Are You Really Following Jesus
Are You Really Following Jesus?
Imagine thousands of people following Jesus, all claiming to know him personally. Imagine some saying, “I know He is my Lord because He healed my daughter.” Another says, “I know He is my Lord because He fed me when I had nothing.” Still another says, “I know I am following Him because I heard His teaching.” Is it enough to simply know of Jesus and experience His blessings? This confusion was typical even during the ministry of Jesus. But there is a way to know Him and His church.
1. We don’t know Him just because of His blessings. During His ministry, He asked if the people following Him knew who He was (Mt 16:13-14). There were people who had first hand experience of the healings, miracles, and teachings of Jesus and still didn’t really know Him. In fact Jesus says that God blesses the just and the unjust (Mt. 5:45).
2. We don’t know Him because what the majority of people do. Jesus’ question was first to the multitudes. He was asking what the majority said. In response, some said, “He was John the Baptist, others Elijah, others Jeremiah or one of the prophets” (Mt. 16:14). We can see the same inconsistency today when we ask the religious world who Jesus is. We must be cautious of what we claim and do in the name of the Lord (Mt. 7:21-23).
3. Following Jesus begins with confessing Him as Christ. Peter acknowledged Him as being the Christ. “Thou are the Christ, the son of the living God” (Mt. 16:17). He is the Anointed One. He is the Prophet, the mouthpiece of heaven that everyone must hear (Dt.18:18; Acts 3:11-26). He is the priest, the faithful one who will do according to what is in the heart of God (1 Sam. 2:35; Heb. 3:1). He is the king, the everlasting rule from God (2 Sam. 7:12-16; Col. 1:13). Whatever He says we must do. He is the Prophet, Priest and King. He is the anointed One!
4. We follow Jesus by being in His church. Jesus said that He would build His church (Mt. 16:18). When we acknowledge Him as sovereign and supreme then we must surrender to the terms and requisites of His Church.
5. We must understand church as Jesus defines it. A church is a group of people following the beliefs and practices dictated by Jesus and His apostles through the Holy Scriptures. This is exclusive because it acknowledges that every church that we see today is not the church Jesus said He would build. When a church believes or practices things that are not dictated by Jesus and His apostles, it cannot be His church.
6. We follow Jesus by doing exactly what was done when His church began. On the first Pentecost after the resurrection of Jesus His church was established. The Gospel was preached (Acts 2:22-24). The sovereignty of Jesus was acknowledged (Acts 2:36-37). Men and women we taught to repent and be baptized for remission of sin and in order to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). Men and women were obedient the same day they were taught (Acts 2:41). Jesus added to His church (Acts. 2:41,47).
7. We follow Jesus through His word. We continue to be a group of people following the beliefs and practices dictated by Jesus and His apostles through the Holy Scriptures (Mt. 28:19-20; Acts 2:42).
Through God’s word, we learn exactly what to do to follow Jesus. If a person would lay their lives along side the word of God and adjust their lives to match up with the pattern of scripture, then you will become what scripture teaches and calls you to be. This is an honest pursuit, by those desiring to be honorable.