Summary: What does it really mean to be a Christian? Is it fancy buildings and great music? Or is there something more, deeper, better? Here is 3 of the most basic truths of what it means to be a Christ follower.
Intro: Vince Lombardi Head coach of the Green Bay Packers from 1959-1967. What was it that Lombardi did to spur his team on to greatness? He got back to basics. What is the famous quote from Vince Lombardi? “This is a football.”
From the condition of churches around the United States and AR, and even here in Carlisle, and Immanuel itself it seems some of the basics of what it means to be a Christ follower have been lost.
The book of Acts is the History of the early church. Luke the Dr and historian was led there was a need first in the Gospel of Luke to write and orderly account of what the eye witnesses saw that Jesus said and did.
Then he set about in the book of Acts to show how the early church was empowered by the Holy Spirit and engaged the known world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
There is a very interesting statement made in Acts 11.26 “They were first called Christians at Antioch.”
What do you mean first called Christians? You mean Christian was not the first name used of those that believed in Jesus? Do you mean it is possible that they were called something different?
Yes! We have got to get to the point in our walk and relationship with Jesus Christ that we read the Bible and ask questions of it!
The reason we are asking the question what were the followers of Jesus called before Christian is delve deeper into what it means to be a Christ follower. Christian is packed with so much baggage. The crusades, the inquisition, the intolerant, etc, etc. . .
I. A Christian is one who believes in Jesus Christ
John 20.31 “but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.”
Confidence in the Lord
Confidence in Jesus being who he said he was. Not arrogance but confidence. The disciples were confident, they were persuaded that Jesus was God and that he was crucified and raised from the dead. They were confident that Jesus was their connection to God. As a believer in Jesus Christ I realize that I can do nothing to get to God. It is by His grace that I am saved and sealed until the day of redemption.
What do you have in your life that shows you are confident in Jesus and your need for His saving Grace? Does your prayer life look as though you’re confident in Him. Does you financial life look as though you are confident in Him. Does you thought life look as though you are confident in Him. Does you speaking life show you are confident in Him. Does your working life show you are confident in Him.
I hate to have to keep telling you this but it is so true. Does you belief affect your behavior?! Does you trust and confidence in Jesus change the way you view the world. Does your trust and confidence affect they way you make your decisions.
Has your confidence in the person, work, and words of Jesus made you a share in His life?
How can we know if we have confidence in Jesus? Examine His words and see. What are some things He tells us not to do? Don’t worry, don’t be anxious, don’t fear, these are results of depending or having confidence in ourselves. We will continue to struggle with anxiety, fear, worry, etc most of our life but saving faith produces confidence in Christ.
II. A Christian is one who follows Jesus Christ
They were first called Christians at Antioch.
Mark 1.17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”
Jesus may change your profession
Mark 2.14 As He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting in the tax booth, and He said to him, “Follow Me!” And he got up and followed Him.
Mark 8.34 And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny, himself, and take up his cross and follow me.”
Jesus will changes you passion
Mark 10.31 “Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
What does this Greek word mean literally? Well I hate to burst your bubble but it means come here! Follow Me! With everything that is in Church Media, that is offered in conferences for pastors, and churches that say do this and you ministry will grow, do that and you will be successful what really matters is that we follow Christ!