FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST
Characteristics of Genuine Followers of Christ
Whenever people are asked whether they are followers of Christ, they give varying opinions. Some believe that they should be classified as followers of Christ because they have joined the church ministry. At the same time, others think that being a community church member automatically qualifies them to be Christians. Nevertheless, engaging in religious activities is not enough proof that one is a disciple of Jesus.
The fact is both Christian, and none Christians can practice most religious activities. The only mechanism that can be used to gauge if one is a follower of Christ is by demonstrating faith and using biblical principles. The following are characteristics of followers of Christ as displayed in the biblical teachings.
In the book of John 3:3, it says that unless you have accepted Christ as your personal savior, you will not enter heaven. Every follower of Christ must start their spiritual journey by accepting Christ through faith and joining the local church with a desire to participate in ministry. One can do it by repenting from personal sins and believing that sin is forgiven through faith in Christ's sacrifice on the cross. When one decides to become a Christian, they are not just planning to become better they are adopting a new life that will be led by the Holy Spirit.
Loving God and AND Their Human Neighbors
The Bible commands Christians to love God with all their heart, strength, soul and mind. This means that for one to be a disciple of Jesus, they have to love God with everything they have. The bible also illustrates the kind of love we show to our fellow beings reflects the percentage we demonstrate to God. That’s why it is written in the book of 1 John 4:20 that you can’t claim to love God whom you have never seen, but you hate a brother whom you see every day. Christ followers must practice true church friendship that is built on the agape (unselfish love of God) love.
Ready to Suffer
Christianity is based on Jesus Christ and His loving sacrifice for us. He is the son of God who came to earth and lived and died for us so that the entire world can be saved. In the process of preaching to humans, He suffered to the point that He chose to die for the sake of humanity. This means that Christianity is not a sweet journey. Once in a while, there may be tribulations that can lead to emotional and physical suffering. In the Bible, God expects us to differ with the world for Christ’s sake. As it is written in Philippians 1:29 that believers must undergo suffering because of their faith in God.
Serving God and Others
In John 12:26, it is written that any who serves Christ, God will honor him. Therefore, Christians should be on the lookout for opportunities to serve Christ and demonstrate His love in all aspects of their life. They can do it by preaching, sharing or teaching the word of God. In whatever calling God lays on your life, you can find a place to fulfill that call at Real Life and impact our community in Fredericksburg and the world. Apart from serving God, a follower of Christ should be ready to serve others. Real Life partners are challenged to demonstrate God's love aggressively in our community as well.
Share What They Have
Christians should understand sharing in two perspectives. The first one is demonstrated when one gives what they have for charity purposes. One can give through already established church friendship organizations or international charitable organizations. The second one is sharing God's revelation with others.
In Mathew 26:19, the followers of Christ were told to go and preach to the entire world. This means that Jesus commanded them to share the good news with everyone they came across regardless of whom they were. Whatever God has revealed, you should not sit on it, but you should share it with others. You can do it by seeking the opportunity to teach the word of God.
In Galatians 5:22—24 Christians are given a view of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Followers of Christ empowered by the Holy Spirit are endowed with the ability to live the fruit of the Spirit. The same spirit enables them to obey God. Whenever we read the bible or pray, we start growing spiritually. Spiritual growth is further demonstrated by bearing fruit. In John 15:5-8, Jesus refers to Himself as the vine and his followers and the branches. He also says that those that abide him bear fruit. Fruit are the results of living for Christ.