Summary: There are ten clear differences from someone who claims to be a believer in God and someone who is a Christian. The truths in this message will set our heart aright with God!
What's The Difference
A Question That Exposes Your Relationship With Christ
A vehicle owner who is inexperience dealing with vehicle tires can be talked into paying top price for tires, not realizing they have purchased a low grade tire. Many vehicle owners think, "Hey, a tire is a tire, right?" They purchase tires expecting to get high mileage and top performance. It is not long the ever changing condition of driving breaks down the tire treads, thus the vehicle owner finds him or herself back in the tire shop purchasing new tires or worse yet unexpectedly setting along the road with a flat tire. In their frustration, they cannot understand, it was ignorance about tires that put them were they are now. You see in purchasing tires - there are different treads, and stronger tire plies, such as four ply, six ply or eight ply and even ten ply tires. Asking a tire specialist is always the high road to take before you purchase tires.
Many believers in God find themselves walking in and out of church shops, if you will, frustrated, because they are inexperienced in the things of God. To them, "Hey, a church is a church, right? Religion is religion, right?" They simply lack what it takes to determine the difference between believing from a world's view and true belief in the things of the Lord.
I would propose to you there are ten clear differences from someone who claims to be a believer in God and someone who is a Christian. Someone can claim to believe in something, yet never live in a way that indicates they believe what they say they believe in. I spent thirty-two plus years in the farrier trade, the horse shoeing business. I can tell you there are people who claim to love horses, but the do very little to learn about, take care of or make plans to be involved in true horsemanship. You and I can claim we want to do such and such, but when we do very little to learn about, nurture or participate in what we said we would like to do. The results are not living on the high road God wants us to travel on.
Just what are ten clear differences between someone who says they are a believer and someone who expresses true saving faith in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord? James, the half-brother of Jesus writes, "Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even demons believe that - and shudder. You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?" (James 2:18-20) The answers to James' challenge begins with:
There is a difference between someone who says they believe and someone who follows Jesus commands. Jesus said, "If you love Me, you will obey my commands." (John 14:15) He also said, "If you keep My commands, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love." There are two key words we must grasp here. 1.) True belief and 2.) Abide.
Believe (p?ste?? pisteúo): Meaning to have faith in, causing you to seek the Lord, have hope in - along with an expectation that God is able and will do as He says He will. (Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.)
Abide (µ??? méno): Meaning to remain, dwell in or live in the life Christ lived before God, His father. Means you are in the same heart, mind and will as Jesus Christ. (Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.)
Dictionary.com teaches us to believe is to have such a "confidence in something or someone it causes us to act purposely" Dictionary.com gives another definition: "to suppose or assume or understand." The practical application is: Christians seek the Lord's direction, they trust in His sustaining empowerment and they long to enjoy God's pleasure as they abide in His will for them. Times Square Church felt led of the Lord to purchase a house for women who came out of the life style of prostitution. They wanted to not just tell women it was a sin, but make a practical way for them to come out, be provide for and have a hope for their future. Time Square Church sought the Lord for a way to provide a safe house for these woman and their children along with getting an education for them as well. There are people who understand there is a God, they assume that He is in some kind of control and suppose that someone will do something. However, they do not participate in God's work nor walk in His will for them.