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Christianity

Christianity

"And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch."

Acts 11:26 (KJV)

What, or who, is a "Christian?"

"Christian" is first mentioned in Acts 11:26 (KJV) as quoted above. It is also used two other times in the Bible:

  • Acts 26:28 (KJV) - "Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian."
  • 1 Peter 4:16 (KJV) - "Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf."

"Christian" is translated from the Greek word, "christianos," which means "follower of Christ." Some have defined "Christian" as meaning "Christ-like" or "like Christ"; however, there is a problem with those definitions. If we attempt to be "Christ-like," this would include characteristics, privileges, knowledge, and powers within the Godhead of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. There is only one that seeks to be "Christ-" or "God-like" and that is Satan; he wants to dethrone God so that all the world will serve him. We see this in the scripture below leading up to the end times.

  • 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 (KJV) "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works."

On the other hand, to be a "follower of Christ" is a more accurate definition that aligns with God's will and the teachings that Christ gave to us while He lived in the flesh. Pay close attention to what Christ says in the following scripture:

  • Matthew 4:19 (KJV) - "And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."

How do we "follow" Christ? What does it mean to be "fishers of men?"

When we are saved, we become a child of God and a joint heir with Christ to the kingdom of Heaven. However, we are only here on Earth to serve one purpose--the will of God. God is our Father in Heaven and we are to be obedient (as children to a parent) to Him. Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son, is our "big brother" sent to us as an example of how we should live, love, honor and serve our Father and how to do HIS will.

  • Jesus said to the multitude, "For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother." Mark 3:35 (KJV)
  • Jesus said to his disciples, "For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you." John 13:15 (KJV)
  • Jesus, as an example, came to fulfill the will of His Father (God): "For I came down from heaven, NOT to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day." John 6:38-40 (KJV)
  • Jesus said to Nicodemus, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." John 3:16-17 (KJV)
  • Peter speaks to those of us who are saved: "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls." 1 Peter 2:21-25 (KJV)

What is God's will: "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." 1 Timothy 2:3-6 (KJV)

In summary, God's will is for "all men to be saved" and He sent his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to die for the world (all of mankind) as a blood sacrifice for sin so that through Him all men and women can be saved. Jesus' life was a living example of how we are to live our lives in righteousness, love ALL mankind, and sacrifice our lives to accomplish the will of our Father (God). This is how we "follow" Christ. The Apostle Paul writes to the Romans about how and why we should follow Christ's example, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Romans 12:1-2 (KJV)

Why should we do this? To be "fishers of men." Soul winners! We are to go out into this world, fish for lost souls, and use the Word of God (Bible) to lead them to God's salvation through the Gospel of Jesus Christ! This commandment is given to ALL "Christians" (followers of Christ) in the Great Commission: "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen." Matthew 28:18-20 (KJV)

So, how do we fulfill the will of God?

The light of Christianity...

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