Some Clues

Now those who were scattered after the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to no one but the Jews only. But some of them were men from Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they had come to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord. Then news of these things came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch. When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord. For he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord. Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul. And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch. – Acts 11:19-26.

Arthur Cheney, a 64-year-old man, was arrested close to Marysville, California where he was seen driving a car that was used in a bank robbery. Apparently Arthur did not think that he would be caught any time soon because he left a hand written sticky note on the console of the car. A police officer stated that on the note was written, “Robbery 100s and 50s only.” The officer then stated, “We call that a clue.”

There appears to be some confusion among many calling themselves Christians as to what a Christian actually is and how to become a Christian. Thankfully, God has left us with some clues. In fact, He has left us with a big book full of clues, which we call the Bible. Thought I might mention that because I suspect that some who say they are Christians have never read the book.

Here is one of my favorite clues: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).” Examining this clue, we find the way to have eternal life. It appears that we can have eternal life by simply believing on the “Son” of God who we know to be Christ Jesus. It is from Christ that the word, Christian, is derived. You might use this clue to examine your own life. Have you believed upon Jesus the Son of God and by believing become a Christian possessing eternal life?

A clue about how we are to live as Christians is found in Acts 11 where we are told about Barnabas who is a Christian that, “he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith.” Barnabas was a “good man.” From the word “good” I think that it is obvious that Barnabas was not involved in anything bad, as in evil. You can use this clue to examine your life and determine whether you have one of the characteristics of a Christian. Are you involved in anything of an evil nature?

A clue about the kind of attitude we will have as Christians is that Barnabas was “full of…faith.” One dictionary defines faith as “great trust or confidence in something or someone.” The early Christians as seen in Acts 11 were scattered by persecution but they did not stop preaching, witnessing and sharing their faith. As a result, Christianity spread throughout the known world. Do you have that kind of faith? Does your faith cause you to share Jesus with those around you?

How could the early Christians continue to have faith and live good lives in the face of the severe persecution that they were experiencing? We see with Barnabas that their power came from the Holy Spirit. Barnabas was “full of the Holy Spirit.” Are you full of the Holy Spirit? In Ephesians 5:18 we are told, “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.” When someone is drunk on alcohol or high on some other substance, they are under the control of that substance. Instead, we are to be controlled, under the influence of the Spirit of God. Is your life controlled by the Spirit of God?

There are countless other clues to be found in the Bible about how to be a Christian and how a Christian is to live. So, if you are not sure about how to be a Christian or how to live as a Christian, pick up your Bible and…get a clue.

(The Bible contains many “clues” about how to become a Christian and how to live as a Christian.)

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