by Patrick Edwards

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''Following Christ'' Versus ''Being a Christian'' (31 of 44)
Series: The Church at Ephusus: God's Calling, Empowering, and Instruction for the Church 
Patrick Edwards
1 Timothy 4:6-16


[One of the challenges I've struggled with in my personal life has been in discerning the difference between being a Christian and following Christ. Now, ideally, of course, the two things are synonymous, but in practice I've discovered it is all too easy to ''be a Christian'' without actually following Jesus. I imagine many of your stories are like mine: I was raised by two wonderful God-fearing parents who taught me the Gospel from infancy. I always knew that Jesus was the Son of God and He was the saviour of my life. At age seven I received faith, professed Christ and was baptized. There are tremendous blessings to having this kind of salvation story. It may not be the most glamorous or shocking, but it is the story I wish for my children. No major struggles in life; no drug or alcohol addictions; no hitting rock bottom. Instead, simply knowing that Jesus is Lord and trusting in Him.

At the same time, I would suggest one minor challenge that comes with such a story is that in all reality I have no memory or cognitive conception of what life without Christ looks like. I don't know or remember what it is like to follow the ways of the world; I don't remember what repentance from the old life is like. And so in turn by not knowing what it is like to follow the world, I have often struggled to really know what it looks like to follow Christ.]

You see, regardless of your conversion story, for anyone who has been a Christian for an extended period of time you know just how easy it is for ''Christianity'' or ''being a Christian'' to simply become another routine of life. And by this what I mean is that we go to church, we try to keep up with devotionals, we try to be a good person and honor God. I'm not talking about nominal Christianity this morning. I'm no ...

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