It’s a Test for the Church
The Title: Christian – Part 1
Scripture Reading: Acts 11:25-30
Key Verse: Acts 11:26
…and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.
Our scripture tells us explicitly when people who believed in Jesus were first given a label. The scripture doesn’t tell us if these believers were happy or sad about the label—maybe neither. But this we know: It was in a town named Antioch that believers were first called “Christians.” The Greek word that these who coined the label used was “christianos,” and literally means a follower of Christ.
It is interesting to me that the very next few verses describe a famine that was coming to that area. It was being predicted by some prophets that came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. When the disciples living in Antioch heard this news, they immediately sprang into action. They wanted to provide some help—some relief that they knew their brothers and sisters in the Lord were going to need.
I’m wondering how big a factor these actions of the believers in Antioch played in getting the world around them to call them “Christians.” This I am certain of: The world was seeing something; they were witnessing some observable behavior for them to get the title: Christian. In my opinion, the early believers were passing the test. When presented with people who were hungry, they did something about it.
Do you think we are passing the test? When we see a need, do we spring into action? (Continued)
Father, make me and my church like the early church—ready and willing to cheerfully give and serve. In Jesus’ name, amen.