TRUTH: What People See and Hear About Believers

People are known for a myriad of reasons. There are all kinds of television shows dedicated to reporting on people. People are known for governing the country. People are known for being artist or athletes. People are known for being celebrities. Do we really know them despite what is reported? I guess the more appropriate statement is that people are known for what is reported which is a function of what people see and hear. For those who profess Christ as Savior and Lord, Paul tells us the TRUTH: What People See and Hear About Believers.

People do not necessarily believe what we tell them, but they are more apt to believe what they see and hear. When they see, conclusions are being made about our character based on observed behaviors. That combined with what others say who have also seen a believer help complete a picture. When what people see and hear are consistent, a clear picture for who we are, our character, is revealed. This is what the Apostle Paul addresses to the Ephesians – the TRUTH: What People See and Hear About Believers.

Ephesians 1 (NIV)

15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.

The Apostle Paul started or at least fanned the flames of the church in Ephesus. At least two years had gone by since he was last there. Some even say as much as five years had elapsed. Nevertheless, his point is that the people had seen and heard about the Ephesians’.  What does Paul say is important about the TRUTH: What People See and Hear About Believers? Faith and Love for all God’s peopleFaith and Love are the primary products or evidence of one’s pursuit of Christ. In John 13, Jesus said, “34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”” For the believer, love is a distinguishing mark for the believer in Christ. Paul extends that in 1 John 4:20 where he says, “20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.”

In regards to faith and love, Paul associates them in the oft quoted thirteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians where he says, “And now these three remain: faithhope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13  It was their faith in Christ that bound them together in love. Faith in Christ supersedes familial and cultural ties which is seen in Acts 18 where Paul commits himself to sharing the gospel with the Gentiles. It was Pauls Faith and Love for all God’s people that committed him to the Gentiles instead of the Jews. Thus, he proved his faith and love by what he did just as Jesus said.

Lastly, the last thing and the point that Paul was demonstrating the TRUTH: What People See and Hear About Believers. He was saying that it should produce thanksgiving and prayer on our part when we see and hear about another’s faith. Who are we praying for whose faith and love you have seen? Effectively, Paul was a preacher, but he also showed that preachers as well as those whom he ministers should be committed to praying for those who demonstrate faith in Christ. We see that here for the Ephesians in verses 15 and 16, but we also see that for the Romans, Thessalonians and to Philemon.

The TRUTH: What People See and Hear About Believers should produce in us thanksgiving and prayer. In the body of Christ, who are you giving thanks for and for whom are you praying?


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