What is the nature of a believer? In other words, who are we? Outside of biblical theology there really is no sustainable answer to these questions. Incidentally, whenever I mention the phrase, “a believer.” I’m speaking of those who have place their faith in the person of Jesus Christ. “Jesus said to him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” John 14:6.
More questions. What does it mean to be a Christian? What is necessary, and what suffices, for someone to be recognize as a believer? What do Christians do that non-christians don’t do? And, how can we know that we are believers? John writes: “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life” I John 5:13.
The biblical distinctions between the nature of a believer and non-believer are among some of the most beautifully celebrated illustration in literature. And while there is no shortage regarding the personality of a believer in Scripture I’m going to limit this blog to those found I Corinthians 1: 1-9.
“Paul, called as an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God” v-1.
As an Apostle, Paul had authority to speak and write on behalf of God. As noted in Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonian’s. “For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe” 2:13.
We also notice in Paul’s letter to the Ephesian’s that one of the greatest contributions of the Apostle’s to the church are the New Testament writings. “Having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone” Ephesians 2:20.
While God, outside of the tablets given to Moses, never pinned a word he chose men, who operated under the authority of the Holy Spirt to give us his word.
A clear distinction between believers and non-believers is that believers can approach God’s Word for what it really is – the "Word of God."
Believers are uniquely set apart for God’s use and control
“To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours” v-2.
To be part of the body of Christ, or the “church” is by definition to be one who is “called out.” To be “sanctified” is by definition to be one who is “set apart.”
As believer’s we are uniquely call out, through faith, from among the world and set apart by God, in a positional way to be his Ambassadors to a lost world.
“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” II Corinthians 5:20.
Believers are infinitely rich
“I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus” v-4.
As believers we have a unique relationship with Christ. In verse nine of this same chapter Paul refers to it as a “fellowship.” “God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” It’s impossible to be in fellowship with Jesus and not experience the richness of his grace.
By grace we are one with him in his resources, in his church and in his gifts. “That in everything you were enriched in Him” v-5.
“Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence” 2: Peter 1: 3, 4.
Believers have hope that they will see Christ
“Awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ” v-7
This hope that Paul describes is a confident assurance that changes the believer’s perspective of the future. We hope, not in the worldly sense anticipating that something might happen but, with divine assurance that it will happen. Peter refers to this as a “living hope.” “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” I Peter 1:4.
We trust that one day Jesus Christ will return. That one we will be glorified. That one day we will be rightly rewarded for everything we’ve allowed God to do in and through our lives. And that one day we will stand blameless before God.
As believers we are unbelievably blessed by the richness of God’s grace. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God Ephesians” 2:8. "Thank you Lord for the unspeakable gift of grace - Amen."
Till we can sit down together I remain faithfully yours,
Glenn T. Horne