Representing Christ

It might surprise you to know that the word Christian only appears three times in the New Testament.

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

“And Agrippa said to Paul, ‘In a short time would you persuade me to become a Christian’” (Acts 26:28).

“Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name” (1 Peter 4:16).

It is believed that the word Christian may have initially been a derogatory term originating from those persecuting the church. Whatever the case may be, the believers came to be called Christians because they were those who followed Christ.

In Galatians 3:27 we read, “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” A person typically changes clothes before or after baptism. But new clothing is not the only thing put on. We put on Christ. We don’t just change our clothes; we change our way of life. In the Bible, to be “clothed with” something means to put on some sort of virtue or character trait, such as righteousness, dignity, or strength (Psalm 131:9; Proverbs 31:25; Isaiah 51:9).

In baptism, we put on Christ. This means that we are serious about following Him, learning from Him, and becoming more like Him. We are disciples. Some people have attire associated with their employment. It is “put on” when they go to work. Therefore, we will sometimes hear people say, “This uniform represents…”

As disciples, we are Christ’s representatives. We are His representatives at all times. How well are we representing Him? To represent is to re-present. When we represent something or someone, we are presenting it again. To re-present Christ is to present Christ to others. Are our words a faithful presentation of Jesus? Are our actions a true representation? How about our thoughts and motives? Do these serve to re-present Jesus to others?

When we are clothed with Christ in baptism, we become representatives of our Lord Jesus Christ. Our words and deeds might be the only presentation of Jesus that others see and hear. How will you re-present Christ this week?