A skeptic said to me that the bible never called anyone a Christian.
I then quoted him the 3 references in The New Testament of early followers of Christ were indeed referred to as Christian(s). 1 Peter 4:16, Acts 26:28, Acts 11:26
He then changes his stance & says that God never called them Christians. Therefore the word Christian is a man made word.
How would you guys respond to this?
This depends on the purpose of the objection. Is the skeptic arguing that the people who call themselves Christians wrong? Since words have meaning, it a case of relaying the same meaning as taught in the bible. It also involves the etymology of the word:
The Greek word Χριστιανός (Christianos), meaning "follower of Christ", comes from Χριστός (Christos), meaning "anointed one", with an adjectival ending borrowed from Latin to denote adhering to, or even belonging to, as in slave ownership. In the Greek Septuagint, christos was used to translate the Hebrew מָשִׁיחַ (Mašíaḥ, messiah), meaning "[one who is] anointed." In other European languages, equivalent words to Christian are likewise derived from the Greek, such as Chrétien in French and Cristiano in Spanish.
The apostle Paul recognised the term
Act 26:28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.
Act 26:29 And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.
The apostle Peter also recognised the term
1 Peter 4:16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
Acts 11:26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
God called them many names: My friends:
John 15:14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
Luke 12:4 And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.
The skeptic might reject that Jesus was God, but you don't have to accept their stance as the measumentof the debate. As these verses show:
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. ...
... John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.