Monday, April 9, 2012

Interesting tidbit - 16

Q:  In Acts 11:26 it says, "And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians."  The Apostle Paul addresses believers as saints, and brothers, but never Christians.  Wouldn't believers today be more properly called "believers" instead of "Christians" as so many denominations do?

A:  The term "Christian" is a title that was originally given to us by the world.  Notice, the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.  These believers spoke so often of Christ that the world came up with the name "Christians."  Of course, they meant it in a derogatory sense.  The citizens of Antioch were famous for their witty quips.  Since this expression has a Latin origin, it was probably the Romans among them who first gave this name to believers.

Still, based on Acts 11:26; 26:28 and 1 Peter 4:16, there is no reason against being called Christians.  Today, however, the word is so sweeping that it includes both believers and religious unbelievers.  While a true believer is a Christian, one who calls himself a Christian may not necessarily be saved.  Therefore, it might be better to use only "believers," "saved," or "saints" — or at least qualify the term "Christian" when we use it.

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