Wednesday, April 19, 2006

1 John 2:3-6 By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. [4] The one who says, "I have come to know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; [5] but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: [6] the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.

Today we are going to talk about the marks of real Christians. Our Scripture passage teaches that there are two identifying marks. First, real Christians are obedient to the commands of Christ and secondly, they walk as Jesus walked. Clear biblical teaching like this is not popular in our day. Many are offended by the idea of examining people to see whether or not they are Christians. Sometimes people use the Bible to defend their position. For example, “judge not lest you be judged,” is an often quoted verse.

Folks, when the Bible says “judge not lest you be judged” it is instructing us not to condemn people. It is not saying do not practice discernment. The Scriptures plainly teach that it is every Christian’s responsibility to exercise discernment. We must exercise discernment so that we can avoid the perils of false teaching. We need discernment in order to recognize temptation and avoid sin. We need discernment to know who we should and should not fellowship with. God through His Word and His Spirit provides discernment. It is our responsibility to use it!

Recently, someone was upset by the fact that I said no one living a lifestyle of habitual sin would go to heaven. That includes adulterers, liars, thieves, and homosexuals to name a few. Folks, this is not just my opinion, but the teaching of Scripture. It does not matter if one professes to be a Christian. If you are living a lifestyle of habitual disobedience to God, and are not attempting to walk as Jesus walked you will not enter heaven. I’m not claiming we earn our way into heaven by obedience and by following Jesus example. What I am saying is that if you have truly placed your faith in Jesus Christ your life will show it! No one who trusts Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord remains unchanged. In fact, the Bible says in 2 Cor. 5:17 “Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”

Is your life marked by obedience and Christ-like living? Are the “old things” passing away?

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