Many of our Australian sporting teams carry a unique identity, a nickname.
The rugby union team, the Wallabies.
Our female cricketers, the Southern Stars
and the soccer team are the Matildas.
The men’s hockey team are the Kookaburras.
There’s a certain theme, an Aussie flavour, a national identity.
It continues with the rugby league team, the Kangaroos, but then it gets silly:
The Socceroos, the Hockeyroos, the Wallaroos, the Jillaroos, the Mighty Roos, the Lacrosseroos (!?), the Jackaroos, and the Volleyroos… I’m not making these up…
The Uniroos, the Boxaroos, and the Aussie Roos.
The early believers in Antioch (modern day Turkey) were given a new name.
The church, the disciples, “were called Christians first at Antioch.” [Acts 11:26]
Take a moment to let that sink in…
Not in Jerusalem, not at the heart, not where the new Jesus movement started; no, it was hundreds of kilometres north, in a bustling trade town.
It was here that Jesus was building his church.
A community so radical, so different, that they earned a new name.
God’s king was called the Christ and his people bore his name.
Not King Herod’s people, “Herodians”, but simply Christ’s people, “Christians.”
A new identity.
WHO WE ARE BECOMING
This identity was who they were, but it’s also who they were becoming.
So often we’re reminded of who we were or what we’ve done and yet the gospel points us in a different direction.
When Peter was still denying and questioning, Jesus told Peter that he was a rock and he ended up leading the church.
When Saul was still persecuting the church, Jesus told Saul that he was his chosen instrument and he took the gospel to the nations.
Bob Goff sums it up well here:
Tell people who they’re becoming, not who they were.
— Bob Goff (@bobgoff) October 29, 2015
If we see who we’re becoming, then we’ll start to live out that reality.
Want to be a Christian? Then start living like Jesus is king.
This is an adaptation from a sermon, you can listen to the full sermon here