What Saith the Scripture?
Mandatory Traits of a True Christian
Mandatory Trait 1. Loving
"As He is, so are we in this world"
"22 The Fruit of the Spirit is Love, Joy, Peace, Longsuffering, Gentleness, Goodness, Faith,
23 Meekness, Temperance: against such there is no Law.
24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit"
by Katie Stewart
Mandatory Trait 1.
"He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is Love"
The first "Fruit of the Spirit is Love" (Galatians 5:22). True Christians are to "live in the Spirit" and "walk in the Spirit" (5:25). "What saith the Scripture" (Romans 4:3) concerning this mandatory characteristic that all true children have from their Father?
Loving the LORD is what a true Christian does best! "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt Love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind" (Matthew 22:37). His Perfect Example shows us that His Love to us is an absolutely essential element in the essence of His Being. "And we have known and believed the Love that God hath to us. God is Love; and he that dwelleth in Love dwelleth in God, and God in him" (1John 4:16). "I have declared unto them Thy Name, and will declare it: that the Love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them" (John 17:26). In fact, the LORD gives us the proof of our profession in Him by saying, "Whoso keepeth His Word, in him verily is the Love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him" (1John 2:5). The Scriptural description of a true and loving person who walks in the Love of God, is this: "For this is the Love of God, that we keep His Commandments: and His Commandments are not grievous [not a burden, but a Joy]" (1John 5:3). A true Christian is one who joyfully obeys God because he wholly loves God!
God's Love to us benefits us supremely and brings to Himself such expressive happiness that our God breaks out in rapturous melody! "The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is Mighty; He will save, He will rejoice over thee with Joy; He will rest in His Love, He will Joy over thee with singing" (Zephaniah 3:17). In return, we are to "Love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the First Commandment" (Mark 12:30). For "He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is Love" (1John 4:8). "What saith the Scripture" (Romans 4:3) concerning this mandatory characteristic that all true children have from their Father?
The Standard-- God is Love
It's easy to see the LORD as The Standard, and His Word, The Standard Bearer. "For ever, O LORD, Thy Word is settled in Heaven... Thy Word is True from the beginning: and every one of Thy Righteous Judgments endureth for ever" (Psalm 119:89,160). Since Heaven is the goal mark in every pilgrim's journey, then, O LORD, "Thy Will be done in Earth, as it is in Heaven" (Matthew 6:10). Our Divine Standard is Love, Himself. "God is Love" (1John 4:8). Let the Word of the LORD be the Banner over us, binding us to Him in Love. "He brought me to the Banqueting House, and His Banner over me was Love" (Song 2:4).
This Banner of Love that He has placed over us, is the LORD's Proclamation concerning us. He loves us! "God, Who is rich in Mercy, for His Great Love wherewith He loved us" (Ephesians 2:4). Oh, what Great Love! "For God so loved the world, that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have Everlasting Life" (John 3:16).
What more could the LORD's people need from their God, but, that He Loves them! "The greatest of these is Charity [Love]" (1Corinthians 13:13). For, "we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us" (Romans 8:37). He is the Defining of Love to us. "10 Herein is Love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the Propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another" (1John 4:10-11)!
True Christians Love The Standard
God's people Love Him carefully and with diligence. "Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye Love the LORD your God" (Joshua 23:11). They do not take Him for granted, but purposefully "keep His Commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight" (1John 3:22). God's Word is Absolute, and He deserves to be taken absolutely at His Word. "Great and Marvellous are Thy Works, LORD God Almighty; Just and True are Thy Ways, Thou King of saints" (Revelation 15:3). "Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them" (Deuteronomy 11:16).
Love is a trait to be demonstrated. "If ye love Me, keep My Commandments" (John 14:15). The Father's Love to us is seen and known by us. "Herein is Love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the Propitiation for our sins" (1John 4:10). Therefore, if we truly have Godly Love, we will show it. "That thou mayest Love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey His Voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto Him: for He is thy Life, and the length of thy days" (Deuteronomy 30:20). The Apostle James, the brother of the LORD Jesus, stated this Divine Truth, "But wilt thou know, O vain man, that Faith without Works is dead?" (James 2:20). He then goes on to demonstrate this statement with two illustrations from the Old Testament. "21 Was not Abraham our father justified by Works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22 Seest thou how Faith wrought with his Works, and by Works was Faith made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 24 Ye see then how that by Works a man is justified, and not by Faith only. 25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by Works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so Faith without Works is dead also" (James 2:21-26).
(1.) A true Christian loves the LORD because He is the LORD.
(2.) A true Christian does thoroughly love and appreciate the blessings from their LORD.
6 The LORD executeth Righteousness and Judgment for all that are oppressed.
7 He made known His Ways unto Moses, His Acts unto the children of Israel.
8 The LORD is Merciful and Gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in Mercy.
9 He will not always chide: neither will He keep His anger for ever.
10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the Heaven is high above the Earth, so great is His Mercy toward them that fear Him.
12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.
13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear Him.
14 For He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust...
17 The Mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear Him, and His Righteousness unto children's children;
18 to such as keep His Covenant, and to those that remember His Commandments to DO them.
19 The LORD hath prepared His Throne in the Heavens; and His Kingdom ruleth over all.
20 Bless the LORD, ye His angels, that excel in strength, that DO His Commandments, hearkening unto the Voice of His Word.
21 Bless ye the LORD, all ye His hosts; ye ministers of His, that DO His Pleasure.
22 Bless the LORD, all His works in all places of His Dominion: bless the LORD, O my soul."
True Christians Love Each Other
The Scriptural Love of God-- whether in reference to the Father's Love coming down, or in the true Christian's Love going Up-- both are tried in the exercise of knowing the Recipient, or even, recipients. "Beloved, let us Love one another: for Love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God" (1John 4:7)..
The Love of the Father proves to us, that to Love someone is to know them. "But if any man Love God, the same is known of Him" (1Corinthians 8:3). And we, in turn, knowing the Father, Love Him. "And we have known and believed the Love that God hath to us. God is Love; and he that dwelleth in Love dwelleth in God, and God in him" (1John 4:16).
True Christians then, have Eternal Hope for their neighbors, when they Love their neighbors
True Christians, when operating in God's
Love, refuse to sin.
As Christians in this world, we are to be like our LORD because we love Him. "Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world" (1John 4:17). It is an aspect of our God-given-Image of Himself, our Free Will, which we exercise in Love to our Creator. "So God created man in His Own Image, in the Image of God created He him; male and female created He them" (Genesis 1:27). In Christ are we called "Christians" (Acts 11:26), and it is in His Likeness that we purpose to live. "Christ, Who is the Image of God" (2Corinthiams 4:4). We purpose to live without sin. "We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not" (1John 5:18).
"Sin willfully, selfishly chooses to walk contrary to the Truth. 'Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the Law: for sin is the transgression of the Law' (1John 3:4). How, then, can we see the continued death of selfishness? 'O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?' (Romans 7:24). Well, if you mean that we should have no more physical self-interest-- that will never be until we get to Heaven. 'Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him' (1Corinthians 2:9). The natural limitations of being a moral agent clothed with flesh, place us in the position of being always with the capacity to sin without necessarily the bent, inclination, or tendency to sin; therefore, holiness or godly living, manwardly speaking, must simply be our willingness to obey God and our commitment to refuse all temptation to sin, i.e., we cannot sin because we will not sin. 'Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for His seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God' (1John 3:9). Godwardly speaking, Holiness is God spiritually cleansing and thereby separating man from his sin, while giving him an aversion to sinning. '5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of Hosts. 6 Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: 7 and he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged' (Isaiah 6:5-7). 'What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common' (Acts 11:9). But, if you mean that we can live without the bondage of continually sinning, then 'thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our LORD Jesus Christ' (1Corinthians 15:57)! Wonderful provision has been made to keep us from walking in selfishness! '1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2 For the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death' (Romans 8:1-2)." (Please read our article, "The Death of Selfishness -- http://WhatSaithTheScripture.com/Fellowship/Death_of_Selfishness.html --.)
If you really love God, if you really believe that Jesus is God, then the Scripture says you WILL demonstrate it by obedience. If you don't, then you won't.
It is our job to work the "work of Faith, and labour of Love, and patience of Hope in our LORD Jesus Christ" (1Thessalonians 1:3). Our effort is as if it depended on us, but our Faith and Trust is as if it depended only on God. "Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work" (John 5:17).
"The Truth is that no man will ever do as he is able to do or ought to do without the intervention of the Grace of God. 'But by the Grace of God I am what I am: and His Grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the Grace of God which was with me' (1Corinthians 15:10). For this reason, when we ever do choose to repent, believe, and obey, we may trust that it is 'God which worketh in [us] both to will and to do of His Good Pleasure' (Philippians 2:13). Since obedience to God is the unselfishness of Love, then selfishness dies the moment we choose to obey. 'He that hath My Commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him' (John 14:21). On the other hand, we resurrect selfishness, when we choose to disobey. 'The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways' (Proverbs 14:14). We must then continually entrust the LORD as the Keeper of Our Soul to deliver us from sin and sinning. 'O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in Thee' (Psalm 25:20)." (Please read our article, "The Death of Selfishness -- http://WhatSaithTheScripture.com/Fellowship/Death_of_Selfishness.html --.)
Mandatory Trait 2. Joyful -- http://WhatSaithTheScripture.com/Fellowship/A_True_Christian_Joyful.html --
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