Are We Followers of Jesus?

By Published on May 5, 2024

As a Christian, you can see yourself not just as a “follower” of Jesus, but as one united with Him in spirit. This spiritual union is an ongoing reality. The Holy Spirit guides and empowers you to live in a way that reflects your union with Jesus every moment of your life (1 Corinthians 6:17). You have the opportunity to be led by the Spirit and express the fruit of your union with Jesus in your attitudes and actions (Galatians 5:19–23). This isn’t merely about trying to imitate (or “follow”) a religious figure from two thousand years ago. It’s about recognizing and responding to the indwelling presence of the risen Christ. It’s about being led internally at a heart level, not externally through imitating actions.

When we think about our relationship with Jesus, the word “follow” often comes to mind. We hear phrases like “following Jesus” or “walking in His footsteps” and it can seem like our entire relationship with Him is based on imitation and external obedience. However, this is not the most accurate way to portray our relationship with Christ. The truth is, as believers, our relationship with Jesus is so much more than just following Him. It involves an intimate spiritual union with Him.

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In 1 Corinthians 6:17, Paul tells us that “The one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” This means that through our faith in Jesus, we are spiritually bonded or fused to Him forever. We are one with Him in spirit. This is a powerful truth that transforms our understanding of what it means to be a Christian. We’re not just followers of Jesus, we’re united with Him.

New Covenant, New Reality

This union with Christ is an ongoing reality. Galatians 5:19–23 teaches us that the Holy Spirit leads us internally, guiding and empowering us to live in a way that reflects our union with Jesus. The Holy Spirit is not just an external guide; He indwells us and leads us from within. This means that every moment of our lives, we have the opportunity to be led by the Spirit and express the fruit of our union with Jesus in our attitudes and actions.

When Jesus told His disciples to follow Him in Mark 8:34, He was inviting them to join Him in His earthly ministry. But today, we live on the other side of the cross under the New Covenant of God’s grace. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, we have been given the opportunity to experience a deeper, more intimate relationship with Him. We’re not just “following” Jesus, we’re united with Him and led internally by His Spirit.

So, we can recognize His presence within us and learn what to expect from His Spirit. This is not about trying to imitate a religious teacher from two thousand years ago. The truth is that our relationship with Jesus is not just about following Him, it’s about being united with Him in spirit. This is a powerful, exciting, and transformative truth. When we truly grasp this truth, we can live with a sense of purpose and joy, knowing we are not merely followers of Jesus. We are united with Christ and inspired from within by the Spirit in every moment of our lives.

 

Andrew Farley answers more questions this Tuesday on LIFE TODAY. Excerpted from 101 Bible Questions by Andrew Farley. Copyright ©2023 by Andrew Farley. Published by Salem Books, an imprint of Regnery Publishing. Used by permission.

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