Support and Resources For Pastors and
Christian Ministry Professionals
Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor
The Sixth Sunday After Easter
Option #1: "The Disciples Were First Called
'Christians' at Antioch"
Rev. Wayne Dobratz, M.Div.
1) Scattered, yet willing to witness--Acts 8:1; text, vv19-21.
2) Strengthened by Gods Word--text, vv22-26; 2 Chron 30:12; Acts 26:17-18.
3) God giving the harvest--Acts 2:47, 4:4, 5:14, 6:7; 1 Cor 3:6-7.
4) Living the faith, being "a little Christ to our neighbor"--text, vv27-30, Prov 14:31, 19:17; Mark 9:41; see also 2 Cor 5:14-15, 8 & 9 passim.; Romans 15:25-27; 1 Thess 1:5ff; 1 Peter 1:22; 1 John 3:14-19; 1 John 5:1-2.
Adam Clarke's Commentary on the New Testament:
Acts 11:21: The hand of the Lord was with them--By the hand, arm, and, finger of God, in the Scripture, different displays or exertions of his power are intended. Here it means that the energy of God accompanied them, and applied their preaching to the souls of all attentive hearers. Without this accompanying influence, even an apostle could do no good; and can inferior men hope to be able to convince and convert sinners without this? Ministers of the word of God, so called, who dispute the necessity and deny the being of this influence, show thereby that they are intruders into Gods heritage; that they are not sent by him, and shall not profit the people at all.
A great number believed--That Jesus was the Christ; and that he had died for their sins, and rose again for their justification. Because the apostles preached the truth, and the hand of God was with them, therefore, a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord, becoming his disciples.
Acts 11:26: The disciples were first called Christians at Antioch--Before this time the Jewish converts were simply called, among themselves, disciples, i.e. students; believers, saints, the Church, or assembly... They considered themselves as one family; and hence the name of brethren was frequent among them. It was the design of God to make all who believed of one heart and one soul, that they might consider him as their Father, and live and love like children of the same household. A Christian, therefore, is the highest character which any human being can bear upon earth; and to receive it from God, as those appear to have done--how glorious the title! It is however worthy of remark that this name occurs in only three places in the New Testament: here, and in Acts 26:28, and in 1 Peter 4:16.
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Lamb's Message on Acts 11:26
Here's a Headline from one of today's Scriptures:
DISCIPLES FIRST CALLED CHRISTIANS AT ANTIOCH
Being called names at school or on the playground. How do you feel when that happens?
One of todays Bible readings tells us about the first time followers of Jesus were called Christians. We dont know whether it was an insult or not. No matter how it happened, what does it mean for us to be called "Christians"?
1) Since the name of Christ is there, we want people to see Jesus in who we are, in what we do, in how we treat them.
2) Since we are called by the name of Christ, we need to remember that our sins are forgiven because Jesus took them to the cross with him, taking them away forever.
3) Since we want people to know Jesus and be forgiven by him the way he has forgiven us, we cant just tell them about it; we have to love them, as Jesus has loved us.
4) If you want people to see that you belong to Jesus, help them the way that Jesus did. Jesus said that when people are lonely, we are to visit them. Jesus said that when people are poor, we help them. Jesus said that when people are sick, we spend time with them. (Insert your own example here, if desired.)
Jesus first followers were called Christians about 2,000 years ago. We cant just claim the name; we have to show that it fits us today, just as it fit them so long ago. Jesus said: Whatever you have done to...these brothers of mine, you have done for me.
If we see Jesus in the people we are helping, it will be a lot easier to help them. And Jesus will thank you for it himself when you see him on the Last Day.
Heres our headline:
CHRISTIANS SHOW MUCH LOVE AT (name of city, town, church)!
Option #2: "Love's Command Performance"
Rev. Kelly Bedard, M.Div.
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This page was revised on: Friday, January 20, 2006 12:10:32 PM