A few days ago I made a Facebook post that stunned me enough to reflect on the quality and nature of my so called “Christian Life”. So, as promised, I am following up with additional food for thought.
The FB Post on May 25th goes like this: “Tonight I realized that when you believe in your MIND and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, you become a Christian by name only. This was stunning to me, because of my revelation of Romans 8:9-11…”
To begin, let’s reflect upon Romans 10:9-10 (NLT)
9 If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.
Based on my FB post and the contrast of Roman’s 10 one could conclude that knowing about Jesus in your mind is different than knowing Him in your heart.
I know about a lot of things, but have not made some of these thoughts core to living my life. For example, I know about the value of eating healthy foods, but have not embraced the entire message with my heart. Don’t get me wrong, I am not out of control with my eating habits, but neither have I implemented all that I learned about.
If I actually believed in my heart all that I have learned about nutrition and health, there would be evidence of it in my life. There would be a demonstrated commitment to a heart-felt belief. Hence, I am “health-conscious” by name only.
In other words, my thoughts about health and nutrition cause me to be aware, but not committed from a heart-belief that is actually transformational in nature producing evidence of my belief through reaching a healthy weight.
Now let’s look at the revelatory nature of Romans 8:9-11 (GNT)
9 But you do not live as your human nature tells you to; instead, you live as the Spirit tells you to—if, in fact, God’s Spirit lives in you. Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
10 But if Christ lives in you, the Spirit is life for you because you have been put right with God, even though your bodies are going to die because of sin.
11 If the Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from death, lives in you, then he who raised Christ from death will also give life to your mortal bodies by the presence of his Spirit in you.
You see, the “if, in fact” statement is really important when it comes to discerning the difference between “knowing about” and actually “knowing”.
If, in fact, God’s Spirit lives in you, there is evidence by His fruit being seen in your everyday life, especially the difficult circumstances.
In taking an honest assessment of the results in my life that give evidence of “knowing God” through a heart-felt belief, I see changes in my life. But I also realize that in some areas I am “Christian by name only” because there is no fruit… It seems important not to share personal examples right now, because I need to process this post further myself.
In summary, I see two possibilities for “Christian by name only” that concern me…
- The individual that has actually experienced Romans 10:9-10 shows evidence there of, but also areas in their lives that show head knowledge only.
- Individuals that have inherited the label, Christian, because of growing up in a “Christian home” or by being born in a “Christian nation”.
Option #1 there is hope for positive growth that produces fruit for everyone to see.
Option#2 is a form of deception that gives an individual a false sense of security about their life…
Makes you think, doesn’t it…
Not sure, but I believe my next post will delve into this topic even further…
Let me know your thoughts and questions when you get a minute!