Seeking Jesus…strengthening the church…saving souls.
It’s not about the words. It’s about the reality they represent.
All these words are saying is that Christians are those who follow Jesus. In walking with Jesus, we end up walking alongside other followers. And in the course of your journey, the Spirit may actually use us to call others to follow Jesus as well.
It is not prescribing steps or outlining formulas. It is simply describing—quite generally—what happens to we who put our faith in Christ.
Believing. Believing is, in fact, the only genuine, biblical way of knowing and following Christ. As we are all familiar, Jesus said, “Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God” (John 3:18).
Belonging. And we who believe are mystically joined together as one body, whether or not we participate in that union. As we read in Ephesians 2:19, “You are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household.” After all, it does take “effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3).
Becoming. We are even given a purpose as “a people belonging to God.” We are to “declare the praises of him who called [us] out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9). Do all who believe in Christ testify to who He is, whether by word or deed? No. Should we? Yes! We are the light of the world.
The three B’s is a clumsy shorthand, one of many ways to describe the Christian life. Again, don’t look at the words. Look at the reality behind them. Whatever you want to call it, however you express it, there are certain fundamental characteristics of Christian discipleship. These may not be the only three; there may be more. (And “believing” is certainly the only essential element to seeing Heaven.)
Notice another thing: These three B’s, or whatever words you want to use, are far from a rigid, cookie-cutter formula meant to be imposed on and adhered to by every Christian. They allow for personality and process. For instance, there is a difference between me asking you to meet me at Disneyland on Thursday and me spelling out for you which mode of transportation and route to take, as well as what you should wear and bring with you on your trip. When Jesus says “love your neighbor,” He doesn’t specify when, where or how. Neither do these three B’s paint a picture of what pursuing them should look like. As always, there is freedom in pursuit of Christ.