God's Truth In Love

The First

In Advice, Bible, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Prophecy, Prophet, Prophetess, Remnant, Revival, Spiritual Remnant, Truth, Uncategorized on May 12, 2014 at 7:47 pm

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Question Summary:

Is it true that Jesus was the first Christian?

Reply:

This has to be one of the more interesting questions I have been asked in a very long time. Thank you. It is a question I have never personally been asked nor have I ever heard it asked of anyone else.

I will answer the question by explaining the meaning of the name, and word Christian, as well as exploring when people might have been considered Christians in a practical sense and a theological sense.

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines “Christian” as “one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ” and whereas Jesus obviously believed His teachings, He does not fall into the category as one who would have professed a belief in His own teachings. Of course, He believed His own teaching and would not have needed to profess a belief in His own teachings.

Nelson’s new illustrated Bible dictionary defines Christian as “an adherent or follower of Christ.”

The Greek definition for the word “Christian” is as follows and occurs three times in the New Testament, Acts 11:26, 26:28, and 1 Peter 4:16.

5546. Χριστιανός Christianŏs, khris-tee-an-os´; from 5547; a Christian, i.e. follower of Christ:— Christian.

5547. Χριστός Christŏs, khris-tos´; from 5548; anointed, i.e. the Messiah, an epithet of Jesus:— Christ.

Jesus clearly could not have been a follower or an adherent of Himself; therefore, He could not have been considered the first Christian.

The use of the name “Christian” is first noted in Scripture in the book of Acts.

Acts 11:25–26 (NKJV)

25 Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul. 26 And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.

This is a matter of this or that side of the cross. Christianity technically could not exist until Jesus died and rose again. Theologically we would need to view this through the lenses of the dispensations of grace. Yet, practically while Jesus walked the earth in human form there were those individual who would have been considered among the first, of the Christians, in my view.

The wise men were among the first to worship Jesus after His birth. Their worship was acknowledgement of Him as the Christ, the Messiah. That worship, of Jesus the Christ, to me is evidence of being a Christian in practical application.

Matthew 2:1–4 (NKJV)

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”

3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.

John the Baptist clearly acknowledged Jesus as the Messiah when he stated, “Behold! The Lamb of God” upon Jesus’ arrived for His baptism. Though John the Baptist did not live to see Jesus death and resurrection, I consider Him one of the first Christians because of his proclamation.

John 1:29 (NKJV)

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

Peter was the first who actually called Jesus, the Christ. He acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah when he stated ‘You are the Christ.’ as found in the Holy Scriptures, in all four gospels, Matt. 6:16, Mark 8:29, Luke 9:20 and John 6:69. All four times Peter was using the term and word Christ, which means “the Messiah” in the Greek language.

Mark 8:27–29 (NKJV)

27 Now Jesus and His disciples went out to the towns of Caesarea Philippi; and on the road He asked His disciples, saying to them, “Who do men say that I am?”

28 So they answered, “John the Baptist; but some say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.”

29 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

Peter answered and said to Him, “You are the Christ.”

The thief on the cross was perhaps the first individual to redeem his official position as a Christian, as Jesus and he would have died within a few minutes or hours of each other. Jesus had in fact assured the thief that he would be allowed to enter Paradise that day. The thief simply asked for Jesus’ mercy and received His mercy in the form of salvation.

Luke 23:39–43 (NKJV)

39 Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.”

40 But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”

43 And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

Whom can we call the very first Christian, of that I am not positive but it was not Jesus Himself as Jesus is Christianity.

 

Regarding worldviews:

Secular sources – self-help, advice, mass media – some of these resources can be useful in obtaining knowledge about what is going on in our world but they are not credible sources for a Believer when it comes to establishing beliefs, opinions, and directives for life. The gap between the two foundational platforms (biblical vs. secular) is too vast at this point in our present day society to bring reconciliation between the two. A Believer should seek out Christian lifestyle training, godly counsel, and Christian forms of mass media using those to shape their approach to life.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

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