The Bible tells that believers were first called Christians in the Syrian city of Antioch. It may very well have been that this was originally a term of contempt coined by non-believers who were rather fed up with people running round talking endlessly about Jesus Christ.
Perhaps things aren’t so different today as, while is it considered okay to go in for a bit of religion it is reckoned a bit crazy to actually follow Jesus Christ’s teaching. Moreover, to claim to have a personal relationship with Him is deemed downright whacky. And to claim that this Jesus Christ has actually forgiven you and will take you to Heaven – well this is the language of lunatics.
And yet.....all of the above was what the early Christians claimed! And what is more, they believed that you couldn’t be called ‘a Christian’ unless you held those convictions...
Does that sound arrogant? It is important to note that in the same passage of Scripture which first speaks of ‘Christians’ there is another crucially important term brought into play- ‘grace’. It is no accident that both terms occur together. A Christian by definition is someone who depends solely on God’s free grace for all that he is and forever shall be. In simple English ‘grace’ is NOT me trying to lift myself to heaven by my own efforts, but relying totally on what God has done for me through Jesus Christ.
This is probably a lot to take on board in a single post so I would invite you along to our Sunday meetings (the Leisure Centre off James St, 11 am) or our Thursday Bible studies (7.45pm above ‘Good News 4 you’, the Octagon) to find out more.
Hope to see you there!