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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: F.E. Marsh :: Readings 451-500 (The Word - Wedges)

F.E. Marsh :: 487. What is a Christian?

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WE find that the word “Christian” only occurs three times in the New Testament. First, “If any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed” (1 Peter 4:16). Second, “Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian,” which was spoken in contempt by Agrippa to Paul (Acts 26:28, R.V.). Third, “The disciples were called Christians first in Antioch” (Acts 11:26). It has been a matter of contention as to who called them Christians, whether it was a name applied to them in ridicule by the world, or whether God called them by that name. We believe God called them Christians, from the simple fact that the word “called” in the eight instances where it is recorded, has reference to God Himself speaking and acting. The wise men, “being warned of God,” did not return to Herod (Matthew 2:12); Joseph, “being warned of God,” turned aside to Galilee (Matthew 2:22); it was revealed unto Simeon by the Holy Ghost that he “should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ” (Luke 2:26); Cornelius “was warned from God” (Acts 10:22); “She shall be called an adulteress” (Romans 7:3), that is because God calls her so; “Moses was admonished of God” (Hebrews 8:5); “Noah being warned of God” (Hebrews 11:7); “If they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth” (Hebrews 12:25). Thus in every case where the Holy Spirit uses this word,* it has reference to a communication from God, and hence we assume that the title “Christian” is God-given.

We give an acrostic on the word “Christian,” as illustrating what he is-

Child of God, as to his relationship to the Lord (John 1:12-13).
Heir of God, as to his inheritance in the Lord (1 Peter 1:3-4).
Redeemed one, as to his being freed by the Lord (Rom. 8:2; Ephesians 1:7).
Influence, as to his responsibility to the Lord (Matthew 5:14-16).
Soldier, as to fighting for the Lord (2 Timothy 2:3).
Temple, as to being occupied by the Lord (1 Corinthians 3:16).
Instrument, to be used by the Lord (Romans 6:13).
Ambassador, as to his representation of the Lord (2 Cor. 5:20).
New man in Christ, as to his attitude towards the Lord and the world (2 Corinthians 5:17).

* The words in italics are one and the same in the Greek.

486. What is a Christian? ← Prior Section
488. What is a Christian? Next Section →
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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