Are you a true follower of Jesus Christ or just an admiring fan? Join me as I expound on some quotations from Not a Fan. Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus by Kyle Idleman.
Question 1: Have you made a decision for Jesus or have you committed to Jesus?
The first question for you concerns your spiritual nature. Have you been born again/anew from heaven? Jesus confuses Nicodemus with His teaching about new life. We, like Nicodemus and other religious people, tend to misunderstand God and His grace. Some wrongly believe that praying a “sinners prayer” or coming forward during an invitation saves them. There are no magical prayers or activities that save a person. Belief is important but just having the right beliefs don’t save us! What saves us is Jesus making us anew as He redeems us through the Cross! Jesus calls us to believe and then follow Him!
“We tend to define belief as the acceptance of something as real or true. But biblical belief is more than just an intellectual acceptance or a heartfelt acknowledgment; It’s a commitment to follow. Following requires more than mental assent, it calls for movement.” pg 32.
Are you daily walking with Christ, seeking to obey and glorify Him? If not then why not?
Kyle reminds us that “there is no forgiveness without repentance. There is no salvation without surrender. There is no life without death. There is no believing without committing.” pg 35
Jesus commands us to “take up our crosses and then follow Him.” Everyone in the era of Jesus would understand that a cross is symbol of dishonorable, cruel execution. Taking up our cross means that we choose to die to self and live for God. The following article gives a good explanation of this daily choice of radical obedience:
One area that we must repent of in our lives is seeking to be righteous or good in/through our own actions. Thankfully, God’s grace covers over a multitude of our sins even our self-righteousness! Consider how foolish we are in trying to “earn” or “save” ourselves when God’s grace is sufficient! To try to be righteous through self actions is to deny God’s grace. Maybe that’s why that self-righteous people tend to be harsh and unkind! We best show grace when we have received it ourselves!
Question 2: Following Jesus or the Rules
Quote pg. 77: “When we learn to truly follow Jesus, we find that obedience to God comes from the inside out. Submission to what God wants for our lives flows naturally out of that relationship.”
As I have written previously, all that comes out of us flows from the heart. A true follower of Christ has Holy Spirit and God’s Living Word active in his or her life. Obviously, fans get tired of trying to keep up an appearance. Followers don’t pretend or try to fool others with false self-righteousness or obedience to strict rules. The problem isn’t rules or life style, but the sinful nature of the human heart. Only Christ can change hearts!
Question 3: Self-Empowered or Spirit Filled
Quote page 97: “Followers of Jesus understand that it’s a journey they were never to make alone. Instead we keep in step with the Spirit and He supernaturally gives us the strength and the power we need.”
Jesus explains this to Nicodemus in John 3. He describes Holy Spirit as being like a “wind” that blows. Acts relates how Holy Spirit empowered Peter and the other disciples. Even the religious leaders (Acts 4) were amazed when they realized that Peter and John where untrained men. The religious leaders couldn’t deny the miracle of the crippled man being healed. The truth is simple: if we follow Christ and have Holy Spirit indwelling then we will produce fruit that indicates His active presence. True followers don’t pretend to shine; they simply radiate outward what’s inward in their lives!
Notice that I refer to Holy Spirit as a Person not a thing. Holy Spirit is a member of the Trinity. In Greek, His name is Parakletos meaning “comforter.” Jesus teaches about Holy Spirit in John 14 and 16. Jesus uses the terms “allos” when describing Him. This term indicates that Holy Spirit is a person/member of the Trinity like Jesus and God the Father. Holy Spirit convicts and guides us in our journey with Christ. There is much more to Holy Spirit and doctrine than I can address briefly here. Good source study on Holy Spirit:
Is Holy Spirit present and active in your life? If not then repent, believe, and follow Christ!
In Christ and for His glory, I write this blog understanding that the journey requires courage and self-sacrifice as we daily follow our Lord and Savior!