Today, if asked, most of us would describe ourselves as “Christians”, some may be as “Born-again”, others that we are “Saved”. Those are all good, valid, and proper terms; but, what is amazing is how far we have moved from what the New Testament called those who were saints and headed to Heaven.
If you just read and note the descriptions as you proceed through the books of the New Testament, you would assemble a list of the:
NEW TESTAMENT NAMES OF CHRISTIANS
Those who are part of God’s family are called by an amazing galaxy of terms in the New Testament. Most of us have heard of the top seven, but altogether there are almost 100 different ways that born-again believers are named in the New Testament.
Beyond the top seven, there are many different combinations of words used one, two, three times like aliens and strangers” (1 Peter 1:1, 17; 2:11); “kingdom of priests” (Rev. 1:5-6; 5:10); and “chosen people” (1 Pet. 2:9).
Here is a brief summary that may surprise you. Let me give you the top seven in reverse order:
Seventh place: “Christians” = 3x (Acts 11:26; 26:28; 1 Pet. 4:16);
Sixth place: Followers of “The Way” = 5x (Acts 9:1-2; 19:9, 23; 22:4; 23:14; 24:22);
Fifth place: “Witnesses” = c. 27x (Luke 1:2; 24:48; Acts 1:8, 22; 2:32; 3:15; 5:32; 10:39, 41; 13:31; 26:16; 1 Pet. 5:1; 2 Pet. 1:16-18);
Fourth place: “Saints” = 62x;
Third place: Those Jesus asked and they were “Following/Followers” = c.100x;
Second place: Those who were “Believing/believers” = 266x;
First place, and most used is: “Disciples” = 274x (John 13:35 ; Acts 6:1-2 ; 11:26 ; 14:21-22 ; 18:27).
That’s why we refer so often to the truth that:
JESUS CHRIST COMMISSIONED HIS CHURCH TO MAKE DISCIPLES
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