Is it all about Jesus for us? I have a very loud voice and opinion when it comes to Christ being central in all aspects of life. I truly desire to see Jesus Christ, the son of the living God, become the focus of the Church, rather than programs and hierarchies. I say and believe all of this, but what does my life and the lives of the other believers that I’m close to look like?
We are not saved by works but the Bible is very clear about the fact that the true followers of Christ, those who are actually abiding in and living through Him, will be known by their fruit. Jesus Himself says that “you will recognize them by their fruit” in Matthew 7:20.
Who will we recognize?
We will recognize wolves in sheep’s clothing. We will recognize those who profess Christ with their mouths but walk away and continue to live in darkness. We will also recognize those who have truly been changed. We will recognize a man or woman who has been regenerated and no longer lives by their own power but by the indwelling life of Christ. If we are in Christ and Christ is in us then we will walk in the way that Jesus walked. Our thoughts will become His thoughts and our actions will be His. John, in his first epistle, tells us how we will know those who are truly in Him:
By this we may be sure that we are in Him: whoever says he abides in Him [Christ] ought to walk in the same way in which He walked – 1 John 2:5-6
So does this mean that because we are Christians we should memorize the commandments and learn what Jesus did and then try to copy it? No. Although this is a great way to examine ourselves, it’s not how we walk in the same way that He walked. In John 8:28, Jesus says that He does nothing on His own authority, but speaks as the Father teaches Him. Jesus was living by an indwelling life, the life of the Father. How are to live as Jesus lived? We too have to live by an indwelling life, the life of Christ. The way our lives are lived is important. What we do may not save us, but it does prove to whom we belong. We can do nothing apart from Christ, even please God. All of our toil and effort to please God becomes worthless if it is done in our natural power and apart from the life of Christ.
Talk is cheap. Let’s stop saying that it’s all about Christ and start living by His indwelling life, I am speaking to myself here more than anyone else. May the Holy Spirit reveal Jesus to us more and more each day, so that we can know Him and live by His life. Let’s seek Christ in way that causes everything else to fall away, including ourselves.