Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Acts 11:26

Morning Meditation 7/10/2013

"And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch."

We looked in our last meditation at the verse that deals with the origin of the name Christian in Scripture. I will use the same text because this is part 2 of that meditation.

There are two other places where the word Christian is used and I will give those here in the introduction in case you would like to make a further study of them.

Acts 26:28 says, "Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian." This statement from Agrippa seems to teach that by the time of the twenty-sixth chapter of Acts the word Christian was in common use.

1 Peter 4:16 says, "Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf." Peter uses the word Christian in a way that suggests that the name Christian was being accepted in honor by Christians.


Luke 14:27 says, "And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple."

The word "disciple" translates "mathetes" and means, "a learner, a pupil." It is a term that was probably in common use in that day. Rabbis had students who studied under them. They wouldn't take just anyone. The students in the Jewish Scriptures had to meet the Rabbis' requirements. Once you were accepted you became known as a disciple of that particular Rabbi whatever his name was. The word disciple is used one time in the Old Testament. Isaiah 8:16 says, "Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples."

Jesus and His disciples went to a wedding in Cana of Galilee and there He worked His first miracle: John 2:11, "This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him." The words, "and his disciples believed on him," may suggest that they were undecided until now about this new Rabbi that they had given up all to follow. I do not know where saving faith began in these disciples.

Just for a mind stretching truth let me mention that We teach today if one does not believe in the resurrection, then he cannot believe in the literal resurrection of Christ. If he does not believe in the resurrection of Christ, he is not saved. The resurrection of Christ is a part of the definition that the Bible gives to the gospel. See 1 Cor. 15:1-3. If you will check Matthew 16:18 and following you will see that Peter did not believe that Jesus would die and be raised again. This is not a contradiction. The disciples were in transition at that time. Today people are saved by believing the gospel and the gospel is the death, burial, and the resurrection of Christ.

John 6:60-69 says, "Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God."

I have highlighted the words that I wanted to emphasize in this passage. Several Jews had begun to follow Jesus and listen to this new teaching. When they had followed Him to this point in His teaching, they balked over the very strong words that He said. He had just said in John 6:53-54, "Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day."

Jesus demanded unconditional commitment on the part of His disciples. When He taught something like this using the physical to illustrate the spiritual, many times the disciples didn't understand.. Those who where following Him at this time seemed to be demanding an explanation and He wouldn't give it. So they went back and walked no more with Him. Peter represents those disciples who had committed to Him unconditionally. Peter could have said, Lord, I don't understand what you have just said myself. But I am committed to you for the long haul. I am not going back because I do not understand what you have just said. What I do understand and am sure of, is that you are the Christ (Messiah), the Son of the living God.

We learn two important things from this passage. We are not going to understand a lot of what we find taught in the Word of God. That will not keep me from being His disciple. If He chooses not to explain a truth to me, I am still going to follow Him

because I believe the important thing. 1 John 5:1 says, "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him."

One of the reasons that the Lord does not reveal to us some of His teaching is brought out in John 16:12, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now." Jesus withheld some things from His disciples because they were not ready at that stage of growth. We need to ask ourselves, Where are we at our present stage of growth? I have had to wait years to understand some of the Scriptures and there are things I do not yet understand. That is going to make no difference at all in my commitment to Him. By God's grace I have put my hand to the plow and do not plan on looking back.

The next thing is that all the unsaved disciples did not go back. Judas continued to follow Him until just prior to the crucifixion where He betrayed Him. Jesus knew from the beginning who would betray Him.

The word disciple is found 255 times in the New Testament and I believe for the most part it speaks of born again believers. I am a disciple of Christ. I follow Him and feed off His Words. The Word of God is the way He communicates with me and it is the joy of my life.

Are you a believing disciple or an unbelieving disciple?



Colossians 3:12, "Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;"

This is an exhortation of Paul to the Christians in the church at Colosse. The word "elect" translates "eklektos" and means, "picked out, chosen out from among." This has been a controversial word through the ages. I do believe that we are wrong to reject a word of Scripture just because we do not understand it.

1 Timothy 5:21 says, "I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality." This verse reveals that the saved are not the only ones who are called the "elect" but the angels who did not follow Lucifer in the rebellion also are.

Peter sheds some light on election in 2 Peter 1:10, "Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:"

If the Bible doctrine of election by passes man's free will, then why would Peter tell those to whom he wrote, " . .. . brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall." I take this to mean Peter is saying to those who professed faith in Jesus to make sure that they have a saving faith. One can be sure. 2 Corinthians 13:5 says, "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?"

1 John 5:13 says, "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God."

1 Peter 1:2 says, "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied."

The word elect does not only identify a word by which Christians were called but it also gives assurance that one is protected of God, and the elect, are sure to make it to the goal of election, i.e., heaven. God does not just save us for this life but for the life to come. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:19, "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.."

Romans 8:33 says, "Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth."

No one can bring a charge against God's elect. God is the one who would have to bring the charge and He won't. David recognized this in Romans 4:8, "Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin." God chastens His children for sinning but the record of their citizenship in Heaven goes completely undisturbed. Someone hold my mules!!! Hallelujah!!! What a Saviour that we have!

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro. White

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