First Called Christians

Acts 11:26 - And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.


Our enemies first called us Christians in derision.  The hippies (Jesus People) of the 60’s called each other “the way” because several Bible passages spoke of being in “the way”.


Formerly, our enemies called us names to identify us, now we identify ourselves by a doctrine.  We shouldn’t identify ourselves our doctrines, but by marks of Christ, actions, or a way of life.


Others called us - now we must call ourselves.


Fundamentalists has been a good title, but perverts of the truth have destroyed the right use of this term.  An organized, militant Evangelical movement originating in the United States in 1920 in opposition to Liberalism and secularism. 


Sovereign grace - no other kind.

Absolute predestination - no other kind.

Reformed Baptist - church re-started in the 1500’s during the reformation.  Followers of John Calvin - Sovereign grace.  Let preachers preach in their pulpit, when they wouldn’t let them be members of their church.

Calvinism - Followers of John Calvin - a Presbyterian.

Calvinists - Followers of the doctrines of Sovereign grace.

Arminian - either the country or the followers of Joseph Arminian.

Acronym “Tulip” - Total depravity, Unconditional election - Limited Atonement - Irresistible grace - perseverance.

Acronym - “Weeds” - against all of the above.

Five points of Calvinism and five points of Arminianism - neither Joe nor John wrote.


Local church - no other kind.  We are an “independent” “Baptist”

Catholic means universal - now the definition has taken on a meaning all its own.

Landmarkism - not started with J. R. Graves, he only straightened out churches in the Southern U. S. who were going astray.  There is a book called “A Study of the Antecedents of Landmarkism” by LeRoy Benjamin Hogue.  This book was written in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Theology.  It is a Dissertation presented to the Faculty of the School of theology Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, in Forth Worth, Texas. In December, 1966.

Independent - Stand alone - now associations, boards of independent Baptists.

Ana-Baptist - how did we get this name, which is now “Baptist”?


I.    Define a saved person and a Christian.

A.  A saved person is one who is redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.  Their sins have been forgiven by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, and they are completely sinless (perfect) in their spiritual standing before God.  They have an eternal home in heaven.

B.   A Christian is a saved person who is living like Christ.  It is not a name he puts on himself, but a name others put on him.  It is a name given in derision, when people make fun of his trying to live close to the teachings of Jesus.  A good name for Christians today would be "fanatic", or "ultra religious", an "extremist", a "religious revolutionary", a "religious conservative", who is extremely happy in his worship and tries to convert others to his belief, and suffers as a result of his acting on his beliefs.


II.   The characteristics of a Christian in the Bible.

A.  The word "Christian" is used only three times in the entire Bible.

1.      Acts 11:26, "And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch.  And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people.  And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch."

2.      Acts 26:28, "Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian."

3.   I Peter 4:16, "Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf."

B.   A Christian in action:

1.      Acts 11:26:

a.   They go to church.  It is impossible for a person to be Christian and fail to attend church services.  A Christian will be consistent in their church attendance, for these people went to church for over a year, not just Christmas and Easter!  A Christian will not only attend all the church services, they will also be on time, ready to worship.  They won't come into the church building, sit down, and expect people to come to them and welcome them to services.  They will get there early enough to welcome others to the services.  If some people treated their jobs like they treated Christ and His worship services, He would chastise them severely!  He may be chastising some people, and they don't realize it!

b.   They are willing to be taught.  Many people won't listen to what the Bible, or preachers or Bible teachers, have to say.  They figure they are wiser than ten men that can render a reason.

2.      Acts 26:28:

a.   A Christian tries to convert others to Christ.  They willingly tell the gospel story to anybody, even if it's not convenient.

b.   Paul was in jail for preaching, and when he went before Agrippa, who was his judge, he preached to him, not consulting a lawyer to get him out of jail.  Paul was more concerned with spreading the gospel than anything else.

c.   Acts 26:27, Agrippa believes the prophets, but not what the prophets say about Jesus.  If Agrippa converted to Christianity, he would forsake everything and go "whole hog" for Christ.

3.   I Peter 4:16:

a.   There is suffering that goes along with being a Christian.

b.   Not that a Christian is looking for trouble, but when he tries to be obedient to Christ, he finds trouble.

c.      When he suffers, he does not hang his head in despair, but raises his voice in glory to God, giving thanks that he is counted worthy to suffer for the cause of Christ.

d.      Acts 16 - Paul and Silas singing and praising God at midnight with their feet in the stock, while they are cast into the inner prison - unjustly so.