John 13:35 speaks of how all men will know Christians. All mankind can recognize christians through many different stereotypical observations. If you think about it, our lives activity mark what we believe in. That is why, right or wrong, people of the world see people who are hard workers, don’t swear, don’t smoke, don’t drink, believe in life at conception, go to church regularly, believe in the nuclear family see these people as Christians. Christians are seen as traditionalists.
Christians are also seen as loyal, faithful, trustworthy, loving, caring, dedicated and above all individuals who pour their hearts out to those in their church. Consider how Christians in the first century were identified. The Church at Cenchrea (Rom 16:1), The Church at Corinth (1 Cor 1:2; 2 Cor 1:1) even the church at Babylon (1 Pet 5:13). The people of Jesus are known as kind, generous, humble, self effacing, hospitable and compassionate.
The church is also commonly identified in another way – the church of God (Act 20:28; 1 Cor 1:2; 10:32; 11:22; 15:9; 2 Cor 1:1; Gal 1:13; 1 Tim 3:5). The Christian Church is identified with all the attributes of the people within those churches. We should always be concerned with how our church is identified and not run from it, but seek to change the perception because it is born from us, right here in these walls. In other words, if we are not properly identified, we should be striving to change our testimony to change the testimony of the church in which we worship.
The truth is we need to see how our part individually effects all those around us. Ephesians 5:25 tells us that Jesus so loved the church that He gave himself for it. You, too, Christian should give your life out of love for your church. Many question the definition of church in this verse. It is not a building, but it is the group of believers you regularly identify with and they worship in the same place you do.
Ladies and gentlemen, the commandment is that we love one another. This prevailing sense, that we are, we embody and we exemplify those things listed above through that love is vital. It not only stigmatizes and identifies us, it gives the pigments, the varying hues and colors to our lives and the lives around us. Yes, you are, whether appropriately or not, identified by those you keep company with.
We must not shy from the public. Where we have failed, we share Christ’s loving forgiveness. Where we have success, we share His loving provision. No matter the circumstance, bemoaning our life is self defeating. We, as Christians, must stand up, change for Christ and properly identify with Him to properly identify His church. If we do not, we violate 1 John 1:6 by claiming fellowship with Christ, but walking in darkness and not doing the truth. Doing the truth is doing the things of Christ. Actively loving as Christ actively loves is the key to a successful Christian testimony. Christian, love one another as Christ loves you.