A suffix is “a letter or group of letters added at the end of a word to make a new word.”For example, when you add the suffix ful to forget it becomes forgetful. There are many suffixes, but the next couple of days we are going to look at two, ian and ism. The first is the suffix ian. This means “to have the same qualities of something.” So when you have a word like music it become musician. Now there are many words with the suffix ian but one of the most important is the word Christian. We will see how isms such as cessationism or individualism have led many astray causing many to turn away from Jesus and follow other gospels. We must get away from all the isms and return to Jesus so that once again Christian will be true to its meaning. The original word is Christ, pertaining to Jesus Christ. Christ is not the last name of Jesus but means the anointed one. Luke 3:21 “When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” Luke 4:1 “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. 14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 15 He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him. 16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
The church was also to go out with the Holy Spirit and power and do the same as Jesus. John the Baptist said, Mark 1:8 “I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” After Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit, He was tempted by satan. As we saw above Jesus then went out in the power of the Holy Spirit. Then Mark 1:14 “Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” When the Kingdom of God comes near, so does power as we saw with Jesus. Matthew 4:23 “Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them.” Later Peter said Acts 10:36 “You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 37 You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached— 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.”
The church was to continue healing all who were under the power of the devil. His disciples were also anointed by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Jesus had said John 7:37 “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.” Then Acts 2:1 “when the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” The gifts of the Spirit would empower the church. 1 Corinthians 12:4 “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.”
We saw a prelude to Pentecost when Jesus called and sent out His disciples. Luke 9:1 “When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” They would then be able to go and do as Jesus did. Luke 10:17 “The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” Before Pentecost Jesus said, Luke 24:49 “I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Acts 1:4 “On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Then following Pentecost, we saw the power of the Holy Spirit throughout the book of Acts such as when Acts 8:5 “Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. 6 When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. 7 For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city.”
We are told the term Christian was first used at Antioch. Acts 11:19 “Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killed traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, spreading the word only among Jews. 20 Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21 The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord. 22 News of this reached the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23 When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. 24 He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord. 25 Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.” So you have disciples filled with the Holy Spirit spreading the word of God. We also know there would have been power because “the Lord’s hand was with them.” Most in the church tend to leave out the healing and casting out demons and just say people were saved but where is the power and are people really saved? Jesus had said Mark 16:17 “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.” Hebrews 2:4 “God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.”
If we are to call ourselves Christians, then we must be anointed with power from on High. Just going to church doesn’t give you that anointing. Many say they are filled with the Spirit yet there is no power and even those like the charismatics who say they are filled and speak in tongues, also do not have the power as described in scripture. Notice, the power available to the church is described in scripture. The reality is that if the church is really the true church, there will be the anointing of the Holy Spirit and the church will go out and do as Jesus did with power and authority. Not only will be people truly saved there will be healings and demons cast out just as we read about in the Gospels and Acts. The only way for this to happen again is to turn from our wicked ways. When that happens, we can call ourselves Christians. Some of the problems preventing that anointing are the isms that have infiltrated the church. Isms have replaced the suffix ian and has been detrimental to the church. We will be talking about some of those isms in the next few days.