… OF A CHRISTIAN
Save for the one that is reeled from the Book, he knows of no other wisdom. His very life is run on the tenets of the scripture, which he adores from the core of his existence. The Church…! Ah…! His second home! To the church he is headed every period of worship or service, hooked on it as of an opium. As glad as David he loves to be in the assemblage. Mention, “Jesus” and you want to hit your pinnae with a most grandiloquent effusions of a quintessential order, the type that pours forth from the anointed lips of Rev. Chris Okotie or you want to see Eva Zikenah, a great praise and worship leader, whose love for Jesus is so evincive by her mannerism clutching display to her chest, of her Lord, in so much adorable stance.
In the stream of vascular proclivity of crimson fluid runs the Christian’s desire to please other people time and again. The strength of pecuniary posit is wielded to be of service to the needy as evinced by the obvious inclination of Rev. Chris Okotie, Leke Alder and Kehinde Balepo. What else matters when it is time to worship the Lord a la dance? Absolutely nothing, as they become the likes of Bola Olowu (with her professional touch), the true willingness of Taiwo Sanwo and definitely Rev. Chris Okotie! When he opens his vocal cord in praise and worship he is an Oma Ikomi (whose rendition touches the core of souls spiritually), she is the powerful singing prowess of Eva Zikenah; and to leave out the holy prance of Rev. Chris Okotie before the Lord will be a criminality.
The Christian is a reminiscence of the affable duo of Promise James and Linda Okosun, in her show of love, as she makes sure of the new converts’ Church attendance to and fro is marked by such a convenience that an uncouth mind would want to think probably has an undisclosed, dirty motive. Is it a wrong act? Then, in the-no-nonsense duo, you will see her in the person of Gloria Emmanuel or him in Chuks Nwoko, fighting tooth and nail to prove the wrongness of an issue. It is in the blood of a Christian to take good care of things, like Ruth Akpobaro, Biola Kolapo (the one I call ubiquitous) and Ruth Gbolahan. An H.O. is of a Christian who will rather die than live a life of no usefulness to fellow humanity. Of a Christian it is, to see things going on well or make the loudest Johannine noise about a king’s choice of sinful connubiality.
Endowed with the mind of Christ, his perception of global phenomena runs a divergent course to the global tradition. Conscientious sex between unmarried adults is worldly expected hence, okay, but not so to this one of a Christian breed. White or any hue of a lie is a spiritual aberrancy, unlike what the global adherence accepts. The taboo that tags the vulgarity of certain words have been shamefully expunged, becoming words of social entertainment in movies and championed by Hollywood, which has succeeded in turning actresses into glorified prostitutes. Very soon the world will be looking for people of integrity, then he will be most sought after! He has the solution to world problems only if the world’s system is ready to ask for his service. When he testifies of miraculous occurrences it is never of magic but of a genuine act of God’s power. His heart is a spring of wisdom, revealing the treasures therefrom, when he quotes the Bible. He is a man of peace, having sat under the tutelage of the Prince of peace, the Lord of lords and the King of kings.
Thrice in scripture the appellation runs forth from the ink of divinely influenced writers. If the jeering stance of its Antioch first time of Acts 11:26 seems an improper designate, and can be said to have a corroboration in the 26th chapter of the 28th verse, 1Peter 4:16 allays the dread of a portending fear of ‘Christian’ label. There is a fourth between-the-lines reading of ‘Christian’ in Matthew 28:19. Some church going people dislike being labelled Christians as Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary exegetes on Acts 11:26, “The disciples were called CHRISTIANS first in Antioch.” This name originated not within, but without, the Church; not with their Jewish enemies, by whom they were styled “Nazarenes” (Ac 24:5), but with the heathen in Antioch, and (as the form of the word shows) with the Romans, not the Greeks there [OLSHAUSEN]. It was not at first used in a good sense (as Act 26:28; 1Pe 4:16 show), though hardly framed out of contempt (as DE WETTE, BAUMGARTEN, c.) but as it was a noble testimony to the light in which the Church regarded Christ—honoring Him as their only Lord and Saviour, dwelling continually on His name, and glorying in it—so it was felt to be too apposite and beautiful to be allowed to die.”
The same commentary commentates on 1Peter 4:16, “a Christian—the name given in contempt first at Antioch. Act 11:26; Act 26:28; the only three places where the term occurs. At first believers had no distinctive name, but were called among themselves “brethren,” Ac 6:3; “disciples,” Act 6:1; “those of the way,” Act 9:2; “saints,” Rom 1:7; by the Jews (who denied that Jesus was the CHRIST, and so would never originate the name Christian), in contempt, “Nazarenes.” At Antioch, where first idolatrous Gentiles (Cornelius, Act 10:1; Act 10:2), was not an idolater, but a proselyte) were converted, and wide missionary work began, they could be no longer looked on as a Jewish sect, and so the Gentiles designated them by the new name “Christians.” The rise of the new name marked a new epoch in the Church’s life, a new stage of its development, namely, its missions to the Gentiles. The idle and witty people of Antioch, we know from heathen writers, were famous for inventing nicknames. The date of this Epistle must have been when this had become the generally recognized designation among Gentiles (it is never applied by Christians to each other, as it was in after ages—an undesigned proof that the New Testament was composed when it professes), and when the name exposed one to reproach and suffering, though not seemingly as yet to systematic persecution. let him not be ashamed — though the world is ashamed of shame. To suffer for one’s own faults is no honor (1Pe 4:15; 1Pe 2:20), — for Christ, is no shame (1Pe 4:14; 1Pe 3:13).”
Long before the Antioch experience had the Lord called us Christians in Matthew 28:19, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations……” The verb ‘teach,’ in Greek is matheteuo (math-ayt-yoo’-o): ‘(intransitively) to become a pupil; (transitively) to disciple, i.e. enrol as scholar.’ The term Christian in the above verses is Christianos (khris-tee-an-os’) 1. (properly, only of the redeemed) a kinsman (relative by blood) of the Anointed-One (the Messiah, also called Christ); 2. (figuratively, as understood by the nations) followers of the teachings of Christ; 3. (improperly, though very common) a person who identifies himself as a Christian only because he does not identify with another religion; 4. (transliterated) “Christian.” Now if ‘teach’ means ‘to disciple’ and a Christian is a disciple, it follows that Jesus had already called a believer Christian or ‘Little Christ’ (after His own Name – a privilege, no doubt!). Of what hue of derogation is a Christian coloured, viewing him from his Messianic tutelage?
Maro Daniel, a Facebook friend, would rather be called ‘Jesus’ Bride’ or ‘HIS Branch’ but definitely not a ‘derogatory’ Christian! All I know, from scripture, is that for anyone to do a sprouting from His divine side that one must of essence go through spiritual sanctification. Can you be thus sanctified without experiencing a certain connectivity? This connection will never be unless you, like Matthew and company, are called to follow as disciples. Tell me, how can you be His bride without assuming, like a needy Mary, a sitting posture at the feet of His tutelage? If discipleship is of essence in the spiritual walk with the Lord then why should I be ashamed to be labelled a Christian? H.O. (the author) is so proud to be called a Christian!