Faith & The Three Marks of A True Christian

I’m beginning to realize that at the heart of all sin is a spirit of unbelief, and distrust in what God says. Why do we ignore his warnings? Why do we fail to hope in his promises? Why do we end up thinking we know better then he does? It is because we do not believe Him but trust our own intuition and senses more than what he actually knows. This is pride and unbelief. These are the things I despise most about my own self.

1 Peter 1:6-7 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

This is why faith is so valuable! Is it not? It is believing God and acting accordingly! Faith is the root of God honoring obedience I believe, how can we obey Him if we do not trust Him? Faith first and obedience follows. Faith is the the truck the pulls the U Haul of all the good and righteous acts of obedience to God and love for others.

Ephesians 2:8-10 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

We are saved by “grace” through “faith” as a prerequisite, then we as a RESULT “do good works” which God “prepared in advance”

Well what good works?

1.) Obedience, 

Jesus said, “If you love me you will obey my commands”
Here we see “love” comes before “obey”

2.) Love
Colossians 1:3-5 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel

These earlier believer’s faith in Christ motivated them to love! Their love as Paul says “spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven”

3.) Godly Desire
2 Thessalonians 1:11 With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.

“Every desire for goodness” I think another distinguishing mark of a born again Christian is an exchange of desires, now not that I’m important but from experience I can say when I came to Christ I had a desire to do what pleased God and reach those who did not know Him. As a church goer and a lost so called, “Christian” I really had very little desire to do anything beyond my own personal benefit or little world. I did not do what God’s word said because I wanted God’s will as much as just his blessings and prosperity. I on occasion did what the Bible said but purely for what was in it for me. “You do this and you’ll be blessed and do not do this and you will not be punished”- a really self centered view.

I remember when I first came to Christ, my ambition was as large as my ego. (The Lord had to take the sand paper to my pride quite a bit over the years I will admit.)

But my hearts desire was, and still is changing the world for Christ.
These Thessalonians believers in the same way possessed a “desire for goodness”

I think a true Christian should never lose their desire to keep growing in love and faith and holiness! So often I look at myself and am dissatisfied with how lacking I am in some of these spiritual qualities! We can only keep pressing ahead to become more like Christ our ultimate example.

 

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