“Therefore, of these men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning with the baptism of John to that day when He was taken up from us, one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.” – Acts 1:21,22
As the disciples realized the need for the replacement of the betrayer of Jesus, Judas. Peter started presenting the function and the qualifications of the man that would become the apostle replacing Judas. Now I must say as we look at the passage I am not saying we are apostles in the same sense as noted herein Acts 1 but I do strongly believe that you and I can glean two marks or two traits that help us to identify the real Christian.
There are millions of people stating they are Christians without really being Christians. Possibly born into a Christian home or raised in a Christian family, maybe they go to church frequently or in-frequently yet this does not make the real Christian. The real Christian can be identified by the lifestyle lived, by traits that we can glean from the passage above.
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What does identify the real Christian from the passage? Let us look at two points from the description of Judas replacement, and let us ask ourselves if these two traits or marks are found in our own personal lives.
Let us first see the function of the real Christian
The function of an apostle was to be an witness of the Resurrection. From this, we learn our first mark of a real Christian, which is not that we know about Jesus, but that we know Jesus. The one basic mistake in Christianity is to regard Jesus as someone who lived and died, and whose life we study and whose story we read. Jesus is not a figure in a book. He is a living presence, and the real Christian is the person whose whole life is a witness to the fact that He knows and has met the Risen the Lord.
Jesus is alive. The real Christian knows that Jesus lives. It may startle you but this is a very important fact. Yes Jesus came to die and He rose from the grave and He ascended to the right hand of God the Father where He lives to make intercession for His disciples daily as we await His return. If you are not sure about this fact. Between Jesus’ resurrection and ascension, He appeared to His own followers on ten occasions. But in addition, the Bible also records Jesus appearing after His ascension to three men. He appeared to Stephen in Acts 7, to Paul in Acts 9 and Jesus appeared to John on Patmos in Revelation 1 in addition to the 10 appearances to His followers prior to His ascension.
The mark of the real Christian is to function as a witness of the living Jesus.
Secondly let us see the qualification of the real Christian
As the apostles sought out the replacement apostle if you will, they declared the absolute necessity of the person is one who personally spent time with Jesus from the beginning to now. From this, we learn our second mark of the real Christian which is a person who lives day by day with Jesus.
We often speak about what would happen if Jesus were here and how differently we would live if He were in our homes and at our work-place. Yet all along He is and the real Christian knows this and lives to demonstrate this reality.
The real Christian is the person who lives all his or her life with Christ. Jesus himself said, “I am with you always until the end.” And we have His Holy Spirit living, leading, guiding and directing every single day in every single way if we will allow Him.
Yes, Jesus is alive and He is with us always and is interested even involved in every aspect of our life.
Does this devotional start you wondering about God, Jesus or the Bible? Starting point is a series of conversations about faith designed for people who are brand new to Christianity, are processing faith after having been away from the church for a while, or just have questions or doubts about faith and spirituality.
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