Disclaimer: About This Blog

THIS BLOG IS: my personal journey of how I am rethinking some of my spiritual beliefs.
THIS BLOG IS NOT: intended to point fingers at people who I think are wrong.
I do not believe the final judgement will be based on how many correct answers we get on a theology exam. I believe many people throughout history have had genuine relationships with our Lord and Saviour Jesus, despite holding questionable beliefs and practices. I make no claim to having it all figured out or being your judge. If we end up disagreeing over these topics I pray we can find a way to demonstrate grace.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I Have It All Figuerd Out

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.

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Lysa said...

That's what I've been talking about all these months!
Jesus summed it up; we like to add to it.
Never-the-less, He still loves us!

Jonathan said...

Thanks Lysa. Some of us are better at thinking than loving. But yes, if we do everything right but don't have love, it's a gong show (clanging symbols 1 Cor 13:1).

Steve Martin said...

We are all mixed bags. Sometimes we love...sometimes, not so much.

What's really important and where we ought focus (I believe) is on His love for us.

He loves and "died for the ungodly".

That's me!

What a God!


Jonathan said...

Hi Steve, thanks for the comment. Yes focusing on God's love has to be the starting point. I can't just tell myself to love everyone and find it in myself to follow through. The only way I can consistently love others is to always be resting in God's love for me.

However from these verses, I wouldn't want any Christian to get too comfortable with any un-loving tendencies. (I'm not suggesting you are - I just want to clarify the point of this post). Yes God loves us first, but if we don't love others... it seems we've missed something crucial and aren't really his children.