There are two types found in the Christian community; those who are believers of Christ and those who are believers AND followers IN Christ. One group professes with their words, and performs certain duties in their faith – that are found on the surface. They do not have roots in them. The other professes their faith, by who they are and have become. They have roots that take them deep into the heart and Spirit of God. This group grows from within their hearts and practices all that they are taught by their Teacher – the Spirit of God, and are who Jesus refers to as being wise builders; Matt 7:24-27. The other group, stores up in them, teachings but does nothing with them. They may even become great teachers, preachers and scholars – but be empty of God. In order for us interact with the Living God, we must too become living – by His Spirit, and this involves our activity and participation, and what James describes as being ‘doers of the Word.’
The one who is a believer AND follower IN Christ are counted as Sons and Daughters of God. Those who are believers of Christ are not. The one group will contain a healthy fear of the Lord that causes them to turn from sin, the other will rest in the loop holes that allow them (or others) to continue to sin.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is based upon who Jesus Christ is, and came to do. We have been given the Kingdom, in the Person of Jesus Christ – a gift that no man can earn nor provide for themselves. It is up to each as individuals to take and apply what is given. This is what makes the difference between the two groups. While Jesus walked among us, He spoke of the Kingdom of God. Jesus gave us insight into the way of His Kingdom when He said these:
Luke 9:23; Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
Matt 5:27-30; “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.
Saul of Tarsus – who was named Paul – by Jesus Himself, was given the vision and task of teaching and sharing who Jesus Christ in revealing the mystery of the Gospel. In Romans 6, he expounds upon what Jesus taught in the above verses. It is the basis and core of our entry into the Kingdom Jesus talks about. He explains here our need to die – to our carnal man in order for us to receive the new life that Christ provides for us, through His resurrection power. This is a very obscure teaching – yet is the foundation of our position in Christ and is unfortunate on how little this is grasped and so why you have the great majority of Christendom as believers of Christ and not believers AND followers IN Christ. Instead, what is taught and expounded upon is the freedom that Christ bought for us. This is wildly taken and celebrated by the congregations and claimed, but is without power because there has not been first a reckoning of their own death. Many will run to be baptized, and still see they are in error and not obedient to God – because they have not reconciled the truth of their own death and thus they do not receive the power and resurrected Life Jesus has afforded us. Some congregations boast on how many baptisms they perform – yet most are void in the eyes of God.
I personally see many claim faith that is for all who believe, yet they deny the foundation – and that is to first die, so we may truly live. It truly is troubling as how widespread this has become and understand why Jesus spoke these words –
“But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say? 47 Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: 48 He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. 49 But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.” Matt 6:46-49.