In Acts 11:26, we see that “the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.” Could it be that God wanted to mark this point in time to give His people the new name He promised in Isaiah 62:2 because then and there they were doing everything He wanted of His followers? Let’s take a look at the text to see what they were doing:
Acts 11:10-21, “Now those who were scattered after the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word…preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord.” Here we see them evangelizing.
Acts 11:22-24, “Then news of these things came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch. When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord…and a great many people were added to the Lord.” In this section edification and encouragement take place.
Acts 11:25-26, “Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul. And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.” It is obvious here that fellowship and worship is taking place.
Acts 11:27-30, “…there was going to be a great famine throughout the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar. Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea…” And finally, we observe them helping others who are in need.
This was their service to Christ: telling others about Him, building brethren up in Him, bowing down to Him, and doing benevolent acts in His name. So, Christian, are you keeping up with your duties?
by Ed Sterchi, Jackson church of Christ, Jackson, MO