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Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 4:12-19
The Disciples Were Called Christians
1. Zion’s glory and new name predicted, Isa. 62:2, 4, 11-12.
2. Christian (citizen of Zion): “an adherent of Jesus”; “follower of Christ.”
3. “Christian” is a glorious, worthy, God-endorsed name. Many prefer to be called by human names, or names that extol a practice. 1 Cor. 1:12
4. “Christian” is used three times in NT. Each context says something special about this God-given designation.
I. A CHOICE IS MADE TO BE IDENTIFIED AS A CHRISTIAN, Acts 26:28. (Free will: Choice, cf. Rom. 7:3—called an adulteress)
A. It is an Informed Choice (not blind, coerced, tradition, family, peer pressure).
1. The gospel call comes through learning Christ, Eph. 4:17-21.
2. We preach a gospel that is reasonable and persuasive, Acts 19:8; 26:25 (2-23); Rom. 10:17; 1 Cor. 1:21; 2:1-2.
B. It should be an Immediate Choice, Acts 16:30-33. Without delay; Not ceremonial, not a performance
C. It must be an Enduring Choice, Rom. 6:1-4; Rev. 2:10 (Heb. 6:4-6).
II. A CHANGE HAPPENS WHEN ONE DECIDES TO BE IDENTIFIED AS A CHRISTIAN, Acts 11:20-26.
A. A Conversion Occurs.
1. Believed, turned to the Lord, Acts 11:21.
2. Cleave with purpose of heart to the Lord, Acts 11:23.
3. A change:
a. Of Masters (disciple), Acts 11:26, 21 (“Lord”), 23.
b. Of mind and conduct, cf. 1 Pet. 4:1-5.
B. Repentance Must Occur, Acts 11:18.
1. Radical change in life because:
a. Die to sin, Rom. 6:2; Gal. 2:20.
b. Put on Christ, Gal. 3:27.
2. Stop practicing sin, Ac 26:20; Rev. 9:20-21 (Lk. 11:32; Jon. 3:8-10)
3. The teaching of some brethren implies this is not always necessary as they redefine the law, they redefine sin and repentance.
a. Unscriptural remarriages: “When converted, remain in present marriage regardless of past/present marriage.” Why? Some say aliens not under Matt. 19:9; Others, “one loosed, both loosed”).
b. Comment on 1 Cor. 7:20: “Yes, you are supposed to remain in the marriage that you’re in, when you’re called as a Christian.” (Dann Walker, Kaysville, UT, 7/9/95)
c. Can the same be said of other sinful relationships: Polygamy, idolatry, homosexuality? (Can’t remain in adultery!)
d. Context: Non-sinful relations: Marriage of believer to unbeliever, 7:12-17; Circumcision, 7:18-20; Slavery, 7:21-23. Therefore...7:20, 24.
4. The gospel calls all sinners to repent, Acts 2:38; 17:30. Repentance demands that one stops practicing sin.
-Adulterers, polygamists, extortionists, thieves, liars, etc.
III. A CHALLENGE IS ACCEPTED WHEN ONE DECIDES TO BE IDENTIFIED AS A CHRISTIAN, 1 Pet. 4:12-19.
A. The Challenge to be Identified with (participate in) the Sufferings of Christ, 4:12-16 (Matt. 5:10-12). Reproached, yet blessed.
1. Not ashamed (“shrink back”) to suffer for Christ and for His truth, 1 Pet. 4:16; 2 Tim. 1:8.
2. Fellowship with His sufferings, Phil. 3:10.
3. Rejoice, 1 Pet. 4:13; Acts 5:40-41.
B. The Challenge to be Judged Worthy of our Name, 1 Pet. 4:17-19.
1. God’s house undergoes judgment, too, 4:17.
2. Strive diligently, 4:18; Lk. 13:23-24 (Matt. 22:14).
3. Commit your soul to God by doing good, 4:19.
1. Christians must walk worthy of our calling, Eph. 4:1.
2. In our words and our actions, let us truly be Christians, Lk. 6:40.
By: Joe R. Price
Posted: December 6, 2013