1. As Peter began his second letter he showed how God has given His people some very special blessings, including: a. "all things that pertain unto life and godliness" (vs.3) b. "exceeding great and precious promises" (vs.4). 2. We are especially concerned with a promise that is both great and precious. 3. In our lesson we are concentrating on "God's promise of a new name." Discussion: I. GOD PROMISED THROUGH THE PROPHET ISAIAH THAT HE WOULD CALL HIS PEOPLE BY A NEW NAME
A. (Isaiah 65:15) Isaiah stated that God would "call his servants by another name." 1. God's people used to be called by the name "Israel" (Genesis 32:24-28, 32). 2. A time would come when God would call His people by a different name. B. (Isaiah 56:5) God stated that He would give His people: 1. "a name better than of sons and of daughters" 2. "an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off." C. We learn from Isaiah 62:1-2 when God would call His people by this new name. 1. (vs.1) Righteousness and salvation would go forth from Jerusalem. 2. (vs.2) The Gentiles would see God's righteousness. II. GOD HAS KEPT HIS PROMISE
A. The events that were prophesied in Isaiah 62:1-2 have occurred. 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 other brethren in Jerusalem acknowledged that God had "to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life." B. (Acts 11:19-26) When the conditions prophesied by Isaiah were met, God's people were called "Christians." 1. God's people under the new covenant are sometimes referred to as "disciples," "saints," and "brethren." 2. "Christian" is the name to be worn by God's people under the new covenant. III. ADDITIONAL DETAILS CONCERNING THOSE WHO WEAR THE NAME "CHRISTIAN"
A. Acts 11 1. (vs.26) A Christian is a "disciple" [a learner or follower of someone]. a. Christians are learners or followers of Christ whose name is far greater than Israel's (Philippians 2:9-11). b. A Christian must be a disciple, but there is much more to being a Christian than just being a disciple (John 8:31-32). 2. A Christian is "one who has been added to the Lord." a. (vs.24) The people in Antioch who were the first to be called Christians had been "added unto the Lord." b. We learn how a person gets into Christ in Galatians 3:26-27. 3. A Christian is "a member of the Lord's church." a. (vs.26) The people in Antioch who were the first to be called Christians made up the church there. b. The Lord adds those who are saved to His church (Acts 2:47). 4. To summarize, 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. B. (Acts 26:28) A Christian is a changed person. C. (1 Peter 4:14-16) A Christian is committed to doing the Lord's will. Conclusion:
1. "Christian" is a special name that is both great and precious -- it glorifies Christ, the founder of Christianity. 2. Have you followed the teaching of the New Testament to become a Christian?