~ Acid Tests of Christianity ~
What are you known for? What kind of reputation do you have? More importantly, what is your character like?
The third chapter of the first epistle of John provides two significant acid tests of authentic Christianity.
The Test of Character ~ This is largely a test of your attitude. It has to do with your thought life. “Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him” (1 John 3:13-15). Do you love all of your brothers and sisters in Christ?
The Test of Confession ~ This is largely a test of your activities. It has to do with action. “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him” (1 John 3:16-19). Do your actions confirm your words? Are you living an authentic Christian life?
Summary ~ God wants Christians to be known by their love. Jesus put it very clearly, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35).
~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW