The Channel Challenge
Dear believer, here’s an honest question concerning your identity as a Christian: “Who are you concerning that name you have chosen for yourself, as being a Christian; really, who are you?” What a wonderful name with which to claim, and of the family of God to belong; but what and who really is a Christian. We have the name, thank God it is a Biblical name at that; but, “what’s in the name, that precious name?” In defining the word Christian, its meaning will bring definition to the person so called, for he is identifying with the person CALLED CHRIST. And here it is: “And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch” (Acts 11:26). The inspired word “Chris-tee-an-os” gives the name qualification as “One OF Christ, Christ FITTED in One, One IN Christ” as a vessel in which that one is a channel IN HIM, FOR HIM, and OF HIM. Yes, a channel: “For in him we live and move and we have our being” (Acts 17:28). In that abiding, living in HIM, as the Christian, the Apostle Paul spoke of himself: “For me to live is Christ” (Philippians 1:21). So, being a Christian means more than a profession, there’s “something more, something different, ALIVE going on in that life” - which means that this Professor has something more, and that MORE is of God, that Christian is a Possessor of the Lord himself! You see, those believers at Antioch were given the name Christian by an unsaved people that the disciples (Christians) were trying to reach with the gospel (the life-changing Word of redemption). What made the difference? They had HIS divine life within them, coming out of them, to then profess that which they possessed OF HIM. Those Christian disciples were “channels” In Christ, for Christ, of Christ as Christ’s life flowed through their new life, created and empowered IN HIM.
Here’s the channel challenge for every one claiming the name of Christian, “Christ in ONE!” A channel of which the Christian is then a conduit of that which is poured in, namely, Christ HIMSELF, with HIS Spirit, being the Living God flowing through him and now made possible to flow out from him. A vessel with the flow of divine life is the meaningful description of a Christian, and the Antioch world around us will take note. Could it be said of you in your Antioch, “Now there’s a Christian!” So, being a Christian is more than a name; that believer has that “something” of which the Lord has deposited in that vessel; Jesus said, Ye must be born again” (John 3:3). “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, old things are passed away, behold all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). “All things become new” meaning, made new continually by the Creator of that new life, now the Sustainer of new life flowing through that channel of life in the believer. By the way, the only way that the contents of a vessel can flow out is because of there was at a point in time of THAT which is poured in. Also, the only way “for the flow” to be a FLOW in that channel is for IT to be clear and clean of obstruction. Here’s the Apostle Paul’s take on the channel challenge: “If a man, therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work” (2 Timothy 2:21). Oh, take the CHANNEL CHALLENGE: “Channels only, blessed Master, but with all thy wondrous power, flowing through us, thou canst use us, every day and every hour” (Mary E. Maxwell, pub. 1900).