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Community of Faith

I am a person who believes in God and the work of His Son Jesus. We are a people of faith. We are first and foremost, believers. There is great comfort in the fellowship of believers. Believe is what we do.

The word Christian is used sparingly in the New Testament. Those who belong to Jesus the Messiah; are normally called in the Scripture as believers, saints, brothers and sisters, disciples and the children of God. Originally a nickname, the term is only used three times in the Bible.

The Greek word is Χριστιανός, Christianŏs, khris-tee-an-os; one who is identified as a believer in and follower of Christ [the Messiah]—‘Christian.’ χρηματίσαι τε πρώτως ἐν Ἀντιοχείᾳ τοὺς μαθητὰς Χριστιανούς ‘it was at Antioch that the believers were first called Christians’ Ac 11:26.

One would expect the term “believers” (sometimes translated “faithful”) to be a title for Christians, since the NT stresses belief in Jesus. It meant not only believing as a mental activity, but total commitment of one’s whole person to Jesus. Christians were called not merely to believe something but to give themselves to someone. Although NT authors emphasized believing, they rarely used the term “believer” as a name for Christians. There are a few clear examples, but in other places the term is a description, not a name. As a name, “believer” points to the personal commitment of Christians to Jesus.

  • Acts 2:44 — 44 And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common;
  • Acts 4:32 — 32 And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them.
  • Acts 5:12 — 12 At the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were taking place among the people; and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s portico.
  • Galatians 6:10 — 10 So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.
  • James 2:1 — 1 My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Master Jesus the Messiah with an attitude of personal favoritism.
  • 1 Peter 2:17 — 17 Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.

Sources:

  1. Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition., Vol. 1, p. 126). New York: United Bible Societies.
  2. Elwell, W. A., & Beitzel, B. J. (1988). Christians, Names For. In Baker encyclopedia of the Bible (Vol. 1, p. 434). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.
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