the fishermen ministry-Africa

Grace Mountain Assembly

Called to Be a Peculiar People

All throughout history a particular group of people have always in every generation have been called the people of God. For the past 2000 years, this group has come to be known as Christians.
The Name Christian
According to Easton’s Revised Bible Dictionary the word “Christian” was the name given by the Greeks or Romans, probably in reproach, to the followers of Jesus. It was first used at Antioch. The names by which the disciples were known among themselves were "brethren," "the faithful," "elect," "saints," "believers." But as distinguishing them from the multitude without, the name "Christian" came into use, and was universally accepted. This name occurs but three times in the New Testament Acts 11:26; 26:28; 1Pe 4:16. What was meant to be a derogatory term used to taunt and make a certain group of people feel ashamed and unwanted is now associated with blessing.

Now, the question is why did the people of Antioch nickname the followers of Christ Christians? What was so different about them that called for them to be disdained by the community in which they lived? Could it be that the Antioch pagans simply did not like to have anything to do with godliness as exhibited by the Christians or by their way of life? There is an important difference between being a "good" person and being a Christian. Somebody can have many good attributes, he can even be a devoted helper or a generous person, but these things do not make him a Christian. Good attributes are advantageous for others on a certain level, but they can only be used in the best way after a person has repented to God. If a person wants to be "good" without repenting to God, there is a danger that his "goodness" or "greatness" will cause others to respect and honor him instead of honoring and following Jesus.

The New Creature

The bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.” A closer look at this verse reveals that first a Christian should be in Christ. The life that a Christian lives should no longer be for himself but for Christ. Next the Christian is a new creature who is supposed to exhibit a life in conformity to the new nature in him. Thirdly any previous lifestyle lived becomes an issue of the past and buried with the old nature that had passed away. The knowledge of God's own loving nature is what leads Christians to devote themselves completely to serving God and others. “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” (1 John 4:8) Following Jesus means seeking what God wants to do with our life in all points and in all moments. A Christian must be ready to give up everything because of God. Manifesting the new nature and life in Christ means a Christian must turn from pride and materialistic pursuits and be ready to let go of his/her ambitions, careers and hobbies for the sake of the Kingdom of God. This places the Christian in a situation of total obedience and submission to God. This kind of life does not appeal to the unbeliever and so leads him/her to sometimes conclude that Christians are narrow minded individuals. But that is what makes Christianity unique.