Not known for what they believed, but how they behaved
The Early Church— our spiritual forefathers— were known not only for what they believed but for how they behaved.
Acts 11:26 tells us something that has become common to us but would have been shocking in the first century (NIV): “The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.”
This verse reveals much about the nature of the early ekklesia.
The first Christians were not named after their leader (i.e., they weren’t called Jesus-ans or Jesus-followers). They were named— by outsiders— after His anointing.
Jesus is the name of our Savior. His name means “Salvation.” Christ is His title. It is the Greek equivalent of Messiah, which means “anointed one.” He is the one set aside by God for the purposes of redemption.
Observation: people in that day saw the followers of Jesus carrying the same power that He carried. They taught with power, they gave graciously, they performed miracles. As such, “outsiders” began labeling them for the same anointing their Master displayed.
The early church was validated by the miracles that accompanied them. This is what we see in the Mark 16:15-20 commission, and is why we need to remember both.
By the way, the ekklesia wasn’t born at Passover (forgiveness), but instead was born at Pentecost (empowerment).
Do we want to “behave” and live the right way?
Sure… and people will see it.
However, we want to be marked— and known— for His presence and power, also.
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