Why Believing in Jesus Isn’t the Same as Being a Follower of Jesus
Written by Christi Given | July 12, 2017
Recently, I have been doing a Bible study called What Love Is by Kelly Minter. The study is produced and distributed by LifeWay ministries, and I have learned a lot about the book of John and what he had to say about being a disciple of Christ.
Click here to order the book for the study What Love Is: The Letters of 1, 2, 3 John.
Many people claim to know Christ, but they really just believe that he existed or was a prophet. C. S. Lewis, a famous author, once said profoundly, “You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse.” Jesus was either God in the flesh, a liar or a lunatic. We cannot believe Jesus was all three: a liar, a lunatic and the Son of God, but rather, we must make our choice. We cannot say we believe in Jesus, but then live like the world (we can, but really our lives reflect what we believe). And we must understand that believing in Christ doesn’t make us Christ-followers. The Bible says that “the demons believe and they tremble….”
He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” (Luke 11:28)
The truth is that our lives, the fruit we produce, our actions and obedience reveals how much we know and love Christ. No, salvation is not based on works, of course, but there is wisdom in what James says in the Bible: “Faith without works is dead.” We must have both faith and the lifestyle of worship to reflect our beliefs. Many people don’t want to become followers of Christ; there are many so-called “Christians” who don’t live out their faith. When people see real love and faith, they become curious and want that joy and peace that we carry as believers.
But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? (James 2:18-20)
I challenge you, PI Girls, to examine your hearts, and not condemn yourself but rather ask yourself if you are TRULY making Jesus Lord of your life or just saying it. We need to be wise and cautious in our choices, our life decisions and our claims. We don’t want to claim to know God and act like we don’t know Him, and we don’t want to say we follow Jesus but act like the world.
May we all have the healthy fear of the Lord (revere and respect), so that we may grow in the wisdom and knowledge of the living Word. Our relationship with God and our walk will never be perfect, only by the blood of Jesus on the cross. We know it is by faith that we are made holy or righteous. We know that as we are sanctified daily in the Word, we will be transformed into the image of the Son to reflect the Father through the power of the Holy Spirit. We really cannot do this journey of faith without the fellowship of the bride of Christ, without the Word, and without the power of the spirit. Amen?
If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. (1 John 1:6)
In John 15, the Bible says that IF we REMAIN in the vine (the Word, the power source, the living water), then we will grow spiritual fruit in our lives (Galatians 5:22), but apart from the Lord we can do nothing that will last. Let us stay connected to other like-minded believers so we can help other sisters in Christ, family members and friends, and so we may lead many souls to the God of the Bible (Hebrews 10:25).
I encourage you to read Ezekial 18:24-30 for further studying on obedience, repentance and walking in the light of the Lord.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:10)
PI Girls, we are praying for you! Do you have any prayer requests? Comment below!
[Source: Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis]