“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 (ESV)
What does it mean to be a Christian anymore? That word is thrown and tossed around so much, and unfortunately has surfaced rather muddy. For many, the word “Christian” bears an extremely negative connotation. Still to others, it’s used far too loosely. What does Christian mean?
The word itself means Christ follower. Jesus Christ, God made flesh who dwelt among us. Jesus Christ, born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, atoned for sin through His death on the cross, burial, and resurrection from the grave. So, what does it look like to be a Christ follower? The Gospel of John has a lot to say about this, and chapter 15 begins with the concept of abiding. Unpacking this particular term will give us an incredible understanding of what exactly Christ is calling us to as His followers.
abide: to remain; continue; stay; dwell; reside
The Christ follower assumes this position: Where Christ Jesus goes, I will go. What Christ Jesus did, I will do. How Christ Jesus loved, I will love. I believe that we are never more like Christ than when we are serving others as He did. Christ came not to be served, but rather to serve (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45). Therefore, when loving others becomes more important to us than loving ourselves, we have begun to fall in step with the man from Nazareth.
“If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.” John 13:14 (ESV)
When we determine that serving others is far greater than serving ourselves, we have begun to fall in step with the man from Nazareth. When we long to be clothed in humility more than fame, we have begun to fall in step with the man from Nazareth.
“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35 (ESV)
What would the world think if they started to see the church being defined by love for each other instead of competition and strife? While we fight among ourselves and spew our theology and doctrines at one another like grenades, Satan and his hosts celebrate victory and the world goes on laughing. However, when we, in humility, choose to hold our differences loosely and instead determine to love one another fiercely, we begin to fall in step with the man from Nazareth.
And what do Christians believe? I will unpack this in greater detail tomorrow on the blog, but for now, let’s start here:
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 (ESV)
Notice that Jesus did not say “a” way, “a” truth, or “a” life. He said “the” way. He said “the” truth. He said “the” life. There is no other way. There is no other truth. There is no other life. Jesus Christ the One and Only.
Hope to see you here tomorrow, as we take a much deeper look into this together. In the meantime, let’s start falling in step with the man from Nazareth, Jesus Christ.