Summary: If you were to ask people in a crowded restaurant how many are Christians most would probably raise their hand. But when you ask what does that mean; well, you would get many different answers. So, how can we tell the true from the false?
• I’ve been thinking – What does it really mean to be a Christian?
o Is it walking down an aisle that makes you a Christian?
o If not then is it when you shake the pastor’s hand that makes you a Christian?
o What about baptism? Is that when you become a Christian?
• In our text for this morning we see when and where the followers of Jesus were first called Christians.
I. Christians Inform others about Jesus. (19-21)
a. They began by sharing Jesus with the Jews. (19)
i. Why just the Jews?
1. They had not grown enough in their new found faith to know to preach to everyone.
ii. They saw their new found faith as being exclusive.
b. Then some started sharing Jesus with non-Jews. (20)
i. They came to understand that their faith was indeed – inclusive.
ii. Because of this many were saved; both Jews and non-Jews. (21)
II. Christians Inspire others in their faith. (22-24)
a. The Jerusalem church heard about what was taking place in Antioch.
i. They served as sort of a clearing house on church doctrine.
1. They sent Barnabas to investigate.
ii. They wanted to find out more about these Greeks claim to Christ.
b. The believers in Antioch excited Barnabas.
i. He was excited about what he was seeing.
1. It did matter that the congregation was heavily Gentile.
2. He didn’t care that he had nothing to do with their conversion.
3. Barnabas was excited about the work of other people for Christ.
4. He was excited that the lost were coming too Christ.
ii. He was an encourager and showed that here.
1. He exhorted the church to remain faithful.
2. He began to teach them more about Christ.
3. Even more began to come to Christ.
III. Christians Invest their lives in the lives of others. (25-26)
a. Barnabas went looking for Paul.
i. He knew he was going to need help teaching the faith to such a large number
ii. He also knew that God had called Paul as a missionary to the Gentiles.
b. Both of these men spent time with these believers
i. They worshipped with them.
ii. They taught them.
Because of their love & devotion for Jesus and their actions toward each other the non-believers began calling them Christ-people; Christians.
My closing is very simple this morning.
• By the way to share Jesus and by the way you treat others would anyone know you are a Christian?
• Has the old life passed away and have you become a new creation?
• Deep in your heart – you know whether or not you will spend eternity in Hell.
o Why not change that outcome here this morning?
o Come to Christ; He will do the rest.