Tuesday, September 15, 2015

No Phony Believers Allowed

I am a "son" in God's family because of real faith in the "Son."

John 8:31-36 Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. 32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

33 “But we are descendants of Abraham,” they said. “We have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean, ‘You will be set free’?”

34 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. 35 A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.

In the previous post we saw the cost of refusing to be a follower of Jesus. Scripture makes it very clear that we don't have any hope if we reject Jesus. The entire book of John focuses on the fact that Jesus is God and he came to make us an incredible offer that has amazing benefits.

A group of people seem to accept Jesus claim to be the Messiah, there are some that believed in Jesus and it is a little bit surprising to consider Jesus next words, he tells them that there is a way to know if they are really his disciples.

Jesus comment brings up some questions that we should consider:

✔  I believe in him, isn't that enough?
✔  What is a true disciple?
✔  Am I truly a disciple?
✔  What does it mean to be faithful to his teaching?

That's a little bit unsettling, we like to think that a believer is a believer, but Jesus knew better.  Maybe we should test our own personal belief with these questions to see if we get the correct answer.

Not All Belief Is Real

We think of people as believers and nonbelievers but the Bible tells us about another group of people, it is a group of people that are in a very dangerous category. These people seem to be real believers but Jesus knows their heart and he doesn't think so. This concept has already been brought up in my study of the book of John right after Jesus cleaned out the temple. (John 2:22-25, 6:26)

There are people who obviously don't have any connection with Jesus, there are others that say they follow him and have a surface connection with Jesus, and there is another smaller group that truly follow him.

Not All Disciples Are Real

So what is a true disciple? Jesus disciples are saved from God's wrath, their sins are forgiven and we are born into God's family. (John 1:12-13 3:36, 8:24)

Plenty of people have tried to fake it, they look good to you and I for a while but for most of the fakers it doesn't stick for too long. It really doesn't make sense to not be a real disciple, you are dealing with God so what do you think you are going to get away with? (1 Samuel 16:7, 1 Chronicles 28:9, Hebrews 4:13)

Be Faithful To Jesus Teaching

Jesus says that the challenge that proves that we are really his is our faithfulness to his teaching. In the gospel of John Jesus has said that he is the Bread of Life, the Light of the World, the Living Water and the Good Shepherd and he said that he is God.
1 John 5:3  Loving God means keeping His commandments, and His commandments are not burdensome.
In fact all of Jesus teaching points us to himself. I need to be faithful to believe and apply his teaching to my life. My obedience to his commands prove my love for Jesus and my appreciation for what he has done for me. I need to treasure God's word and gain my strength and protection from God's word.

Be Jesus Disciple

If you are an unbeliever I pray that God will change your heart and draw you to him, if you are a phony believer I pray that the light of God's word will show you the truth and reveal to you that you are playing games with someone that you cannot fool.
Matthew 11:28-29  Then Jesus said, "Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  29  Take My yoke upon you. Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Jesus called disciples and he made disciples, he didn't invite people to become worshipers, tithe givers or workers. He invited them to be a disciple, a student of the Rabbi, he gave us an offer to come and stay awhile, long enough for him to teach you so that your life will be changed and your faith will be genuine.