Marks of a Biblical Christian
The word Christian has lost its true biblical meaning; there are lots of people who claim to be Christians today and they have no idea what it means to be a Biblical Christian or may be ignorant of whom were called Christians in the Bible. In a world of political correctness and relativism is hard to distinguish true Christians from nominal Christians or Christians by name.
George Barba research: The Seven faith tribes. Copyrighted 2009
A large majority of American are Casual Christians: people who profess to be Christians but are notably lax in their beliefs and practices. 2/3 of American adults.
Captive Christians: those whose consistently biblical beliefs and Christ-like behavior validate their commitment to being followers of Christ. 1/6 of the adult population.
In our society there are more casual Christians than captive. There are more Christians who are laid-back in their beliefs and practices than those who are committed to be more like Jesus.
These researchers can tell what kind of Christian you are by what you value, your commitment level, your behavior, practices and so forth. These things are tangible (noticeable) to those around. Our lives are always sending messages to others; messages about what we like, or don’t like, what we are passionate about, what we are committed to, what we care or don’t care about.
Ephe.5:15 Be very careful, then how you live-not as unwise but wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
We must always go back to Scripture, the true source, to redefine our view, our worldview or perspective that we may have. We must let God’s Word tell us what true followers of Jesus are supposed to be like. There are signs, tangible signs in the Bible that set apart true followers of Jesus from others. The Bible gives us info as to what it means to be a Biblical Christian, a true follower of Jesus.
In Scripture it was the disciples of Jesus who were given the name Christians (Acts 11:26); this name was given because their lives, their practices were patterned by the one they claimed to follow; their lives reflected the principles and ideals of Jesus Christ.
Jesus had commanded his followers to teach other disciples everything he commanded. As followers of Jesus, we must know what he wanted his followers to look like in this world; we must know what he expects of those who claim to be his followers. You cannot follow Jesus whichever way you want; you must follow him the way he says to follow him.
What are some of the marks of true disciples according to the Bible?
Let’s review: Christians was the name given to the disciples of Jesus.
- They were known as Believers (those who had believed) (Acts 2:44, 5:12, 9:41)
- Church (their gathering): Acts 8:1-3; 9:1, 12:5, 13:1; 15:3
- Disciples (acts 6:1-2, 7; 9:10, 26; 11:29)
- Saints (Rom.1:7; 1 Cor.1:2; 2 Cor.1:1, Eph.1:1; Php.1:1, Col.1:2
- Elect, strangers in the world (1Pet.1:1-2)
Right before Jesus died, he instructed his followers and gave him a new commandment. This new commandment would be the sign that would prove others that they are true disciples of Jesus. John tells us that it was just before Passover and Jesus and his disciples were together. There he got up from the table while they were serving the evening meal; got water on a basin and began to wash his disciples feet that evening. Later on Jesus told them these words. (v.34-35) John 13:34-35
A New commandment I give you: Love one another! As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
Disciples of Jesus are to love one another, each other. Jesus commanded them to have love for each other. They are to love each other despite their economic and economic status, love one another in spite of your ethnicity.
Disciples of Jesus are to love each other the Jesus way. Love one another as I have loved you.
How did Jesus love his disciples?
– Jesus served them in love
– Sacrificed himself for them.
Because Jesus loved them, he trained (disciplined) them, corrected them and rebuked them in love. You of little faith Matt.8:26; Luke 9:41 “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you and put up with you? Bring your son here.”
Jesus loved his followers to death. God demonstrated his love for us in this, while we were still sinners Christ died for us. Rom.5:8
Jesus said, this love is the mark of his true disciples. The world will know you are my disciples when you love one another as I have loved you.
Love among brothers and sisters (among disciples, among one another is the sign that tells the world we are followers of Jesus.
When the church, the Christians love one another, the world sees evidence of Jesus; the world knows we are truly followers of Jesus.
John wrote a letter to a group of Christians and he encouraged them to love one another.
I John 3:18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. ESV
It is a sign that we’re truly Jesus’ disciples when the world sees the love we have for each other. When the world sees how we care for each other, how we serve one another, how we love each other in spite of our race, in spite of our political views and diversity; when the world sees that Christian love each other even when they argue or disagree with each other. This will be contagious in the world. They will see Jesus in us.
Can people see the love we have for each other when they come here? Can they feel the love in our midst? Let’s show the world who we truly are in our love for each other.