Daily Devotion for June 30, 2016

'What Meaning of the Word "Christian?"'

Acts 11:26b NAS
...and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.

In Ron Rhodes' book The 10 Most Important Things You Can Say to a Jehovah's Witness, Ron clarifies that the meaning of the word “Christian” is “found in the 'ian' ending." Specifically, "Among the ancients, this ending meant 'belonging to the party of.' 'Herodians' belonged to the party of Herod. 'Caesarians' belonged to the party of Caesar. 'Christians' belonged to Christ. And Christians were loyal to Christ just as the Herodians were loyal to Herod and Caesarians were loyal to Caesar.

The significance of the name 'Christian' was that these followers of Jesus were recognized as a distinct group. They were separate from Judaism and all other religions of the ancient world. We might loosely translate 'Christians' as 'those who belong to Christ,' 'Christ-ones,' or perhaps 'Christ-people.' They are the ones who follow Christ.

Imagine what it may have been like in Antioch as one local resident said something to another regarding these followers of Jesus:

'Who are these people?' one Antiochan might ask another.

'Oh, they are the people who are always talking about Christ—the Christ-people, the Christians.'

Those who have studied the culture of Antioch have notated that the Antiochans were well known for making fun of people. It may be that the early followers of Jesus were called 'Christians' by local residents as a term of derision, an appellation of ridicule. Be that as it may, history reveals that by the second century Christians adopted the title as a badge of honor. They took pride (in a healthy kind of way) in following Jesus. They had a genuine relationship with the living, resurrected Christ, and they were utterly faithful to Him—even in the face of death...”

Hmm...

Fellow Believer, may you too take “pride (in a healthy kind of way!)” of being called a “Christian” and “in following Jesus!” Moreover, may your “genuine relationship with the living, resurrected Christ” increase your...

1) staying vitally connected with a loving Christ,
2) trusting and devoting yourself to One—your Savior,
3) remembering You are personally related to Jesus Christ,
4) living twenty-four hours of every day with Jesus, FOR Jesus,
5) “talking about Christ”...

Because you are part of a “distinct group”—a group that is “SEPARATE” from “all other religions!” Because you “belong to CHRIST!”
Because you are “loyal to CHRIST!”
Because you “follow CHRIST!”
Because you are “utterly faithful to HIM” in thoughts, in words, and in actions—for His glory!

AMEN!!!

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