Saturday, November 11, 2023

Christians Only and the Only Christians

By Bill Brandstatter
    Many in society today have a problem with anything or anybody that claims there is only one of something. Exclusive clubs or organizations that only let certain people in as members are seen as wrong. When it comes to Christianity, however, the Bible speaks of only certain people being Christians or being part of the Lord’s Church. The Bible makes Christians only and the only Christians.
    Christians Follow Christ. To be a Christian a person must follow Christ. To follow Christ means more than just recognizing Him. Jesus clarifies this by stating, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of light.” (John 8:12 NKJV). When he was choosing his disciples, His message was “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Mt. 4:19). We must follow His life, His teachings, and His commands. Those that do so are Christians.
    Christians Forsake the World. Jesus told his followers they had to forsake even the closest relationships to follow Him. Jesus explains this in Luke 14:33- “So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.” This included family (Mt. 10:34-36).
    All disciples are followers of Jesus, but not all followers are disciples. The disciples were learners. They wanted to be like the master. (Mt. 10:25). Individuals who want to be Christians are to be disciples as well (Mt. 28:18-20).
     Christians Follow the New Testament. The word “follow” can mean: “adheres to.” Christians use the New Testament to equip them for every good work (2 Tim. 3:16, 17). Christians use the New Testament because the Old Testament is obsolete (Heb. 8:13). Whatever the New Testament teaches about becoming a Christian is what needs to be done today also. The Old Testament was inspired and serves a valuable purpose (Rom. 15:4). But Jesus shed His blood to establish the New Testament (Mt. 26:28)
    Christians forewarn others. Christians are to inform others. Those in the early church went “everywhere preaching the word.” (Acts 8:1-4). Peter tells his readers they are “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness and into His marvelous light.” (1 Pet 2:9 NKJV). Notice Christians were to “proclaim the praises of Him.” Christians should be actively involved in telling others about Christ, His church, and the Judgment to come. Are you a Christian who has followed forsaken and forewarned? Are you willing to do so if you have not already?

Bill Brandstatter preaches for the Marion Church of Christ in Marion, IL. He may be contacted through the congregation's website:

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