Summary: What is it that identifies us as disciples of Jesus? The world can tell that we follow Jesus by certain aspects of our life. The question we need to consider is would people be shocked to find out you are a Christian?
“How am I Identified as a Disciple?”
How is it that people will know that I am a disciple of Jesus? I go to church every Sunday; does that make me a Christian? I tell people that I am a Christian; does that identify me as a disciple of Jesus? If I wear a WWJD does that identify me as disciple of Jesus? If I wear a cross around my neck does that identify me to the world as a follower of Jesus? There are very few people who would not claim to be a Christian, but what is it that identifies us to non Christians as a disciple. This is a very difficult thing to understand, because people cannot see our spirituality or our heart. People cannot see what we thing or what we feel. The only way people can identify us as a disciple of Jesus is to show it in the way in which we act and live in front of the world.
I don’t know about you, but I want people to know that I follow Jesus, not because I think I am better than anyone else, but I want people to be drawn to Jesus because of the way that I love. I want people to know why I act the way that I do. I don’t ever want people to be surprised that I am a Christian.
I heard a story of a few Christians who went out to dinner together. They thought that they would have great fellowship with each other. As that sat together their conversation became a little immoral, but they were just kidding around. They left no indication that they were Christians. As the meal came to a close, the people began talking to the waitress. As she found out that they were leaders in the local church, the waitress was shocked that they were even Christians.
Will people be shocked when they find out that you are a Christian, or will you be easily identified as a Christian?
You may ask why it matters if anyone knows I am a Christian. You may think that it is pride-filled to purposefully show people that you are a Christian. Don’t let your right hand know what your left hand is doing. Maybe you associate showing your faith to others a being self-righteous. It is important for us to realize that we should all be able to be identified as a disciple of Jesus. There is nothing proud or self-righteous about letting people know about your relationship with Jesus.
Will you be identified by others as a disciple of Jesus? If you would not be, then your faith needs to be examined.
Text: Colossians 4:5-6
I. By Your Love -- John 13:35
The love that we show for other people is a key way that we are identified as followers of Jesus. The question that stems from this is – what makes you different than other good people in this world? In the world there are many moral people, but what makes you different than them. Hopefully you will say that it is your faith in Jesus Christ, but will people be able to see this in your life? Will people know that you are different from the way you act towards other people? There are certain areas of life that we should show love and thus be identified as disciples.
a. For Your Brothers and Sisters in Christ
There is among Christians a special type of love that is unexplainable in words. The love and bond between Christians should be a testimony to the world of the love of God. People will know we are disciples of Jesus by the love that we show for our brothers and sisters in Christ. The church does not always do the best job portraying this love to the world. Sometimes the world sees Christians as bickering with each other and spiteful even. We should go out of our way to show love to our brothers and sisters in Christ. How do you treat those in the Church? Do you bicker and argue? We cannot over emphasize the importance of loving each other in Christ. John says, you cannot love God if you do not love your brothers in Christ. Jesus made it clear that before you come to church or worship you should make sure that you do not have a problem with your brother. Will people know that you are a Christian by the way that you treat your brothers in the faith? People should know that you are Christians by the love that you have for one another. Why would anyone want to be a Christian if you treat people in the church the same as people in the world treat people?