What Is A Christian
Because of its divine origin and use in the New Testament, we believe the name Christian far surpasses all the titles and designations of men; hence, we are Christians only, and we seek no other identifying name. The word Christian, “follower of Christ,” is found three times in the New Testament:
|1.||“And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch” Acts 11:26.|
|2.||“Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian” Acts 26:28.|
|3.||“Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf” 1 Peter 4:16.|
We learn the following from these three references:
|*||Those in the world referred to the early disciples as “Christians” (Acts 11:26).|
|*||The name Christian was recognized and used by King Agrippa, a man in a seat of authority (Acts 26:28).|
|*||Furthermore, the name Christian was utilized and authorized by Peter, a divinely-inspired apostle (1 Peter 4:16).|
Thus we see the name Christian has the approval of God, while any other name originating from man has God’s disapproval, for Paul condemns the Corinthians when they began to call themselves after the names of men (1 Corinthians 1:10-13). If one follows Christ, he should bear His name and His name alone. If one wears the name of another man, then it naturally follows that he holds to the teachings and beliefs of that man. Since we seek to follow Christ and His teachings alone, we renounce all party names and titles of men.
The Church of the New Testament, consisting of those who are “called out,” is not and never was intended to be a denomination among denominations. We bear the name “Church of Christ” because the Church belongs to Christ (Matthew 16:18, Acts 20:28), and because the Scriptures authorize such a name to identify the congregations of believers (Romans 16:16). Despite the existence of a multitude of denominations today, the Bible teaches that Christ established only one Church (Ephesians 4:4, Colossians 1:18). The Church holds the same mission held by Christ when He came to this earth: to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10).
The Churches of Christ listed on this site in the Church Directory plead for the complete restoration of New Testament Christianity. We believe that the Lord’s Church of the New Testament, just like the tabernacle of the Old Testament, contains certain divinely-given patterns that must be followed by those who would truly please God (Hebrews 8:5). The Lord has given us a pattern to follow if we wish to obtain eternal salvation (see Regarding Salvation), and a pattern for worship “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23-24) (see Regarding Worship). We believe we can only be the Church of the New Testament by following these divine patterns contained in the New Testament.
Jesus said in (Matthew 16:18), “…upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.” Jesus came to this earth almost 2000 years ago in order to build His Church. Not even the “gates of Hell,” or the powers of death, could hinder the establishment of the Lord’s kingdom. Likewise, despite being separated by many years and many miles from the time and place of the establishment of the Lord’s Church (Acts 2), nothing today can prevent the existence of the Church of Christ. But we may only be a part of that blessed divine institution if we are truly willing to follow the same divine pattern followed by that Church of the New Testament. When we follow the divine pattern found in the Bible, we are following the teachings of Jesus the Christ and then and only then do we have the privilege and honor of wearing the name “Christian.”
Please direct any questions or comments you may have regarding the items above to the following e-mail address: gospel@NewTestamentChurch.org
What Does The Bible Teach? ~ What Must I Do To Be Saved?