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Sunday, April 11, 2021

How Do You Identify Yourself?


As Jesus spoke these things, many believed in Him. So He said to the Jews who had believed Him,“If you continue in My word, you are truly My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
(John 8:30-32)

Christian education programs are not discipleship. They help to form people in the Christian Faith, deepen their understanding of Scripture, and strengthen them for the trials of life. Usually, the programs do not help people develop the skills to make disciples as the Lord commands his followers to do. 

The word “Christian” is used only three places in the New Testament, but the term “disciple” is used 372 times. Granted, the term "Christian" was not in general use at the time of the Apostles. Today, being a disciple of Jesus Christ is of greater importance than being designated a "Christian."

In our time, "Christian" holds a range of meanings. Some who call themselves "Christian" do not live in obedience to the Bible. They endorse practices that the Bible condemns, often because they have not be wellinstructed. Some practices that have been endorsed by church leaders are either a violation of the order of creation and an affront to the Creator, or they are spiritually and often physically dangerous to the individual. 

If asked about your religion, how do you respond? Do you call yourself a "Christian" or a "disciple" of Jesus Christ? The disciple is one who "continues" in His life-giving word. Obedience is the key, even when we do not understand. Abraham did not understand what was going to happen on Mount Moriah, but he was obedient and acted on his faith in God (Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:3, 22; Galatians 3:6 and James 2:23). This is the path of justification.

Holiness and purity, obedience and service, embrace of the biblical worldview... these are the marks of a true disciple. Being Jesus’ “disciple indeed” is the standard of one who has genuine faith! 

Related reading: Two Obedient Servants; An Obedient Servant of the Lord; Formed and Informed by the Bible

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