The name Christian appears but three times in the Bible. “And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch” (Acts 11:26). “Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian (Acts 26:28). “Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify GOD on this behalf” (1 Pet. 4:16).
The disciples were not called Protestants or Catholics in Antioch, but “Christians.” Neither were they called “Baptists” or “Methodists” because these and other denominational designations, so common in our day, were unknown prior to 1600 A.D.
Paul was not persuading King Agrippa “to be a Baptist,” but “to be a Christian.” He was not persuading him “to be a Methodist, or a Presbyterian, or a Pentecostal, or a Lutheran, or a Catholic, for such terms and titles were unknown until many years later. The descriptive names of men were never approved by the Holy Spirit. Paul forbad the Corinthians to call themselves after himself, Apollos, or even the apostle Peter (1 Corinthians 1:10-15).
Peter did not tell suffering ones what to do if they suffered “as a Catholic,” or “as a Methodist,” or “as a Mormon.” No, he said nothing about such institutional names. They are wholly foreign to the faith once delivered (Jude 3).
Those who wear denominational names today consider themselves to be Christians.” However, they ought to ask themselves why they accept those names and why those titles are not found in the New Testament. Was Paul a Presbyterian preacher? Was Peter a Pentecostal pastor? Was Matthew a Methodist minister? Was Luke a Lutheran layman? No, they were all Christians and ministers of the gospel of CHRIST.
If we are following the pattern of the word of GOD, why should it be any different today?
Finally, we ask those who are called by their church’s denominational name to take the Bible and show us how to become a Baptist while not at the same time becoming a Pentecostal. Can Baptists do it? Can a Methodist take the Bible and tell us how to become a Methodist without becoming a Catholic? Can a Lutheran take the Bible and show us how to become a Lutheran without becoming a Presbyterian? No one in the New Testament was ever baptized into a Baptist Church as men are today. No one was ever made a member of a Pentecostal Church in the New Testament. Rather, penitent believers were baptized into CHRIST, into “one body,” the church (Acts 2:38-47; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Galations 3;26, 27). Individually, they were Christians, disciples of CHRIST (Acts 11:26).
Again, why should it be any different today?
“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of JESUS CHRIST for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the LORD our GOD will call.
By: A Prisoner Of Christ Jesus
A Prisoner Of Christ Jesus