How many people have you met in your life who lay claim to being a follower of Jesus Christ?
For me it is probably somewhere in the thousands.
“Oh yes, I’m a Christian.” Or, “I was raised a Christian”. Or, “Yes, I believe in Jesus Christ.”
There are literally millions of people in the world who could (and do) make similar statements.
Many of them either have no clue about Jesus Christ, have never associated themselves with Him purposely (nor ever intend to), or are “closet Christians” who recognize their “faith” as something they inherited from their parents.
The tragedy is that none of those categories, and some others, are disqualified in the eyes of Jesus Himself from being a disciple of His.
Disciples…true disciples…act like they know Him.
1 John 2:4 – “Whoever says, I know Him [I perceive, recognize, understand, and am acquainted with Him] but fails to keep and obey His commandments (teachings) is a liar, and the Truth [of the Gospel] is not in him.
If you are a “marginal” believer in Jesus Christ this morning, than this is a verse to be very concerned about.
By ‘marginal” I include all of the above categories, plus the part-timer, the stay-homer, and the C&E’rs.
“But pastor, which teaching of Jesus am I violating?”
I guess you would know which ones if you knew Him. This is why you are in trouble.
His disciples don’t have that problem and never will.
(5) But he who keeps (treasures) His Word [who bears in mind His precepts, who observes His message in its entirety], truly in him has the love of and for God been perfected (completed, reached maturity). By this we may perceive (know, recognize, and be sure) that we are in Him.
Are you one of the “he who keeps”? Then you have nothing to worry about today. Your relationship is secure in Him. You are trusting Him in all you do and reaping the benefits of God’s grace according to your faith.
(6) Whoever says he abides in Him ought [as a personal debt] to walk and conduct himself in the same way in which He walked and conducted Himself.
We who follow after the Master act like Him. It’s not an accident. We strive for that. Sometimes we fall short of that ideal, but we never stop trying. We are picking up our Cross daily (putting into effect each day what HE did upon His Cross), and following Him. Following means more than just retracing His steps. Following means we emulate His actions and put into effect His teachings.
We do this because we are indebted to Him for taking our place and dying for what we deserved to die for.
So, if I seem a tiny bit testy about the casual use of Jesus when it is convenient to claim that one is a “believer”, it’s because it is not something to be tossed around loosely.
There is a great tragedy attached to those who are deceived into thinking they are something they are not. Apart from Jesus Christ there is a tragic destination awaiting. Some folks think they are safe when they are not. Some folks think they have the truth but their actions (or lack thereof) insinuate the Truth is not in them.
To “know” Him is to become fully acquainted with Him. To become immersed in Him. To trust, obey, and cleave to Him.
Is that you today?
Keepin’ it Real,