Posts Tagged ‘followers of christ’

truthWhat is truth? Well, truth is proclaimed, it is followed, it is argued about, it is disbelieved, and it is often forgotten. Truth is factual information. Yet it is so much more than just information, it is the real and accurate descriptor of life. Life is oft described philosophically, while truth is more than a mere philosophical abstraction. Truth operates in reality, as reality, and not as the fanciful imaginings of the human intellect. Even so, not everyone seeks the truth. A plague on human existent since the deception in the garden. And not all agree upon the nature of truth—yet another blight on human existence. Even in John 18:38 Pilate asked Jesus this very question, “what is truth?” Demonstrating the conflicting ideas regarding truth.

I know, it seems a little too philosophical, nevertheless, as believers in and followers of Jesus Christ we must be be concerned with truth. Why? Because Jesus is the Truth. Jesus is the very essence of reality. He is the one who created everything. He is the one who upholds everything. If we are not thinking about the truth then we are not thinking about Jesus.

Now, this is not a call to dig into old school books and think upon measly information. Nor is it a call to intellectual hardheadedness or philosophic snobbery. Rather, we must dwell upon truth, fixing our minds on Jesus Christ. Jesus is the way the truth and the life. If we want to know truth we must know Jesus. If we want to know Jesus we must know the truth. Followers of Christ are sanctified in truth, and as His Word is truth. Imperative for those in Christ is to meditating upon the truth found in the Word. Truth about ourselves, truth about the condition of man, truth about God, truth about reality; these truths about humanity are founded in Jesus. This isn’t a call to some esoteric exercise for the super spiritual, but a simple plea to seek The Truth.

So what? What’s the point? The point is this — Followers of Christ walk in light of God’s Word. A Christian’s life must stand in concert with the truth of God’s Word, and with The Truth who is God. If the concern for truth only extends as far as our own personal eternity, a warmed over version of the American Dream, without a regard for the destiny of others, then we need examine our self and see if we are in the faith. If our concern for the truth exists in regard to being right, while proving others wrong, then we need to examine our faith. Finally, if our concern for truth is content to allow others to wallow in their error, while fatalistically claiming God will work it all out in the end, then we need to learn by faith to speak the truth in love.

Let’s not get caught up in the debates of the age regarding truth. Rather let’s speak the truth in love. In the end followers of Christ must have a concern for the open statement of the truth. “But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.”  2 Corinthians 4:2

Can You Be a Christian and Not Love Christians? To some the answer might be blazingly obvious. ‘No! A mark of a true believer is love for the brother, case closed.’ I mean, the epistles of the New Testament seem to continuously elevate the necessary importance of loving your brothers and sisters in Christ, don’t they?

love

Can You Be a Christian and Not Love Christians? This question is more pertinent and worth a moment of your consideration than you might first assume.

In the pastoral ministry, I witness people struggle to love their brothers and sisters in Christ. Honestly, I struggle at times with loving my brothers and sisters in the Lord, as I am sure they struggle to love me. I am thankful that they struggle to love and don’t simply resign themselves to bitter distain. Nevertheless, I’m not referring to the struggle of loving our fellow Christian.

This question is for those who have no problem hating, or at least scorning, fellow followers of Christ, and yet still claim to follow Christ. Some justify their visceral reactions against the people of Christ, rather than repenting, as though their professed love for Christ is supposed to exist separately from the necessary love for his bride, the church, and her members. Please, don’t misunderstand—I’m aware that the church may hurt people or an individual Christian hurts them; heinous and awful things have been done by professing Christians, or in the name of Christ. However, not everyone crying wolf actually sees a wolf. And irrespective of crimes committed, one cannot hate his brother and love Christ at the same time. (1 John 3:10)

The gospel frees us from hate. It frees the true adherent of the gospel from harboring unforgiving-bitterness when hurt. By faith in Christ, we are free to love our brothers in Christ. The beauty of the gospel is not only that we are forgiven by faith in Jesus Christ, but also we are freed to forgive by faith in Jesus Christ. Now, mystical-magical forgiveness doesn’t pour forth from the Christian as a result of being in Christ, but the good fight of faith and striving to forgive and give, as we have been forgiven, is a badge of a true Christian.

If you love Jesus, you will love other Christians. If you love other Christians, you gather together with them. And if you gather with the church, a few things are guaranteed. First, the church is filled with sinners, which guarantees you will be sinned against. Second, you will have an opportunity to extend grace, mercy, and forgiveness to these sinners by faith in Christ. Third, if you are willing to receive grace, mercy, and forgiveness in some measure you will experience it in the body of Christ. Don’t be fooled to think you won’t sin against your brothers, as you do they will exercise grace toward you, by God’s grace if they are genuine. Fourth, you will see God in action in the midst of his bride bringing glory to his name. Fifth, none of this will be easy, but it will be worth it.

So, if you want to see God’s grace in action find a church where sinners are present, the gospel is preached, and they are imperfectly striving to attain the to the unity of faith. Entering a community like this will be hard, but it will bring you nearer to the Jesus you love.