Recently through Scripture reading, I’ve come to this conclusion: there is a difference between a believer and a follower, especially when we are talking about Jesus.
Christ Believer – Someone who thinks Jesus is God in human flesh.
I think that is a pretty good description of a Christ Believer. This person believes in Christ’ power, authority, and ability to save.
(Couldn’t you just feel a “but” coming.)
But according to scripture, we can not stop at, “I believe.”
You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. – James 2:19
When Jesus walked around with His disciples, He healed many people and cast out many demons. A common thing we see about these demons is they all believed Jesus was the Son of God. They believed He was who He said He was, but what good did it do them? They definitely didn’t become His disciples. In fact, they often asked Him to go away and leave them alone.
This is a pretty good picture I think of what it means to be, just simply, a Christ Believer.
Therefore, there is clearly something more we should strive for. When Jesus met Peter, Andrew, James, and John as they were fishing on the seashore, He didn’t say, “I’m the Christ you’ve been waiting for, believe in me.” No! He said, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” (see Matthew 4:19)
Now in order to be a follower, you must first be a believer. But that is only step one.
Christ Follower – Someone who thinks Jesus is God in human flesh. They believe He provides them with eternal life. Christ is important to these individuals; so important, in fact, they are willing to change themselves. They allow Christ to rule their life and strive to fulfill His commands, like making disciples who make disciples.
There is a big difference between a believer and a follower and it’s pretty clear how you will know the difference.
Faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless… I will show you my faith by my good works. James 2:17,18
In Matthew 7, Jesus talks about a tree that bears good fruit verse a tree that bears bad fruit. He explains that good trees can’t bear bad fruit and bad trees can’t bear good fruit.
So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions. Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ Will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. – Matthew 7:19-21
Those are pretty strong words, but it is clear that Jesus wants us to be followers of His, not just believers. So… which one will you be?