Monday, May 30, 2016

3 indicators of genuine faith in Jesus

Read Romans 12.

This chapter deals with three aspects of being a true Christ follower.

1. Worship. (vv.1-2)
Worship is not confined to a church service.  It is what Jesus told the woman at the well in John 4:24-"God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth."  Regardless of the location, the worship of God takes place inside-out.

This love of God is seen in how we live.  We are to take the personal initiative to dedicate our bodies to the Lord.  What we put into to our bodies matters.  What we do with our physical bodies is to be holy and pleasing to God.  A true Christian considers themselves dead to selfish desires and is free from the slavery of sin.

Second, it involves, not mere good feelings and positive thinking, but a transformation of the mind.  How we think matters.  No longer are we allowed to harbor thoughts that violate the word of God.  The believer in Jesus seeks to maintain thoughts that reflect the purity of the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5).

The Apostle Paul reminds (as if that were necessary) that these two areas will be tested.  The purpose of the daily challenges is that we become mature in our faith, discerning each moment what God wants us to be doing and thinking.

2. Work. (vv.3-8)
Each believer in Jesus has been gifted by God in order to serve Him.  The  Bible knows no such thing as a Christian who does not put their faith to work by using their spiritual gift for the benefit of others.  No spiritual gift is self-serving.  It is our personal responsibility to discover how God has enabled us and to put that into active practice through the opportunities God provides.  The starting point is an attitude of humility and gratitude for the privilege to be used of the Lord.

3. Witness. (vv.9-21)
Loving God must be demonstrated in our love for people, especially those in our local church.  These are folks with whom we are committed and connected.  They know us and we know them.  It is a key place for our behavioral accountability.  However, our practice of the Christ-filled life is not limited solely to that group.  The contrast of our lifestyle in Jesus is most remarkable among those who do not believe.  We do not behave, react, and talk like those without Jesus.  Indeed, our changed life is to be the basis of our witness to the world.  Unbelievers should see the difference and want to know more about Him.

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