Sunday, July 22, 2018

What is a Christian? Part 3

Chuckle: Kid's version of the Lord's Prayer: "Give us this day our deli bread! Glory be to the Father and the Son and to the Whole East Coast!"
Quote: "The Christian whose life is all sadness, and whose only hope lies beyond the grave, may be sure there is something amiss in his life or method." --Basil W. Maturin
"You shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and all Judea, and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8 NIV).
The third definition of a Christian is: One through whom Jesus Christ is revealed. The early Christians were Zealous in their telling others about their relationship with Jesus Christ, even under the most adverse circumstances. The power of the Holy Spirit worked miracles in the lives of people as they heard the good news. In Acts 26:27-28 NLT, we find the second occurrence of the term "Christian." Paul was proclaiming Christ to king Agrippa and said: "King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do." Then king Agrippa interrupted him. "Do you think you can make me a Christian so quickly?"
God's plan, as it was in Paul's day, is for us true believers to be no less diligent in proclaiming Jesus Christ to an unsaved world than those in the early New Testament church. It is not an option for Christians; it is a command from Jesus Himself. The most familiar of these commands is the Great Commission, Matthew 28:19-20.
Many believers of today do not choose to share Christ with others as Jesus has commanded. Why is this? We are quick to share other good news. Why not the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ? Not only are we to reveal Jesus by what we say and how we live, we must also be willing to suffer for Him if necessary.
The last use of the term "Christian" is found in I Peter 4:15-16 NIV: "If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name (Christian)." What are some ways we can reveal Christ to others?
- By our actions. Jesus said: "Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5-16 NIV).
- By our love. Jesus said: "By this all men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another" (John 13:35 NIV).
- By our words: Peter and John before the Jewish ruling body, the Sanhedrin, said: ". . . we cannot stop telling about the wonderful things we have seen and heard" (Acts 4:20 NLT).
In summary, A "Christian is: (1) One in whom Jesus dwells. If the Holy Sprit of Christ does not dwell in you and me, there is no way the other two characteristics can be genuine. (2) One whose life Jesus controls. If we know and belong to Christ, every facet of our lives should be under the control of His Spirit. (3) One through whom Jesus is revealed. If we are His, we have an obligation and privilege to reveal the saving power of Jesus Christ to others by words and deeds.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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