What Do Others See in You?

Acts 11:22-26 “Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch. Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord. For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord. Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul: 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.”

Titus 2:11-15  “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men. Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.”

Text Acts 11:26 “And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.”

The name that we so proudly identify with was first given to the believers at Antioch. Having watched them for an entire year, the world labeled the disciples by what they had observed; they would call them Christians. While we are not told what the world saw, we are told what Barnabas seen, “when he came, and had seen the grace of God” (Acts 11:23). Above all else, the preeminent thing manifested in the life of the disciples was the grace of God. That would justify the world calling them Christians! But, what does the grace of God look like? Thankfully, Titus gives us a little light on the subject! When the grace of God is present it reveals itself by “Teaching us” (Titus 2:12). The word “teaching” means to educate, instruct, discipline or chasten. The grace of God has a positive and a negative effect in the life of the believer. The positive effects are seen in the believer’s education, “teaching us that . . . we should live soberly” and expectation, “looking for that blessed hope.” The world saw individuals that were learning the ways of God, exhibiting a likeness to God, while continually longing to be with God. That was the positive work of grace. The negative effect is revealed in eradication, “denying ungodliness and worldly lusts.” If necessary, the grace of God will chasten and discipline a believer so that sin might be purged from our lives. At Antioch, the grace of God was at work and everyone knew it! The world is watching you, “What do they see at work in you?”