What makes a player a 5 star recruit in college football? One that is being recruited by all the top schools. Typically, he would be considered one of the best at his position in the nation. He has the size, speed, power, talent, along with all the intangibles.
If we wanted to apply that to the Christian faith, what comprises a 5 star Christian? What are the essential Christian values?
Essential: absolutely necessary; indispensable; of the utmost importance.
If you are to consider yourself to be a complete Christian, you must be, posses or demonstrate ___________?
First thing that comes to my mind is believe in Jesus the Christ. Afterall, Hebrews 11:6 says “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”(ESV) So number one on the list has to be FAITH. Faith is not just believing facts about Jesus, it is complete trust in the person of Jesus Christ. If you trust Him, truly believe He is God incarnate, it should be evident in the way you are living your life.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without works, and I will show you faith from my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. The demons also believe—and they shudder.20 Foolish man! Are you willing to learn that faith without works is useless?(HCSB)
8 For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— 9 not from works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.(HCSB)
19 “Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20 but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance.(NKJV)
11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.(NIV)
6 “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”(ESV)
Christians are saved through faith unto good works of service that God prepared ahead of time for us to do. Number two on the list would have to be SERVICE. Serving others out of love for your Savior, not out of a sense of duty or compulsion. Serving others though giving of your time and resources. Serving others through acts of kindness and generosity. Serving others by doing for them what they cannot do for themselves.
14 “Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” 16 Then the people answered, “Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods,(ESV)
25 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”(NIV)
1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
12 When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things,blessed are you if you do them.(ESV)
Jesus’ entire life was a life of service, serving the Father by serving mankind. What motivated Jesus to serve others, to give His life as a ransom? Love. Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so! So LOVE has to be on the list. Love is not just a warm fuzzy feeling but a desire for what’s best for a person, after all we are commanded to love our neighbor and also love our enemy.
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.(ESV)
33 My children, I will be with you for a little while longer. Then you will look for me, but you won’t find me. I tell you just as I told the people, “You cannot go where I am going.” 34 But I am giving you a new command. You must love each other, just as I have loved you. 35 If you love each other, everyone will know that you are my disciples.(CEV)
15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”(ESV)
1 Corinthians 13:
1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.(NKJV)
“If you love each other, everyone will know that you are my disciples.” and “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” So the world will know you are Jesus’ disciple by loving each other and obeying His commands. Jesus’ last command to His disciples was The Great Commission, in which they were instructed to make more disciples, therefore, DISCIPLESHIP has to be on the list as well. Making disciples, other followers of Jesus, by teaching them all that has been revealed to you.
18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”(ESV)
23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?(NIV)
2 Timothy 3:
14 But as for you,continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.(ESV)
Hmm… reviewing the scripture for SERVICE, LOVE, and DISCIPLESHIP I see a lot of references to keeping my commandments, denying self, follow me – sorry but OBEDIENCE has to be on the list. Love and Obey for there is now other way to be happy in Jesus but to Love and Obey. Simply doing what you know the Lord wants you do to, simple doesn’t necessarily mean easy.
26 “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: 27 the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today,28 and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way that I am commanding you today, to go after other gods that you have not known.(ESV)
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’(ESV)
15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me.(ESV)
As with any relationship, communication is critical. If you are wanting to deepen your love for Jesus and walk in faithful obedience and discipleship, you are going to need to communicate with your Lord. So that means you are going to need to PRAY. Pray without ceasing, praying in the Spirit, praying through faith, praying on the behalf of others, praying for the Lord’s will do be done.
2 Chronicles 7:
14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place.(ESV)
15 And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. 16 And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. 17 And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.”(ESV)
21 And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. 22 And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”(ESV)
1 Thessalonians 5:
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.(ESV)
18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel,(ESV)
5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God,which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.(ESV)
1 And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.
2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say,
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
3 Give us day by day our daily bread.
4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.(KJV)
18 And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.”
26 And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. 28 And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” 29 And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”(ESV)
15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.(NKJV)
7 In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. 8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. 9 And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him,(ESV)
When was the last time you were so fervent in prayer that you shed tears? Prayer transports you into the presence of The Living God, your Father. who wants to give His children all things beneficial, if they will only ask Him. We have not because we ask not or we ask with the wrong motives. Are you strengthening your relationship with God through prayer? Those with whom you have the closest relationship are those with whom you speak regularly. You cannot, you dare not neglect such an important principle of being a Christian.
So here’s my list:
Is my list the same as your list? Did I leave out one that should have been included?
I would include teaching and Bible study under Discipleship, studying to show thyself approved or teaching the Word to others that they might be a better follower of Christ. Love is also far reaching – loving God, loving others, showing grace, kindness, and compassion. Loving other believers leading to stronger friendships and a deeper sense of community. Obedience also encompasses discipline and self-control.