Are We Worthy of our Title?
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Robert Schaetzle Sr. Around 915 words
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Are We Worthy of our Title?
For every believer in Jesus Christ there is truly only one title we should wear; that name is Christian. We, who are of the ‘Family of God’ too often, don’t understand and recognize how the title ought to be worn. The word Christian is actually from the Greek Christianos, which means “one who belongs to Christ.”
It was first used as a term of contempt against believers at Antioch from Acts 11:26 and only found in the New Testament three places. Besides Acts 11:26 it’s used in Acts 26:28 and in 1 Peter 4:16, ‘Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this manner.’ [NKJV]
So the followers of ‘the Way’ became know as Christians out of contempt, and for all believers, we’re to be living the ‘new life in Christ’ with fervor and steadfast faithfulness.
A Scientific and Spiritual Prodigy
I live about 45 miles south of San Francisco, in ‘Silicon Valley’ where most are employed in the field of computer science and engineering.
To my reading audience the name Blaise Pascal, a scientific and spiritual prodigy, software engineers recognize the computer program written in his name.
An individual who wore his title ‘Christian’ with great fervor and pride, unashamed to pronounce his faith.
He was a French mathematician and physicist though he was raised in the heyday of Enlightenment thought. He found [human] reason inadequate. Born in 1623 and by the age of 10 was doing original experiments in mathematics and physical science. To help his father, who was a tax collector, he invented the first calculating device. Some call it the first “computer.” Many do not know he is credited with inventing the syringe, the hydraulic lift, and is credited with inventing the first wrist watch.
He had a frail body and lived only 39 years, however, his greatest works are not only the masterpieces of French prose, but sterling defenses of the Christian faith.
Pensee’s, a collection of Pascal’s “thoughts”, he intended to present as a Christian apology, was published after his death. In it he portrayed humankind as suspended between wretchedness and happiness, and helpless without God. People try to avoid the abyss by engaging in distractions. Pascal denounced the idea that reason and science alone can lead a person to God. Only by experiencing Christ can people know God. This was his defense.
I really appreciate this quote he made from his Pensee’s, his argument for faith: called the wager, “Since reason cannot give one absolute certainty, every person must risk belief in something. When it comes to the Christian, A wise person will gamble on it because, if you win, you win everything; if you lose you lose nothing.” Pascal wore his title ‘Christian’ with great boldness and dignity.
Vision through a Founding Father
Dr Benjamin Rush, one of the 56 signers on our Declaration of Independence,
Declared: “I have been alternately called an aristocrat and a democrat. I am neither.
I am a Christocrat!”
This great spiritual giant at the time of our nation’s birth lends much for us to learn from. With regard to our nation as a ‘Republic,’ we have much to be thankful for his biblical strength. This great physician and statesman also said, "The only foundation for a republic is to be laid in Religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments."
The cost in material wealth and social prominence to be called ‘Christian’ will be well worth the victory for another Spiritual Awakening.
To wear our title well, is to wear it with humility toward our need and dependency upon the richness of God’s resources and strength, and not upon our own reasoning as brought out by Pascal.
When we profile all the Apostles, their intimacy with Jesus became such they knew no other way of existence than to be abiding ‘In Him’.
In our Lord’s high priestly prayer Jesus prayed,
“I do not pray I for these alone, but for those will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us. ” [John 17:20-21 NKJV]
Proverbs 27:19 says, ‘as water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects a man.’ In other words it is by the presence of God’s Holy Spirit that brings out what the heart feels in our own faith walk, that reveals who we belong to. We’re to be light for others to follow and be worthy of our title ‘Christian.’
We, who wear the title today, can go through much oppression in our responsibility. All the more our need to be steadfast in the presence of God’s power and dependent on prayer, as is true for all hero’s of faith. There are no boundaries for prayer and fellowship with our Savior in God’s Kingdom! Our ‘hero’s of faith’ know prayer to be strength in their own walk of faith.
Like Blaise Pascal and Dr. Benjamin Rush, are we truly wearing our Lord’s name with the honor due Him, without shame?
Our prayers are not answered when given what we ask for, but challenged by our accomplishments of ‘good works’ to continue building God’s Kingdom. For the believer in Jesus Christ, to wear the name ‘Christian’ bears much in responsibility and value.
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