It is common in Christian circles to point fingers at other Christians or groups of Christians. There are so many Christians teaching really wrong stuff on so many levels. It is common to go as far as concluding that they are a cult, or false teachers, and that they likely are not even true Christians.
I find it a little arrogant. Considering all the denominations, movements and doctrines across church history. To assume my corner has finally got it figured out the best is equally misguided.
But what is the mark of a true Christian? How can we tell if someone is really a Christian?
1 John 3:10 (NIV)
"This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister."Oooh, I don't like the sound of this. I still have many moments when I do not do what is right. What is John talking about? I'd encourage you to read all of 1 John chapters 2, 3 and 4 to see the big picture of what John is saying here. The previous chapter, the rest of this chapter, and the next are making the case that the mark of a true Christian is that they love God and love others (specifically other Christians). Here are a few snippets:
1 John 2:9 (NIV)
"Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness."1 John 3:23 (NIV)
"And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. "
1 John 4:7-8 (NIV)
"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. "And this lines up with Jesus' words in John 13:34-35 (NIV):
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
The love of God in my heart, and the love I have for others is the sign that God is living in me. Not so much that I have it all figured out.
There I figured it out! :)
But you don't have to figure it out.
Love is the answer.
But knowing the answer isn't the goal.
Living in love is.
- Love is essential
- Commanded to love
- Because he first loved us
- Respond to disagreements in love
- Permanent residence in a life of love
- I was made to love you (song)
- Graham Cooke Inheritance
- A. W. Tozer on fundamentalism and love
- He loves me (book)
- Do you believe in love?
- How can I gain your love?
- Dearly loved children