Our society is becoming more ungodly and secular all the time. A quick glance at the news reminds us that more and more people are becoming anti-God in their thoughts and approach to life. However, the statistics still show that many Americans identify as Christians. Of the 332 million people that live in our country, 210 million people claim to be Christians (that’s 63%). That means some 210 million people in our country claim to follow Jesus, submit to him as Lord, and have their lives impacted by what he taught and commanded. However, there is a world of difference between checking off a box on
a questionnaire and actually embodying the teachings of Jesus in one’s daily life.
How do we know whether or not someone is a Christian? Just because someone claims to follow Jesus does not mean that they do (Matt. 7:21-23). There are several questions we might ask that will help us to see whether or not someone is living for Jesus. Someone who is living for Jesus has obeyed the gospel and is a part of the family of God (Acts 2:36-41). In addition to obeying the gospel a disciple of Jesus continues to have his or her life shaped by the teachings of Jesus in every aspect of life. In Romans 12, Paul says Christians are to be living sacrifices (Rom. 12:1-2). This means as Christians we lay down our lives on the altar of service to Jesus and allow him to dictate what we do and how we function. Romans 12 is a chapter filled with practical admonitions for Christians to adopt. We would do well to regularly comb through this chapter and ask ourselves, “Am I living the life of a living sacrifice?” With Romans 12 as our standard we should ask, “Does my life look like the life of someone who is living for Jesus?”
Here are the identifying marks from Romans 12 of someone who is living for Jesus:
- Their body is used in the service of Jesus (12:1)
- Their mind is renewed and transformed to know and perform the will of God (12:2) · A proper estimation of oneself and others (12:3)
- One who realizes we all have different gifts and talents and using what we have to glorify God (12:4-8)
- Practices genuine love, loves good, and hates evil (12:9-10) · Zealous for to serve the Lord (12:11)
- Proper outlook on life’s good times and bad times (12:12)
- Generous and inviting (12:13)
- Blesses enemies instead of cursing them (12:14)
- Sympathizes and lives well with others (12:15-16)
- Treat people the way God commands no matter what (12:17-20)
- A life that is overcome with good instead of evil (12:21)
- It is easy to claim to live for Jesus and be a Christian, but it takes a life of sacrifice to actually identify with Jesus.