Summary: The only test needed to reveal who we really are is our willingness to do the righteous deed of loving our neighbor as we love ourselves. So, Who Are You Really?
As I wandered through the bible, my eyes fell upon a passage of Scripture in Luke 9. The verses revealed a private conversation between Jesus and his disciples. During this conversation, two very important questions were asked by Jesus. First, he questioned, ‘Who do men say that I am?’ Next, he inquired ‘Who do you say that I am?’ Although the scope and magnitude of these questions have been preached for centuries, God allowed me to understand this text in a different way. As He added further insight into the Scriptures by the Holy Spirit of God, the focus of the questions started to change.
John 13: 34-35 instructs “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” This command given to us by Jesus is our badge of discipleship. It is only by showing this badge to the world that we will be recognized as the children of God. It is by displaying this badge we are known as the friends of Jesus and followers of the way of Christ. The love for our fellowman distinguishes us from the rest of creation because it exhibits our willingness to humble ourselves to the will and work of God.
1st John 3:10 tells us, ‘this is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.’ This is the only test needed to show our true character. The test is our willingness to do the righteous deed of loving our neighbor as we love ourselves. If we are not truly righteous, we will not love one another; therefore according to the Scriptures, we cannot be a child of God.
In 2nd Corinthians 13:5, Paul instructs us, ‘examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you--unless, of course, you fail the test?’ As the maturing children of God, we should know if the Spirit of Christ is in us. We should question our own life walk to see whether we are true followers of the way of Christ, or have been deceived to follow the way of the world. Unless Christ is in us by his Spirit, and the power of his love is exhibited though our life walk, our faith is dead, and we will be disapproved by God. So, when was the last time you tested yourself to see who you are?
John 14:12 states, ‘I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.’ Despite being the children of God, we will suffer grief because of the multitude of tribulations and trials we endure. Nevertheless, to comfort and directed us as we travel the dangerous paths of life, the presence of the Holy Spirit of God gives us the assurance that God will neither leave nor forsake us. Whether we are called to minister in the lofty mountains, the lowly plains, or the valley of death, we can be assured that we have the power to do greater works than the Lord Jesus if we have faith.
Acts 4: 13-14 informs us ‘When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled ordinary men; they were astonished and took note that these men had been with Jesus. But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say.’ As the followers of the way of Christ, what we say along with our deeds should convey to everyone that comes in contact with us of our personal relationship with Jesus. However, this relationship cannot be taught, bought, or sold. It must be experienced to develop and mature us into the men and women chosen by God. This relationship is based on a deep and thorough conviction of the truth found in following after the way of Christ. Because of this relationship, the Holy Spirit of God emboldens us to speak with the power and authority to show the world who we are.
John 15: 18-22 replies “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me.”