You and I both know can go to church with your mum and dad, wear a cross necklace, even have a certificate of baptism on your bedroom wall without being saved…
So what are the signs of a true Christian? What makes you a Christian anyway?
Can I start by telling you a story?
You see, there was one this courageous man who was assigned a mission impossible: to save the world from imminent destruction.
This guy worked undercover.
There was no dangerous situation he couldn’t get himself out of.
Just like any good story, there was a twist…
He was betrayed by his closest ally and handed over to be beaten within an inch of his life by his evil archenemy.
Then at the last minute, and just when you think it’s all over, the hero makes an unexpected comeback and returns victorious.
The world is saved! Phew!
You might think I’m talking about the Avengers or any one of the marvel comic heroes but actually the man in this story is Jesus, and today he’s in the business of recruiting agents to join in his mission to save the world.
He needs disciples, serious believers who are not play-it-safers or weak of heart, but who believe in better and dare to be different.
So are you a true disciple or just a distant admirer?
Let’s see if you pass the true disciple test, here are the 3 undeniable signs that you’re actually a Christian…
Sign 1. You Love Jesus and Follow Him
“But whoever loves God is known by God.” 1 Corinthians 8:3
I guess the question could be, ‘Who is Jesus to you?’
Is he good teacher? A revolutionary? An historical figure?
Yes He’s all of these things but all the things He said and the things He did, is it personal to you?
When Jesus died and rose again, did He do that for you?
The answer is of course He did. Do you know that?
When you think of the sacrifice Jesus made on your behalf at a great cost to Himself, does it melt your heart and cause it to overflow with thanks and praise?
Because of Him you can walk up to the very throne of God with boldness.
You were once an insignificant nobody with nothing going for you, now you’re a somebody with a rich life full of potential, hope and promise.
Thank you God for your grace!
Do you keep in touch with Jesus? Are you in a growing relationship with Him?
Do you try and spend time with Him in the day and give Him a say in your daily decision making?
Do you talk to your friends about Jesus every chance you get because He’s always at the front of your mind?
Do you crave all that God is, not because of how He can help you, but just because you want Him?
Is your identity wrapped up in Him? Does He define you?
I think this makes the difference of whether you just know certain information about if you know Him and who you are in Christ.
Your relationship with God is an ongoing, growing thing. You’re a Christian not because you said a prayer ten years ago, but because you are following Jesus today, talking to Jesus today and loving Jesus today.
“God’s not on Facebook, but He’s still my friend. He’s not on Twitter, but I still follow Him.” [Tweet this]
Sign 2. You Love the Word and Obey It
In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life.
James 1:21 (The Message)
The Word of God only comes to life when we take it down from the shelf, read it, think on it and start applying it to our everyday lives.
The Bible is so much more than an instruction manual…
It’s more than a love letter…
It’s more than a reference book…
It’s our daily bread; it gives us energy and sustains us, it brings life to our whole soul, mind and body.
A true disciple has fallen in love with the Word!
Read the Word, memorise the Word, meditate (ponder on) and speak out the Word of God daily so that it’s a part of you.
It goes from being simple head knowledge to being alive in your heart.
Reading and acting on what you’ve read will bring about noticeable changes in your life. People around you will start to notice the difference.
You’ll go through hard times differently, you’ll deal with people differently, handle difficult situations better, be able to forgive easier, love unconditionally.
Learning how to have daily devotions, a specific quiet time with God will bring you closer to Him and His heart.
He’ll show you golden nuggets in the Word, specifically for that day.
God’s Word will come alive to you like it never has before.
And another thing too is, soon you’ll find you don’t need to tell people you’re a Christian – they’ll watch your life and see it without you even having to say a word. For most people your life might be the only Bible they ever read.
“We study the Word of God, not to know the Word of God, but to know the God of the Word.” [Tweet this]
You can download the Bible free onto your tablet or phone with the YouVersion Bible App Free Download here.
Sign 3. You Love the Church and Serve in it
You see, Christianity, although deeply personal, was designed by God to be lived out in a community of other believers.
Church is not a place you go or a service you attend – you are the church.
Today, in the western world at least, we live in an increasingly individualistic society leading to some people thinking they can sit at home watching God TV and that counts as church.
If you’re a Christian then the church is now your family.
You have brothers and sisters and spiritual mothers and fathers, sons and daughters. They are God’s gift to us in living Christian lives.
The truth is the church is the hope of the world – God’s chosen method of world evangelism. The church will rise up and be all she could be and should be only when you play your part – the part that nobody else can.
1 Corinthians 12:27-28 (The Message translation) puts it this way:
“You are Christ’s body—that’s who you are! You must never forget this. Only as you accept your part of that body does your “part” mean anything.”
He has gifted each member of His church to serve one another, you can’t do that solo. It is near impossible to live a Christian life alone, it runs counter to everything God has done for us. God has created us for community.
Love the church, submit to the leadership God has put in place, give generously of your time and finances.
Support and encourage as much as you can. Don’t find fault, but look for the good.
Your church isn’t perfect, but it won’t reach it’s full potential until you do.
Become a vital part of your church, be an encourager, be consistent, be faithful, be the first to volunteer, get over any offenses and appreciate your pastor.
Not only will you in grow in ways you never knew you could, your church will grow in size and influence, accomplishing the purpose it exists to achieve: to make more true disciples of Christ.
“Church is not a place you go or a service you attend – you are the church.” [Your Turn
a) Love Jesus and follow Him
b) Love the Word and obey it
c) Love the church and serve in it ?
Let me know what you think in the comments below. If you do then you’re so much more than just a church-goer – you’re a true and growing disciple of Christ.
You have gone beyond the playing-it-safe of nominal Christianity and you’re living for Him.
I encourage you to never accept anything than God’s very best for your life.
I encourage you to keep pushing ahead, keep pressing forward.
Keep daring to be different, take the risk of faith. Go where God tells you to go and do all He tells you to do.
A life with God is a great adventure!
Oh, and one more thing before you go, I saw this on YouTube and thought you might like it : )