Friday, October 4th, 2013
Who Do People Say That I Am? (Part 2)
You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him.
John 13:13-16 (NKJV)
No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.
John 15:15 (NKJV)
Between 78% and 83% of Americans identify themselves as Christians--compared to only 33% of the world's population. On the other hand, our Protestant majority is declining and the 'Nones' (as in no affiliation and/or no faith) are the rising group in our nation.*
But for now, it's still a business and social advantage to call yourself a Christian, with the possible exception of the entertainment industry.** In other countries, being called a Christian is dangerous--even deadly. Consider: the word 'Christian' was coined by outsiders as a derogatory description of the new church.*** Significantly, the first followers of Jesus called themselves brethren, disciples, apostles, servants, believers, followers and saints: the faithful, the elect, the called--but not Christians.
By God's Word, we are 'Ambassadors for Christ' (2 Corinthians 5:20), 'For our citizenship is in Heaven' (Philippians 3:20). We are 'Fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God' (Ephesians 2:19). We are 'A chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His Own special people' (1 Peter 2:9).
He predestined us 'To adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself' (Ephesians 1:5), as 'Sons of light and sons of the day' (1 Thessalonians 5:5), as 'Children of God' (1 John 3:1) 'That we might become the righteousness of God in Him' (2 Corinthians 5:21), even 'Heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ' (Romans 8:17):
As God's 'Workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works' (Ephesians 2:10), as 'God's temple' (1 Corinthians 3:16), as 'The light of the world, a city set on a hill' (Matthew 5:14). Therefore, we must reconsider our roles. We must not settle for a name of intentional insult to describe us. In so doing, have we lived down to match it?
I believe we should not settle at all, but rise as followers of Christ.
To Be Continued...
* '2013 Pew Forum Report on Religions in America': http://religions.pewforum.org/reports#
'Nones on the Rise': http://www.pewforum.org/2012/10/09/nones-on-the-rise/
'2013 ABC Poll: Most Americans Say They're Christian': http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=90356&page=1
** Note from Carey: We have entered a moment in time where it's actually cool and bookable to be a Christian in entertainment--not everywhere, but more than anytime ever before. More on this life-changing opportunity later.
*** 'Calling Ourselves Christians': http://www.ecclesia.org/truth/christian.html
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Who Do People Say That I Am? series.