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About the Writer:
Carol Ann

Carol Ann rejoices with enthusiasm in all God is and shares a strong passion for writing biblical truths in a matter-of-fact way. Her heart for sharing the power of God and the importance of our dependence on God and not on ourselves is her primary objective in all her writings. Carol publishes a bi-monthly newsletter "The Agape Light" and this article is an excerpt from the January/February 2006 issue.


Preaching the Lord Jesus

By Carol Ann Caster

“Then when he (Barnabas) had come and witnessed the Grace of God, he rejoiced and began to encourage them with resolute heart to remain true to the Lord.” Acts 11:25

The Book of Acts account tells us that after Stephen had been stoned to death for his faithful witness to the Lord, many of the brethren were scattered. Some made their way to Antioch and began preaching the Lord Jesus to the Greeks as well as the Jews. In verse 21 of Acts 11 it is written that: “the Hand of the Lord was with them, and a large number who believed turned to the Lord. As news about the new converts reached the church at Jerusalem , they sent Barnabas to investigate the matter. Seeing the faithfulness of God, he greatly rejoiced and moved in the anointing of his name, which means “Son of Encouragement.” He then left for Tarsus and brought Saul back with him to teach the Word of God to the new disciples. It was here at Antioch that the followers of Jesus were first called “Christians.”

The Greek verb used for “were called” in Acts 11:26 is “chrematisai” which is the infinitive of “chrematizo” meaning to be directed by God as if by Divine Oracle. Matthew used this same verb in the account of the Magi from the East in Matthew 2:12 & 22 and scholars translate it with the phrase: “having been warned by God.” By Divine instruction, the Holy Spirit directed them not to return to Herod or tell him where he could find the baby Jesus. So to “be called” a “Christian” is so much more than a title that describes a company of people, but rather it is a divine appointment.

There are some important implications that we can glean from this instructional portion of Holy Scripture. First, we may note that the early church was willing to die for the truth of the Gospel. This should boost our confidence in knowing that our faith in Jesus is not in vain. We have a great cloud of witnesses who have gone before us and paved the way of servanthood, with courage and conviction. Even though they were sometimes scattered because of persecution, their ministry calling remained on course.

Also of import is what or rather Who they preached. It does not say that they preached prosperity and success, nor did they use clever marketing approaches or persuasive words. They preached the Lord Jesus! Colossians 2:8-10 alludes to this necessity beautifully: “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the Head over all rule and authority.”

Whatever is preached is what the people will believe in and seek.


Copyright © May 2007 – Carol Ann Caster. All rights reserved.


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