The “Brave New World” of the 21st Century requires a “Brave New Discipleship” strategy.

The 4th Mark of a Complete Christian: Grows in Christlike Lifestyle

Posted on: July 21, 2015

BND Mark #4


A Christian is measured, not primarily by what he knows or what he does, but by who he is. It is not acceptable to know things and do things, but have no concern for character.

Certainly we must know things. Last week we highlighted John 8:32 which says “You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.” And we must also do things. James 2:26 says, “Faith without works is dead.” But character is at the core of the Christian faith. The Apostle Paul said, “The goal of our instruction is love, from a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith” (1 Timothy1:5).

He did not say, “The goal of our instruction is an impressive memory.” Or, “The goal of our instruction is a busy schedule.” Rather, it was love… a good conscience… and motives rooted in sincere faith. The goal of instruction was character.

The goal of our own education, for ourselves, must be character. The goal of our instruction to others must be character. Yes, we must teach information, yes we must call to action, but all of it centered around character… who we are.

There are five components to the spiritual growth process:

  1. The word of God (John 8:32)
  2. The work of God (Philippians 2:13)
  3. Personal commitment (Philippians 2:12)
  4. Other believers (Ephesians 4:15-16)
  5. Time and trials (1 Peter 2:2, James 1:2-4)

If these five elements are present in a Christian’s life to a sufficient degree, he will become spiritually mature. If even one is missing, he will not become spiritually mature.

Yes, transformation is our destiny for Christians. It is God’s desire for us. Something He will draw us toward in this life and complete in the next.

Remember a few weeks ago in the “Know, Be, Do” post, we quoted Howard Hendricks, who said, “Your lifestyle will never go beyond your knowledge, and your ministry will never go beyond your lifestyle.” There’s the balance of a mature Christian: knowledge, lifestyle and ministry.


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