By Derek Elles
We left off learning that believing in Christ is obedience. This was the sign of being a Christian in the earlier church. Back then it took 3 years to become a Christian as a person was observed to see if they demonstrated a change in life that proved obedience to Christ (1 Peter 1:14-16, 1 John 5:1-3).
This is where it gets tricky, because we think, and unfortunately have been taught, that to be a Christian all you have to do is believe in Christ and go to church. Though that is important and should be considered a ‘first step’, there is more that we are never taught and therefore never pursue. The Bible tells us as much in James 2:19. The evangelist William Ashley (Billy Sunday), put it well when he said, “Going to church won’t save a man any more than going to a stable makes a man a horse.”
The Bible gives us everything we need to know about being a Christian and that is where we need to go to learn. Yes, our pastors, elders, and leaders, etc. play an important role, but they are not the ultimate authority. I know this may offend some, but it is the truth. All too often people are quick to quote their pastor, yet are not familiar with the Bible. We were given the Bible for a reason and are obligated to use it as the guiding light and example of how to live our lives the way our God intended. In the case of authority and learning, our example comes from Acts 17:11 – we are to ‘search the Scriptures’ to prove what we are being told is true and I hope you do so with what I present to you.
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To be a Christian, we need to understand what one is, and again we go to the Bible in Acts 11:26 at the Church in Antioch where the term was first coined. Notice that there were many people in the church, but only certain of them were called Christians and those were disciples. So now we need to ask ourselves if we are disciples before we can actually call ourselves Christians and a disciple is a follower and a learner of the ways of another – in our case, Christ. Hopefully we can begin to see more clearly the importance of obedience in the role of being Christian – being obedient is being a disciple and being a disciple is being a Christian (John 14:15, 15:10).
Until next week. Blessings in Yahweh’s grace, mercy, and peace.
#TheologyThursday #Obedience #Christianity