How Do We Know We Are Christian?

Key Texts: 1 John 2:3-6

“We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands.  Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.  But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him:  Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.”

OK – here I go about to give a clear hint of how old a geezer I am.

When I was growing up and attending church camp, Vacation Bible School, and the like (such activities dating me in their own right) – I happily sang a little song about being “one in the Spirit.”  A key phrase in that song is “they will know we are Christians by our…,” by our what?

They will know we are Christians by our love.

The apostle John didn’t need a church camp song to know all about that.

It was key to what John had to say that we would be known, and we would know ourselves that we are Christian by the simple fact that we are those who love.

Now, love can be defined in all sorts of ways.

It seems Hollywood has one definition, Hallmark Cards another, psychotherapists still another, on and on it goes.

I am reminded though of another scripture that speaks volumes: we love “as we have first been loved.”

John does a wonderful job of describing how we learn about Christian love by experience the amazing, grace-filled love of God via Christ.  Then, having experienced its life changing power, we are to go and “do likewise”.

How do we know we are Christian?  It’s not complicated.  We act as loving people who freely offer grace to others in Christ’s name.

It’s so easy to talk about it, so difficult at times to do.

But it is how we are to be known.

It’s how we live as Jesus did.

And it is more – it is so much more – than a camp song – at any age.

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