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The Attributes of a Believer

Have you ever grappled with the fact that Jesus said many times and in many ways “all the believing in Him will be saved”; yet, there are those who profess Jesus as Lord, saying that they believe in Him, but at the same time denying what He said by either adding works as a requirement for salvation or in living apathetically to His commands? Are these people saved or are they not saved; if what Jesus said is true, they are saved; yet, they don’t believe what He said so how can they be believing in Him?

The short answer; they are not saved, and the reason that they are not saved is because they do not believe/trust in Jesus the Christ the only begotten Son of God. One thing I know to be true; your actions will always follow your beliefs. Many of you know that I have endeavored to memorize the gospel of John, and because of this I spend a great deal of time everyday meditating on this particular book of the Bible. So, therefore, anything that I say or think is colored by this particular gospel account of our Lord. Throughout this gospel account Jesus has said many times and in many ways (the most well known of which being John 3:16) that “all the believing in Him should not perish (the eternal death/hell being the punishment for sin) but have eternal life (eternal life with God being the reward of the righteous).” So if you believe in Jesus you get what He deserves (eternal life with God) because He took what you deserve (death and hell). In fact, this word believe, occurs 61 times throughout John’s gospel account alone, more than twice that of all the other gospel accounts combined. The Greek word is πιστευων (Pisteuon) which means to believe or entrust.

As I have meditated on this gospel I have come to understand eight characteristics attributed to all the believing in Christ, as spoken by the Lord Himself in John’s gospel account. All of which are done imperfectly and none of which can be done without denying oneself. All the believing in Christ Jesus has every one of these attributes; so, therefore, if one these attributes are missing your faith is not true. They are listed in no particular order. So let’s test ourselves according the words of Jesus to see if we are in the faith.

All the Believing in Christ Jesus Look to Him

Jesus said; “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day." (John.6.40.NASB) I cannot say this better than the preacher C. H. Spurgeon did: Look to Christ, Not to Self by C. H. Spurgeon

“It is ever the Holy Spirit’s work to turn our eyes away from self to Jesus; but Satan’s work is just the opposite of this, for he is constantly trying to make us regard ourselves instead of Christ. He insinuates, ‘Your sins are too great for pardon; you have no faith; you do not repent enough; you will never be able to continue to the end; you have not the joy of his children; you have such a wavering hold of Jesus.’ All these are thoughts about self, and we shall never find comfort or assurance by looking within. But the Holy Spirit turns our eyes entirely away from self: he tells us that we are nothing, but that ‘Christ is all in all.’

Remember, therefore, it is not thy hold of Christ that saves thee—it is Christ; it is not thy joy in Christ that saves thee—it is Christ; it is not even faith in Christ, though that be the instrument—it is Christ’s blood and merits; therefore, look not so much to thy hand with which thou art grasping Christ, as to Christ; look not to thy hope, but to Jesus, the source of thy hope; look not to thy faith, but to Jesus, the author and finisher of thy faith. We shall never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, or our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul. If we would at once overcome Satan and have peace with God, it must be by “looking unto Jesus.” Keep thine eye simply on him; let his death, his sufferings, his merits, his glories, his intercession, be fresh upon thy mind; when thou wakest in the morning look to him; when thou liest down at night look to him. Oh! let not thy hopes or fears come between thee and Jesus; follow hard after him, and he will never fail thee.

‘My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness:
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.’”

All the Believing in Christ Jesus Hear Him

Jesus said with regards to those who do not hear Him; “Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God" (John.8.43-47). This is a frightening truth, the reason they could not nor will not hear Him is because they do not have ears to hear Him, and they only have ears to hear what their father the devil says. They are dead spiritually; when Jesus spoke of light they thought in terms of literal light that you see with your eyes, when Jesus spoke of bread they thought of physical bread that you eat with your mouth, and when Jesus spoke of water they thought of physical water that you could bath in or drink. Jesus said about the sheep with regards to hearing Him; “I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.” (John10.16.NASB) Jesus makes it known repeatedly in this gospel account that all the believing in Him, not just the Jewish believer, has eternal life. That is what He did in John 3:16 and that is what He does again here in John 10:16, but in this passage He is also showing that they come to Him by hearing with spiritual ears and it is not an option for them; He himself will bring them and they will hear His voice. Further on in chapter 10 of John the Jews had surrounded Jesus in the Temple and demanded of Him to tell them plainly if He was the Christ. He had already told them, but they could not hear they did not believe because they were not of His sheep. He said in John 10:27 “My sheep hear My voice”. The ability to hear Jesus as He speaks in His word is a distinguishing attribute of a believer in Christ Jesus.

All the Believing in Christ Jesus Follow Him

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand” (John.10.27-28.NASB). Sheep follow the Shepherd. The Shepherd is both their source of food and their protection from wolves. They first begin to follow Him through repentance and faith, and will continue following Him through repentance and faith thereafter. He is their source of life, a follower of Christ Jesus is also called a disciple, a disciple is one sits and learns from the Teacher. The follower of Jesus Christ will come to Him regularly and listen to what He has to say through His word the scriptures. He loves the word of God because it tells Him about His Lord. The follower of Christ Jesus wants to know what His Lord has to say in all things so that he might abide in it. In order to follow Him you must deny yourself. There may be something you want to do or somewhere you want to go, but if that is not the direction that the Lord is heading, you must deny yourself and follow Him. If you are a sheep of Christ Jesus you will follow Him.

All the Believing in Christ Jesus Know Him

“I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep” (John.10.14-15.NASB). The relationship between Jesus and the believer is intimate. It began as the believer met Him and entrusted his soul into His loving care. This knowing that the believer has of Jesus has grown over time as he has spent countless hours listening to Him in His word and talking to Him through prayer; this intimate relationship that the believer has with Jesus will continue to grow forever. Jesus in this passage has compared the relationship that the believer has with Him with the relationship that Jesus the Son of God has with the Father. Jesus and the Father had been together since before creation, He is eternally begotten of the Father, and now imagine that Jesus has said that the believers relationship with Him is as even as His relationship to the Father. For someone to come up to a believer in Christ Jesus and begin to tell Him about a different Jesus than the Jesus of the bible would be utterly repugnant to him.

All the Believing in Christ Jesus Trust Him

At the beginning of this article I said that Jesus has said many times and in many ways that all the believing in Him have eternal life. Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?" (John.11.25-26.NASB). It is imperative that a believer Trust what Jesus Has promised.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.” (Proverbs.3.5-7.NASB)

It is imperative that the believer in Christ Jesus not only believes in Him but trusts Him absolutely. The intimate relationship between the believer and Jesus is cultivated through prayer and much time in the scriptures. He trusts Jesus in all His promises.

All the Believing in Christ Jesus Love Him

“Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me’ (John.8.42.NASB). The apostle Paul said; “But now faith, hope, love abide these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1Cor.13.13.NASB). Love is so powerful and so strong that the bible says that “God is love” (1John.4.8.NASB). The apostle Paul places love even above faith which I find incredible given that we are solely saved by the Grace of God through faith in Christ Jesus. We know about the drawing of the Holy Spirit, but have you ever thought what that might be? “God is Love”, so if a man is born from above (ἄνωθεν,anōthen), receiving the Spirit of God, does it not stand to reason that the draw would be God’s love for the Son that is now indwelling the man born from above? “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you” (1Cor.3.16.NASB)? Jesus said, “If God were your Father, you would love Me”, the believer indwelt by the Holy Spirit loves the Son.

All the Believing in Christ Jesus Obey Him

Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John.14.15.NASB). Love obeys! Jesus has ascended to the Father, He is with us in Spirit and in His word; so how can we express our love for Him? By obeying His commandments we express our love for Him. His commandments are all the instructions that He has given in the gospels as well as the New Testament. The believer, all though imperfectly, seeks diligently to obey all that He has commanded. He does not do this as a means to earn salvation but as an expression of His love for Jesus. In my last article (Born Narcissistic) I talked about the Imperatives and the Indicatives given in scripture. In the question posed at the beginning of this article I stated that people profess to believe in Jesus but deny what He said by either adding works as a requirement for salvation or in living apathetically to His commands. They refuse to look at the entirety of scripture; they either focus solely on the commands determining that they must keep the commands in order to be saved, or they focus solely on the grace of God completely ignoring His commands because they love themselves and their sin more than Him. In scripture there are both Indicatives stating who we are in Christ Jesus and Imperatives stating what we are to do given who we are. The believer has been given the gift of eternal life by the grace of God, redeemed by the blood of Christ Jesus through faith in Jesus. The believer has been bought at a high price, the precious blood of the Son of God, God in human flesh; the believer owes Him everything. Does it not stand to reason that the believer would then deny himself diligently seeking to obey the things the Lord has commanded out of his love for Jesus?

All the believing in Christ Jesus Love One Another

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another" (John.13.34-35.NASB). As I thought about what to say here, and read the word of God, I realized I could do no better than the Apostle John did in his first letter. “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.” (1John.4.7-21.NASB)

My purpose in writing this was not to cast judgment; saying this person or that person is not saved. The one who believes he is saved through works has no doubts because he has kept whatever system that he believes he is saved by, and the one who claims the grace of God all the while stomping on the blood of Christ as being unworthy as he continues to walk purposefully in his trespasses and sins does not doubt either, because he loves himself so why wouldn’t God love him. I did not write this for them, but to give those who are truly in Christ Jesus reassurance of their salvation; the closer I come to the Lord it seems the more wretched that I think I am, which causes one to question not the Lord but their faith. Am I truly saved, I think such horrible things? How can I be saved when I think and do these things? Praise the Lord that the true believer when he doubts will then look to Jesus, and his vicarious death on the cross as payment in full for his sins. He will open up His word and hear Him following Him were ever He may lead. He knows the Lord and is not led astray by false teachers. He reads the promises that the Lord has made and trust Him. He loves the Lord and is thankful for what He alone did on the cross on his behalf, and therefore diligently seeks to obey him in all his commandments. He loves the other brothers and sisters in Christ coming into fellowship with them.

A slave of Jesus Christ

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