I believe the Word of God to be literally true; every word of it is ‘God-breathed,’ and because this is so every word can be trusted to be literally true. This Book is absolutely true and without error. The Bible does NOT imply, but always speaks to those things God wants us to know about Him.
Because the Bible is TRUTH, every person who IS born-again by grace through faith in Jesus Christ will live by that Truth.
When Christians ARE there are some characteristics displayed by them that set them apart from everyone else around them BECAUSE they are different. The question then arises, “Why is a Christian different from everyone who is not?”
- In John chapter 3 is recorded a conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus wherein Jesus told him, “I tell you the solemn truth, unless a person is born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” verse 3. And Jesus said the same thing again in verse 7 using the Greek word, “ἄνωθεν,” ‘anothen.’ This word means, ‘to be born from above.’ Most English translations will say, ‘born-again.’ First off, a Christian is ‘born from above,’ or ‘born-again.’
- Christians are ‘Christ-followers.’ “Then he said to them all, “If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will save it. For what does it benefit a person if he gains the whole world but loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. But I tell you most certainly, there are some standing here who will not experience death before they see the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:23-27. What we find here are 2 very, very important notes: a. Everyone who is a Christian will do everything for the cause of Christ…everything before doing anything for ‘self.’ This is what is meant by, ‘he must deny himself, take up his cross daily.’ b. Everyone who is a Christian will experience the Kingdom of God on earth. This is what is meant by, “there are some standing here who will not experience death before they see the kingdom of God.”
- Christians know the way, the truth and the life as directed by Jesus. The Lord answered Thomas’ question, ‘How can we know the way?’ with these words, “ Jesus replied, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you have known me, you will know my Father too. And from now on you do know him and have seen him.” John 14:7-8. Although you and I have not and will not see Jesus as the Twelve did, we know Him in ways that they did not because we have in our hands, ‘the rest of the story.’ Indeed, we Do know the Way, the Truth and the Life by His grace.
- Christians know how to live by faith. “Faith is acting as if it is so in order for it to be so because with God it already is so.” – – Manley Beasley. The Hebrews writer penned these words, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see. For by it the people of old received God’s commendation. By faith we understand that the worlds were set in order at God’s command, so that the visible has its origin in the invisible.” Hebrews 11:1-3. We are able, because of Jesus living in us, to accomplish all that happens because of Him alone.
- No matter life’s situation, your situation, you and I are able to endure because of Christ. Some of us are extremely wealthy and others are extremely poor, but Paul writes, “I have great joy in the Lord because now at last you have again expressed your concern for me. (Now I know you were concerned before but had no opportunity to do anything.) I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content in any circumstance. I have experienced times of need and times of abundance. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of contentment, whether I go satisfied or hungry, have plenty or nothing. I am able to do all things through the one who strengthens me. Nevertheless, you did well to share with me in my trouble.” Philippians 4:10-14. Please underscore, “I am able to do all things through the one who strengthens me.” This is true for every Follower of the Christ.
- Everyone who is ‘born from above’ knows what it means to, “be crucified with Christ.” Paul encouraged a group of Jewish Christians, “ And we have come to believe in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by the faithfulness of Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified. But if while seeking to be justified in Christ we ourselves have also been found to be sinners, is Christ then one who encourages sin? Absolutely not! But if I build up again those things I once destroyed, I demonstrate that I am one who breaks God’s law. For through the law I died to the law so that I may live to God. I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So the life I now live in the body, I live because of the faithfulness of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside God’s grace, because if righteousness could come through the law, then Christ died for nothing!” Galatians 2:16b-21. It is important to know that we are NOT justified by what we do or have done, but rather by the faithfulness of Jesus Christ at the Cross. For this reason alone you can say, “I am crucified with Christ.”
- Being ‘filled with the Holy Spirit’ is, perhaps, the crucial ‘identifier’ of every Believer. “Therefore consider carefully how you live—not as unwise but as wise, taking advantage of every opportunity, because the days are evil. For this reason do not be foolish, but be wise by understanding what the Lord’s will is. And do not get drunk with wine, which is debauchery, but be filled by the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music in your hearts to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Ephesians 5:15-21. Paul gives us a most important instruction here, “be wise by understanding what the Lord’s will is.” This can only be known through the presence of the Holy Spirit and Paul writes, “And do not get drunk with wine, which is debauchery, but be filled by the Spirit.”
We are experiencing a very tumultuous moment in history, are we not? For this reason alone it is critical that Followers of the Christ make it known who and Whose they are. The days are evil far beyond anything we have known in America. There are Christ-deniers and there are Christians who are not. For this reason alone you and I must be known by the One we are following for He alone is Lord.