Traits of a Christ follower

Walking the walk

What better way to start your walk with Jesus than to read about the lifelong transformation that changed the lives of His earliest followers as recorded in Scripture. As you begin spending time digging into the collection of historical documents and personal letters preserved in the New Testament you’ll be able to draw out the transformational traits that developed in their lives. You’ll find as you spend time here that the inner working of the Holy Spirit in their lives, through their intentional and repeated responses, resulted in related external actions. The inner responses and changes always precede the actions. These resulting traits will also develop in your own life.

This is where the rubber meets the road. As we said earlier…

For it is God who works in you

One of our favorite theologians, Oswald Chambers, writes this passage that bears repeating:

“…When a truth of God is brought home to your soul, never allow it to pass without acting on it internally in your will, not necessarily externally in your physical life. Record it with ink and with blood— work it into your life. The weakest saint who transacts business with Jesus Christ is liberated the second he acts and God’s almighty power is available on his behalf… When we are confronted with such a word of truth from our redeeming Lord, we must move directly to transact business with Him. “Come to Me…” (Matthew 11:28). His word come means “to act.” Yet the last thing we want to do is come. But everyone who does come knows that, at that very moment, the supernatural power of the life of God invades him. The dominating power of the world, the flesh, and the devil is now paralyzed; not by your act, but because your act has joined you to God and tapped you in to His redemptive power.” – Oswald Chambers

This interaction within your soul – willing and then acting from your secret place – is “walking the walk.” And what an incredible, life-changing walk it will be! This process is as natural as planting seeds, watering them, and watching them grow. The transformation is inevitable over time. Of course, your intentional and repeated inner-life responses result in changed thinking patterns, motivations, attitudes, mindsets and will. Over time, as new character traits develop within you (the cause), the natural physical outcomes (the effect) will include those actions that are scripturally expected in the lives of authentic Christ followers. These would include obedience to, and the regular study of, God’s Word, the surrender of sin patterns and sinful mindsets, faithfulness in marriage and other significant relationships, generosity in tithing and offerings, financial integrity and stewardship, involvement with a body of believers, and discipling of others, to name a few.

Position your heart to receive

On the following pages we’ve identified a list of traits that develop in a follower of Christ that’s maturing in discipleship. This list is not exhaustive. The vertical traits, related more to your relationship with Jesus, will naturally be developed first, followed by the horizontal traits, relating to your interaction with others. You may identify additional traits in your own life experience and as you dig into scripture. It will require careful and prayerful reading, reflection, perhaps even study and discussion with a close friend or small group.

As you read the narratives and scripture passages under each trait, draw out of the text the inner-life responses that lead to the behaviors and traits. As you’ve read earlier in our series, the responses of your soul to the promptings of the Holy Spirit are internal, intentional, practical and repeated throughout your life as you grow in discipleship. Of course as you mature in Christ these responses become the Christ-centered behaviors, and ultimately the traits that govern your life.

It’s a powerful exercise to also speak aloud these traits (with the blue backgrounds) and related scripture passages (with the pink backgrounds). The effect of speaking aloud these developing qualities about yourself is that you’ll hear yourself proclaiming the truth!

Before you move on to the traits of a Christ follower remember that in this life you will always be in a state of becoming. You will not “arrive” in this life. You will finally be “perfected” in heaven. Even as the great apostles matured but never arrived at sinless perfection, you will continue towards maturity as well. You have need of only one thing, and that is Jesus. In that sense you are complete in Him, fully equipped for the road ahead of you. Now consider these key passages below to position your heart to receive from the Spirit of Christ.

Christ is becoming more fully formed in you. “Oh, my dear children! I feel as if I’m going through labor pains for you again, and they will continue until Christ is fully developed in your lives.” – Apostle Paul, Galatians 4:19

You are in complete in Him. “…so you have everything when you have Christ, and you are filled with God through your union with Christ. He is the highest Ruler, with authority over every other power.” – Apostle Paul, Colossians 2:10

< Show me the wayIdentified >

Proudly powered by WordPress

G2H holds copyright on this material.