The Apostle John was not one to mince words. In fact, Jesus had occasion to rebuke him when his temper would flare like lightening and he would thunder condemnation upon those who dishonored the Lord. For this reason Jesus nicknamed him Son of Thunder.

    In his gospel account John methodically presents Jesus own definition of a true and genuine disciple, dismantling the self-deceiving excuses of the carnal Christian. Through his account of Christ’s teaching John is faithful to remind believers what following Christ actually looks like, and challenges us to examine ourselves whether we are truly “in the Faith!” (2 Cor. 13:5)

    John quotes the Master thrice in defining His disciples: First, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.” (8:31) Then, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (13:35) And finally, “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” (15:8) Herein the Apostle plainly delineates the requisites of authentic discipleship. A true-blue follower of Christ will know and obey His Word, this proved by the love of Jesus flowing forth from his life, and manifested ultimately through the fruit of the Holy Spirit in his life. The genuine believer obeys God, loves God, and brings glory to God; for this kind of life reflects the life of the Son, who ever and completely obeyed the Father, loved the Father, and sought to bring glory to the Father.
    The Lord Jesus knows nothing of a disciple who does not follow Him. He does not know a disciple who neglects his church, who is apathetic towards God’s people, and who quenches the work of the Holy Spirit. He would no doubt denounce such as Hosea did: “You have plowed in wickedness…reaped iniquity…eaten the fruit of lies…[trusting] your own way.” (Hos. 10:13) Yet His call to them would be just as gracious as the prophet’s: “Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the Lord, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you.” (10:12)

    So the test is set before every professing believer: are you obedient? Are you loving? Are you living a fruitful life? Upon examination can you show the credentials of your faith? If not, get on your knees and repent! Jesus knocks at the door of your heart even now. It is time to seek the Lord!