Who Are We?
We are just Christians, no more, no less. We are not some "kind" of Christians.
The name "Christian" is only found three times in the Bible.
The disciples of Jesus were first called "Christians" in Antioch. It is no wonder that disciples of Jesus came to be called "Christians." The Lord was preached, people turned to the Lord, were added to the Lord, and were encouraged to remain true to the Lord (Acts 11:19-26). It was very evident that these individuals had allegiance to the Christ (King) and so were called by His name.
Later, King Agrippa told Paul, "In a short time you will persuade me to become a Christian." He recognized that Paul’s intentions were to make him a follower of Christ. Paul then expressed that he didn’t care how long it took, but he wished that not only Aprippa, but that all who heard him that day would become like he was (a Christian), except for his chains (Acts 26:26-29).
Finally, the third and final mention of the name "Christian" in the New Testament was by Peter when he wrote, "If anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name." (1 Pet 4:16). Evidently the name "Christian" had become a very despised name in society, a name used to mock and belittle Jesus’ followers. But though persecutors had so misused and abused the name "Christian", Jesus’ disciples were to wear it with pride, for it reflected their allegiance to Jesus, the Christ, and so glorified God.
Today, the name "Christian" has come to mean so many things that it means nothing.
Several years ago, I was asked to give a name to a Bible study group in a prison where I was teaching. I said to call us the "Christian" study group. The response was that this name was too "generic." Now when people hear "Christian," they want to know, "What kind?" - Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, etc., since men, because of their peculiar doctrines, have given themselves names to identify their belief and their allegiance to a certain group of churches(denominations). These names also serve to distinguish one belief and denomination from another among "Christians." These names do not glorify God but instead they foster and perpetuate division among believers, who Jesus said should be one (Jn 17:20-21).
Barton Stone said of these "party" names, "A party name is a strong bond of union in all the sects, by which a person wearing it is judged, friend or foe, approved of or disapproved, loved or despised, received or rejected, by those who wear a different name. All these party bonds must be broken and forgotten, or Christian union will never be known on earth and party union will stand as a mountain in the way of the world’s salvation."
If you have not done so already, why not lay aside your denominational name at the same time you lay aside your allegiance to your denominational organization and its teaching? As you take the word of King Jesus, the New Testament, as your only creed, signify that your allegiance is only to Him by wearing His name. Wear the name "Christian" and in this name glorify God.