining to the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem how that salvation had been brought to the Gentiles as well (Acts 11:1-18).
When they heard Peter’s discourse about what had happened, “they became silent; and they glorified God, saying: ‘Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life'” (Acts 11:18).
That means that you and I, who are not Jews, have the promise of salvation through repentance, belief, confession, and salvation. That’s beautiful.
The one who recognizes that and acts upon it is very smart and wise.
The remainder of chapter 11 details the church at Antioch. Notice how the gospel began to spread throughout the regions. “Now those who were scattered after the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch […]” (Acts 11:19).
The Lord was with the early disciples, and the church continued to grow (Acts 11:21). The church sent Barnabas to encourage the newly saved disciples of Christ in Antioch. Barnabas found Saul and took him with him. For a year, together, Barnabas and Saul taught the church and a whole lot of people (Acts 11:22-26).
“And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch” (Acts 11:26). Let’s stay here for a minute. There are some people in this world who will call you every thing but a child of God. (May the Lord bless them to become one.)
But what do you call yourself? How do you identify yourself religiously? Are you a Baptist? Are you a Methodist? Are you a Presbyterian? Are you a Catholic? Are you a Seventh-Day Adventist?
Or, are you simply a Christian?
A lot of people nowadays bear the name of others rather than the name of Christ. It ought not to be so.
Paul told the church at Corinth that he was glad that he didn’t baptize any of them because he didn’t want anyone calling themselves by his name, like they were saying of Apollos and Cephas (1 Cor. 1:12-15).
“Is Christ divided? Was it Paul who was crucified for you? Or were you baptized in Paul’s name?” – 1 Cor. 1:13
If we are to restore New Testament Christianity, then we have to do what the early Christians did and be called what they were called. We can be unified in that and identify ourselves with Christ only.
I’m a Christian. I’m a follower of Christ – nothing more and nothing less. And I’m so glad to be.
You can be a Christian, too. Jesus Christ offers salvation and pardon of all sins to the one who will obey Him. While I would love to pardon sins, I do not have that power. It would be nice to just pick a person and say, “I pardon Terica Turner of any wrongdoing, sins, misgivings, or crimes. Her slate is wiped clean.” However, power to pardon sins is left to Christ.
He shed His blood on Calvary so that you and I can have forgiveness of sins. You can be forgiven and have the hope of heaven if you’ll believe that Jesus is the Son of God, confess that to others, repent of your sins, and be baptized for the forgiveness of them.
The Lord wants you to follow Him and to be like Him.
Let’s be Christians.
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