Characteristics Of Christians–Part 1

Colossians 1:3-6: We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, for the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and brings forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth.

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Characteristics–distinctive traits or qualities.

Christian–a person professing belief in Jesus as the Christ; Having the qualities demonstrated and taught by Jesus Christ.

As Paul is writing to the Colossians and describing what he has heard of them we get a glimpse of the distinctive traits and qualities inherent in Christians.  These are traits or qualities existing in a Christian as a natural and inseparable quality of the “new life in Christ”.  They are distinctive in that they establish a difference between the Christian and the non-Christian.

Faith: Christians have a faith in Christ Jesus.  This faith is to be more than a belief.  It is to govern or control the way we live our lives.  We think, say, and do things as a result of our faith and trust in Jesus Christ.  We are to walk by faith and not by sight.  When we walk by faith we walk in the Spirit.  When we walk by sight we walk in the flesh.

Love: The Greek word here is “agape”, which is God’s love that is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.  It is part of the fruit of the Spirit and is different from the love that is characteristic of the flesh or the natural man.  It emanates or comes forth from the Holy Spirit that dwells in the new nature of the Christian. According to “Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words” this love is not an impulse from the feelings, it does not always run with the natural inclinations, but is an exercise of the will in deliberate choice, made without assignable cause save that which lies in the nature of God Himself”.  Without assignable cause means unmerited and undeserved.  It is not conditional on the person it is directed at.

*****Come back tomorrow for a further looke at the Characteristics of Christians found in this scrpiture*****