Tuesday, January 26, 2016

What Is A Genuine Christian?

"For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again." (2 Corinthians 5:14-15, NKJV)

How does one define a genuine believer? I think this is a pertinent and valid question. Sadly, the average local church is filled with people who believe they are Christians, but more than likely are not. This, although perfectly in line with the sovereign will of God, is in my estimation, at best tragic.

Since the gospel has been reduced in most presentations to an encouragement to believe a few select "facts" about Jesus, we are losing, or have lost sight of what a genuine believer really is. This passage gives us some real insight.

First of all, we see a driving force in the phrase, "...the love of Christ compels us..."  Charles Hodge said it best when he commented on this phrase, "It is being so constrained by a sense of the love our divine Lord to us, that we consecrate our lives to Him." This means that there is a compelling or driving force that "grabs hold of us and does not let go."

Second, this realization, and this compulsion comes from the fact that Christ died for us. At first glance, this passage might be "show-piece" for the Arminian mindset that Christ died for all people of all times. But Paul is not saying that.

Paul is relaying the great truth that since Christ died for all of His people, all of His people also died when He died. In other words, when we are brought by the Holy Spirit to the solid rock conclusion that Christ died for us individually and that we individually died in Christ at the same time, we are compelled by the driving force of Christ's love for us. 

So at some point we must be brought to this magnificent conclusion by the Holy Spirit that Christ died for me and I died in him. We must recognize our death to self, to sin, to this world's ideologies and philosophies. We must recognize that we now live to and for the Lord Jesus Christ.

Being a Christian is not simply believing the facts of Christ's death and resurrection, nor is it wrapped up in the old worn out adage that, "God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life." It is wrapped up in the deep conviction that Chris'ts love was extended to us through His death and that in His death we died, and in His resurrection, we were resurrected to a new life in Christ. This realization constrains or compels us to die to self and to live for Him.

If this truth for taught what power would be unleashed in the community. False professors would be rooted out and genuine believers would be unleashed to die to themselves and to live for Christ. They couldn't do anything else. Why? Because they are constrained or compelled by the love of Christ that flowed from His death and our death in Him.

1 comment:

nashvillecats2 said...

This wwas good to read Gregg,