Summary: The disciples were first called Christians at Antioch. This message takes a look at what a "real," biblical Christian looks like and does.
* Explain how the meanings of many words have changed over time (i.e., spam; cell; wicked; awful; etc.)
* How the meaning of "Christian" has changed: today there are many "types" of Christians (i.e., active/inactive; marginal; radical; involved/uninvolved; secret; casual; etc.)
* The most common/universal aspect of Christianity's label = "belief"
* Belief is part of being a biblical Christian, but it takes more than believe to be a biblical Christian.
* Believer vs. Christian: there's a difference in how the Bible views someone who believes, trusts, or places faith in Christ and someone who is a biblical Christian
* The origin of the word "Christian"...
- Christianos: "an adherent to Jesus; a follower of Christ; one committed to Christ"
- suffix "ianos" was originally applied to the slaves belonging to the great households; later came to denote an adherent of an individual or party
* Being a Christian involves action
* A biblical Christian is a believer whose life reflects the life of Christ...who becomes like him in the way he/she lives
* The early church would not label nearly as many believers as "Christians" as we do today.
* In Acts 11, we learn what it takes to call ourselves Christians in the real, biblical sense of the word.
1. The actions of a real Christian is affected by what he believes (v. 1-17)
* What Peter is saying: "I didn't associate with Cornelius when I believed he was unclean. But when my belief changed, my actions did as well."
* Believing is important, but belief is only a part of our task to become a biblical Christian.
- Belief makes us a believer; our actions make us a Christian
* True belief will always affect how we live
2. A real Christian gets out of God's way (v. 17)
* A possible reason we do not see God move in a mighty way is because we stand in his way.
* God is not willing to do great things in us and through us if we stand in his way (Matt. 13:58)
* What causes us to get in God's way?
A. We get in God's way when we exalt religion over relationships (v. 1-3)
B. We get in God's way when we exalt preferences over God's desire (v. 4-17)
C. We get in God's way when we place our agenda above God's will (v. 18)
3. The life of a real Christian mirrors the life of Christ (v. 22-30)
* A biblical Christian will live a life that is patterned after the life of Christ
* Some specific actions that reminded others that these believers were Christ-followers...
A. When we share the Gospel, we reflect the life of Christ (v. 19-21): Mark 2:2
B. When we are faithful and encourage others to be faithful, we reflect the life of Christ (v. 22-24): John 15:15; Matt. 26:41
D. When we meet needs, we reflect the life of Christ (v. 27-30): Matt. 14:14