Summary: What does a believer who follow Christ really look like? What changes should one expect when one trust in the leadership of Christ.
WHAT ARE THE MARKS OF A BELIEVER?
by ANDREW CHAN, Pilgrim Baptist, Vancouver, BC
Being a disciple of Christ (a follower or a believer) is not about merely following a list of do this and don’t do that. To follow Jesus is more about “done”, rather than “do.” He has done it, when it comes to fixing things or patching things up between us and God. Romans 5:1 states as we place faith in Jesus "we have peace with God." So this is about a journey of discovery, a pilgrimage toward discovering a love relationship with God. Thus, the key thing to learn in Christ is: relationship.
1. According to John 8:31-32, what does a disciple of Christ look like?
Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you KEEP OBEYING my teachings. And you will KNOW THE TRUTH, and the TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE.” John 8:31-32 (NLT)
a. O____________________ to His Word. (obedience)
For if you wander beyond the teaching of Christ, you will not have fellowship with God. But IF YOU CONTINUE IN THE TEACHING OF CHRIST, you will have fellowship with both the Father and the Son. 2 John 9 (NLT)
b. E____________________ the truth. (experience)
On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “If you are thirsty, come to me! If you believe in me, come and drink! For the Scriptures declare that RIVERS OF LIVING WATER will flow out FROM WITHIN.” (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him… John 7:37-39 (NLT)
c. L____________________ life. (liberating)
It is for freedom that Christ has SET US FREE…you…were CALLED TO BE FREE. Galatians 5:1,13 (NIV).
2. According to John 10:27-29 what are five things that characterize Jesus’ followers?
My sheep RECOGNIZE MY VOICE; I KNOW THEM, and THEY FOLLOW ME. I give them ETERNAL LIFE, and they will NEVER PERISH. No one will snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. So no one can take them from me. John 10:27-29 (NLT)
3. Assurance of Salvation (Christian certainty)
According to God’s word, it is a written guarantee that He will never a________________ us. (abandon)
For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never forsake you.” That is why we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, so I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” Hebrews 13:5-6
Sing for joy, O heavens! Rejoice, O earth! Burst into song, O mountains! For the LORD has comforted his people and will have compassion on them in their sorrow.
Yet Jerusalem says, “The LORD has deserted us; the Lord has forgotten us.”
“Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for a child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! See, I have written your name on my hand. Ever before me is a picture of Jerusalem’s walls in ruins. Isaiah 49:13-16 (NLT)
Nails (Forever) by Richard Cimino
The nails is Your hands, the nail in Your feet
They tell me how much You love me
The thorns on Your brow, they tell me how
You bow so much shame to love me
When the heavens pass away, all Your scars will still remain
Forever they will say, just how much You loved me
Forever my love, forever my heart, forever my life is Yours.
So what does God desire us to do?
Just t_________ Him! (trust)
But you shouldn’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that I, the Son of Man, can give you. For God the Father has sent me for that very purpose.” They replied, “What does God want us to do?” Jesus told them, “This is what God wants you to do: BELIEVE in the one he has sent.” John 6:27-29
Thus, it about placing faith rather than mere feelings in God who loves you, who wants to relate to you in love, from within you. As you place your trust in God’s love you will hear His voice of joy over you, and will begin to experience His leading. AND FOLLOW HIM!
Changes you should expect (in time):
1. Experience in God’s lavish and unconditional love will grow (Eph.3:17-19).
2. Confidence of His acceptance of you will grow (Rom.8:15-17, 38-39).
3. Over time attitudes towards God’s Word will grow from zero to hero, as you see His love more and more ( 1 Peter 2:2-3).
4. Exhilaration of freedom felt in Christ (Rom.8:1).
5. Worship life will be exciting (from within)(Eph.1:17-19).