Loud is the world in its various forms and cluttered is our landscape with signs and advertising. It’s so hard to escape the bombardment–and still we fill our quiet time with TV in our homes and the radio in our cars. Yet God tells us, “In returning and rest (or repentance) you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength …” Isaiah 30:15. Must we compete with the world to reach out with the gospel? And how do we be IN the world without being OF the world? They hymn, “They’ll Know We are Christians” helps us to know:
I. Ephesians 4:1-6. They’ll know we are Christians by our warfare. As the first stanza goes:
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord, We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord, And we pray that our unity may one day be restored
Unity in Christ is a big factor in being to wage war not as the world does but with divine power to demolish strongholds and take thoughts captive for Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). When Elijah was struggling after Jezebel threatened his life, God restored him with hot food and quiet rest, told him he was not alone, and reminded him that He was found not in the ways the world defined power but in “thin silence” (1 Kings 19:9-13).
II. 1 John 1:5–2:6. They’ll know we are Christians by our walk. The second stanza continues:
We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand, We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand, And together we’ll spread the news that God is in our land
First, we must walk with God in the light because His very nature is light. Then, we find Jesus’ blood washing us clean as we walk in fellowship with others who are also walking in the light. This means walking in obedience to truly know God and walking as Jesus did as an imitation of Him. Only then are we in a position to teach the gospel as it comes from the same compassion for the lost that Jesus had (Matthew 9:35-38).
III. Luke 18:35-43. They’ll know we are Christians by our worship. The final stanza declares:
All praise to the Father, from whom all things come, And all praise to Christ Jesus, His only Son, And all praise to the Spirit who makes us one
After a blind beggar, who had faith to be made well, was healed by Jesus, he “followed him, glorifying God.” The passage concludes with the people who saw this giving praise to God as well. We must give praise continually to God (Psalm 99:1-9). When we live our lives as a living sacrifice, others see our spiritual act of worship (Romans 12:1-2) and give God praise and glory too. This subtle advertising is the best billboard for the gospel.
The song concludes by telling us that it is by our love–even for those hardest to love–that the world will know that we are followers of Christ … just as Jesus told us (John 13:34-35, Matthew 5:43-48, 1 John 3:11-24):
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love, Yes they’ll know we are Christians by our love.
Do they know that you’re a Christian?