Everybody knows what an American is, right? Everybody knows what an Egyptian is, right? You with me? Canadian? Right? Comedian, right? See if you’re following me, right? But what about this word: Christian? What’s a Christian?
What’s interesting—if we divided you up into groups of ten and said to everybody, Real quick: look around your little group and answer the question: What is a Christian? You wouldn’t get the same answer ten times. You might get five different answers; you might get eight different answers. If somebody were to walk up to you on the street and say, “Are you a Christian?” some of you would say yes. Some of you would say, “What do you mean?” Some of you would say, “Yes, but…” Some of you would say, “No, but…” Some of you would say, “I am, but I’m not like that group.” Right? For some of you, the way you were raised, you like became a Christian, right? You became a Christian because you prayed a prayer. That’s the tradition I was raised in.
If you look into the New Testament and ask the question, “What were these people really about and how did they describe themselves?” They referred to themselves and to each other as disciples, which brings us to this terrifying, disturbing question. And it’s this: Are we disciples? Or are we just Christians? Are you a disciple of Jesus? Or are you just a Christian? Are you a follower of Jesus? Is your answer: Yes, Jesus. It doesn’t
matter what the question is; it’s yes. Or are you a Christian? See, that’s just disturbing, isn’t it?
Big Idea: Being a disciple is different than being a Christian.
Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.
Acts 11:25-26 (NIV)
The disciples were called Christians at Antioch. Acts 11:26 (NIV)
So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly.
Acts 6:7 (NIV)
When Paul came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was really a disciple.Acts 9:26 (NIV)
In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha she was always doing good and helping the poor. Acts 9:36 (NIV)
My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” By this one thing everyone will know that you’re my disciples, if you love one another.”
John 13:33-35 (NIV)