This is what God gave me today in His word:
I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. (John 12:46-48)
We can see three types of people here: those who believe in Christ, and are thus saved. Those who hear that Christ can and will save them, maybe even become “Christians” in name, but don’t ‘keep Christ’s word’; those who are only Christians in name. And those who simply rejects Him outright. So a rather obvious question comes: what category do we fall into?
Perhaps we don’t reject what Jesus says outright, but do we live how He tells us to live? (i.e. Do we love instead of hate, etc.)? Though in reality there is no grey area with Christ, there can be people who believe themselves to be Christians, yet aren’t; who have heard of Christ, and claim to ‘keep His word’ (be saved), but their lives don’t show any of the fruits of a Christian. Those who (may) go to Church, yet don’t live any differently afterwards. Now, don’t mis-understand me here, I’m not attempting to set a standard, which if you don’t pass, you aren’t an “actual” Christian. I’m merely stating that if a fruit-bearing tree doesn’t bear any fruit, that tree isn’t actually a “fruit-bearing” tree. If anyone is a true Christian, they’ll live by the words of Christ.
Here are some things, according to the Bible, which characterize a true Christian:
- They don’t swear or curse, instead they bless God with their mouths.
9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? (James 3:9-11)
- They show their faith by their works. Rather than sitting passively by, they actively try to help the World around them in whatever way they can.
- They live differently than the rest of the World. – They don’t smoke, get drunk, or gamble, or if they do, they are being set free of doing so.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)
The point being this: our fruit tells others who we are. Either we are like everyone else, or we’re like Christ. However, no Christian should ever let this be said of them, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” — Mahatma Gandhi
You are Loved!