Some thoughts on being a “Christ Follower”

I realize that it is the latest trend in evangelicalism for Christians to call themselves, “Christ Followers.” If that is your nom de jour I mean no disrespect. It is a valid description of one who has been justified through the work of Christ. As the Westminster Confession of Faith says, “They, who are once effectually called, and regenerated, having a new heart, and a new spirit created in them, are further sanctified, really and personally, through the virtue of Christ’s death and resurrection, by his Word and Spirit dwelling in them: the dominion of the whole body of sin is destroyed, and the several lusts thereof are more and more weakened and mortified; and they more and more quickened and strengthened in all saving graces, to the practice of true holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” In other words, all who have been justified by Christ, will “follow Christ.”

However, I fear that the name, “Christ follower,” may (I said, “may”) put the emphasis on the wrong person. Granted, I am the one who attends worship, prays, reads the Bible, sings psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, and “presses toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Nevertheless, I must ask the question, “Why do I follow Christ?” It certainly isn’t because there is anything inherently good in me. I am, as the song says, “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love.” If He doesn’t “seal my heart” for “His courts above” I would unquestionably fall.

My hope must never be placed in my ability to “follow Christ” for my remaining sin will always be a millstone around my neck in deep water, but if my hope is in Christ’s finished work, His enabling Spirit, and the promises of His Word, I can have the confidence that God will finish the work that He has started in me. I turn to the Westminster Confession once more before I close, “This perseverance of the saints depends not upon their own free will, but upon the immutability of the decree of election, flowing from the free and unchangeable love of God the Father; upon the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ, the abiding of the Spirit, and of the seed of God within them, and the nature of the covenant of grace: from all which arises also the certainty and infallibility thereof.”

Therefore, although I am willing, albeit reluctantly, to embrace the moniker, “Christ follower” as a description of what I do, I must always put the focus where it belongs: on what Christ has done for me through His obedient life and sacrificial death (along with His present intercession for me at the right hand of the Father).

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