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Marks of the True Christian (by Stephen Simpson)

(originally published 12/13/07)

This morning I read Romans 12:9-13. My Bible offers this heading for that section, “Marks of the True Christian.” As I read these verses I asked myself if these ‘marks’ characterize my life. Let’s take a moment and consider this “spiritual checklist.”

  • Let love be genuine – Do I love sincerely and without hypocrisy? Notice that there is no stated object for this love. It is wide open. Do I love God genuinely? Do I love ____ genuinely?
  • Abhor what is evil – Do I recognize evil? Do I detest it? Does evil cause me to be horrified?
  • Hold fast to what is good – Do I cleave or stick to what is good? Am I able to identify what is good? This one seems to work in conjunction with the previous one. In other words, “Abhor evil and cleave to what is good!”
  • Love one another with brotherly affection – Do I love my brothers and sisters in Christ? How do I demonstrate love to them?
  • Outdo one another in showing honor – How far am I willing to go to honor my brother?
  • Do not be slothful in zeal – Am I ‘slothful’ in regards to my spiritual responsibilities? Am I a lazy Christian?
  • Be fervent in spirit – Do I ‘boil over’ for Christ? What am I most fervent about in my life?
  • Serve the Lord – How do I serve the Lord? How did I serve Him today? yesterday?
  • Rejoice in hope – Am I genuinely cheerful at the hope I have in Jesus Christ?
  • Be patient in tribulation – Does my patience grow during trials or does my patience disappear? Do I persevere when under pressure?
  • Be constant in prayer – How many minutes of each day do I spend alone in prayer? 5? 10? 30?
  • Contribute to the needs of the saints – How do I help meet the needs of my brothers in Christ?
  • Seek to show hospitality – Do I actively seek to show hospitality to total strangers?