1.In Acts 1:8, Jesus gave the apostles a specific plan for carrying out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16). 2.As Luke showed how this plan was implemented in Acts, he also wrote about a number of conversions that occurred. 3.Studying these conversions helps us understand how we are saved from sin today. 4.In Acts, Luke also wrote about a number of important subjects that relate to those who have been saved, including the name that God's people are to wear. 5.We learn from Acts 11:19-26 that the Lord's followers are to be called "Christians."
A.About 700 BC, God revealed through Isaiah that a time would come when God would call His people by a new name. 1.(Isaiah 65:15) God would "call his servants by another name." a.At one time God's people were called by the name of "Israel" (Genesis 32:24-32). b.In the future, however, God would call His people by a different name. 2.(Isaiah 56:5) God said He would give His people: a."a name better than of sons and of daughters" b."an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off." 3.(Isaiah 62:1-2) The prophet showed when God would give this new name. a.(vs.1) Righteousness and salvation would go forth from Jerusalem. b.(vs.2) The Gentiles would see God's righteousness. c.Following these special events, God would call His people by a new name. B.These prophecies have been fulfilled. 1.(Acts 8:1-4) Righteousness and salvation were going forth from Jerusalem. 2.(Acts 10) The Gospel was taken to Cornelius and his household. 3.(Acts 11:18) The apostles and others in Jerusalem acknowledged that God had "to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life." C.When the conditions revealed by Isaiah were met, God gave the name He wants His people to be called (Acts 11:26). D.Under the new covenant, God's people are referred to as "disciples," "saints," and "brethren;" however, "Christian" is the only name that the Lord has authorized His followers to wear.
A.(Acts 11:26) A Christian is a "disciple" [a learner or follower]. 1.Christians are learners or followers of Christ. 2.A Christian must be a disciple, but there is much more to being a Christian than just being a disciple (John 8:31-32). B.A Christian is "one who has been added to the Lord." 1.(Acts 11:24) The people in Antioch who were the first to be called Christians had been "added unto the Lord." 2.We are shown in Galatians 3:26-27 how a person gets into Christ. C.A Christian is "a member of the Lord's church." 1.(Acts 11:26) The people in Antioch who were the first to be called Christians made up the church there. 2.We are shown in Acts 2:47 that the Lord adds those who are saved to the church. D.A Christian is a disciple of the Lord who has obeyed the Gospel, been saved from his sins, and added to the Lord's church.
A.Paul's exchange with Agrippa shows that a Christian is a changed person (Acts 26:28). B.Peter showed that a Christian is committed to doing the Lord's will (1 Peter 4:14-16).