Jesus came to the earth, died on the cross, and raised from the dead to set us free from our sins and invite us into a victorious way of life. A careful reading of the Bible will make it obvious that a biblical Christian does three things: trusts Jesus, honors God, and helps (disciples) others. We call this going “full circle” as a Christian, and we introduce the framework in our Foundations series.
But most Christians today stop well short of the picture Jesus had in mind for his followers. If that’s you, this lesson will help you identify what you’re missing and give you clear action steps for moving forward in your faith.
The “Truth Seeker”
The “truth seeker” goes to church and may even identify as a Christian. Many truth seekers grew up in a Christian home – though some are new to church all together. Some truth seekers might even appear to go “full circle” – trying to live lives that honor God and working hard to help other people in society. But there’s a simple problem: they haven’t yet trusted Jesus for salvation.
Romans 10:9 If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
According to the Bible, going to church doesn’t make you a Christian. And neither does living an honorable life. “We start a relationship with God by trusting Jesus.” So if you haven’t personally put your faith in Jesus – trusting his power to save you and his perspective to lead you – then you haven’t technically started. You can’t take the second and third step if you haven’t taken the first step.
Action Step: Talk with a group or mentor about getting to your “faith moment”.
The “Carnal Christian”
This is a most common type of Christian out there, and churches across America are filled with these people. They’ve gotten to their “faith moment”. Maybe they prayed the prayer at a retreat or during an altar call. They’ve probably even been baptized. But that’s as far as it goes. Their faith is a purely theoretical thing, rarely intersecting with everyday life. They struggle regularly with sin. If their Christian faith went to trial, there wouldn’t be enough evidence to convict.
James 2:18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”
Jesus never intended for us to use his unbounded grace as a license to sin. The attitude of repentance (present at our faith moment) should result in the actual fruit of repentance in our daily actions and habits.
Action Step: Talk with a group or mentor about habits and a Spirit-empowered life.
The “Consumer Christian”
There’s one more type of Christian out there who falls short of what Jesus envisions for his followers. But this person has no clue. The “consumer Christian” loves Jesus, attends church regularly, and even participates in Bible studies. This Christ-follower consumes sermons, books, devotionals, worship music, and more.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- Think of your own life story. When and how did you transition from a Truth Seeker to a Truth 1 Christian?
- When did you transition from a Truth 1 Christian to a Truth 2 Christian? What factors helped that happen?
- Have you made the transition to a “Full Circle” Christian? What evidence would you give to support your answer?
- Is it possible to go back and forth between stages? Explain.
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.