Christian Titles

1 John 3:1: Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

Acts 11:26: 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 26:28: Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.

1 Peter 4:16: Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.

The word Christian appears only twice in the Bible and the word Christians only once. In all three passages the word means a follower of Christ. There are a lot of people who call themselves Christians who do not fit the definition. They do not follow Christ. Since followers of Christ is quite definitive I tend to like that title better and better. God seems to prefer to call Christians more often by other names. The other names give more important and more accurate definitions of what a Christian is. Perhaps we should call ourselves more often by those other names. It would be well to call ourselves by every title that God has given us.

Acts 5:14: And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.)

1 Timothy 4:12: Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

The word believers appears only twice in the Bible and surprisingly, the word believer does not appear even once in the Bible.

We are called sons of God and children of God and He is referred to as our Father many more times in the Bible than we are called Christians or believers. If calling us His children and having us call Him our Father are more important to God than the other names, and they seem to be, calling ourselves His children and calling Him our Father should be more important to us too. That relationship is of extreme importance. I have the notion that child of God is the most honorable, prestigious and privileged and yet underserved name He has given us.

A man I knew before I was saved was particularly delighted that he was a saint. That was his favorite title. And of course many of the gospels are written to saints who were obviously not dead. Even though everyone who has received Jesus is a set apart saint, calling themselves that without an explanation would probably go over like a lead balloon.

The words disciple and disciples appear in the Bible 262 times. Only one of them appears in the Old Testament. The words mean pupil or learner. God apparently believes that it is important that we become learners, and learners who learn from the Bible and from their personal relationships with Him. There are a lot of people who claim to be Christians who do not learn from the Bible.

Children of God are called servants of God or of Jesus Christ many times throughout the Bible. There are a lot of people who call themselves Christians who do not serve God.

Perhaps we need to put more emphasis on the more definitive titles that are used in the Bible, being Children of God, followers of God, learners about God and servants of God. Those titles seem to point to humility more than Christian or believer. If we are children of God, we will prove it to others by being followers, learners and servants of His.

Care to discuss Christian Titles with Ron?

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