An individual accepts the gift of Salvation from their Creator, through repentance and believing into Jesus Christ their Savior, they now have become followers of Christ, they have become Christians. Yet now the battle has just begun.
What is required of a Christian? What characteristic attributes should be found in those who are in Christ? What works are befitting those who are Saved? Is it simply that an individual gets Saved and then goes on with their life as they did before, with the exception of now keeping the commands of God?
How does a Believer know what God desires? How does one in Christ know what commands to keep? Is it even possible for one who is Saved to continue on with little change in their life permanently? Should not the one who was pardoned now spring forth into life, rejoicing at their liberty in Jesus, proclaiming that Salvation is through no other name?
A young boy is a regular amongst the elderly in Bucharest, Romania. This lad helps old women with taking out their rubbish on a weekly basis. He does well in school and as he grows up is known to be a ‘good boy’. Yet he is now a man and as a man who gets into partying with the other people his age. In less than a year he is sitting in a smashed BMW awaiting the police to put handcuffs on him. He is drunk, has made a girl who wants nothing to do with him pregnant, now is covered in tattoos and has just ran over two young children who lay in the street dead. His ‘fun’ going to parties is over. In a drunken stupor he hopes that when he ‘awakes’ he will have had a horrible nightmare, he wishes that he had simply kept going to the youth group, knowing that somewhere there was truth, yet his other friends were so persistent. A month later he is before the judge and with the families of the slain children hollering and crying for justice, he sobs as the judge renders his life for theirs.
The gallows are prepared and the man is marched outside to the city square behind the courthouse. There a black hood is placed over his head, the noose around his neck. As the magistrate reads off the judges decision and the executor prepares to unleash the trap door beneath his feet, there is suddenly a ruckus amongst the crowd. A man has walked up on the stage of the doomed and managed to quiet the crowd, beginning to speak. He desires to take the place of the man whom is about to be hanged. He wants to offer life to the man who has committed the crimes and instead be the one who will be hanged. The judge begins to intercede that not such a thing is possible, but because of the persistence of his words allows the noose to be placed around his neck. The trap door is opened and the man who was sentenced to death walks away bewildered and perplexed. A man whom he did not know has given his life for him.
Later the guilty searches out who this man was and finds that he ran an orphanage near the city center. Those children had lived at that orphanage, as their families did not want them. Now the orphanage is about ready to close its doors. The man who was hung had not asked for wages, but was given a room and board, with a few dollars per month, in exchange for managing the orphanage. No one else is willing to take the job without pay. Without hesitation the man who was doomed goes before the workers and accepts the job, working diligently all the years of his life at the orphanage, until he dies at a good old age.
You were dead in your sins, you were doomed to Hell for eternity. God sent His only Son Jesus Christ to die for your sins. He died for your sins on the Cross and it pleased God to crush Him. He took your place and now o’ man what will you do? Will you continue on as if nothing had happened, will you not die to yourself and live for Christ Jesus your Lord and Savior. The One who you have eternal life through!
Will you not declare His Salvation to the ends of the earth? Will you not do all to stand before the God whom all will stand? This world is exceedingly evil and wicked. In America, and indeed many nations, it is so easy to get distracted, to get ‘off track’, to become burdened with the cares of this world so that our testimony as Christians become watered down more and more, until their is scarcely an inkling left that we are Saved.
Why must we watch as the JW and Mormon cults go two by two throughout our communities preaching and proclaiming lies, gathering the ignorant to ensure they are fuel for the fire that never consumes and those who are in Christ are more apt to simply toss a twenty dollar bill in the offering plate, supposedly having done enough to further the Gospel. The here is some money, go do the work mentality.
These damned individuals who walk about with their perverse scriptures in hand, go door to door proclaiming lies and many of those who proclaim to be a Christian do nothing, even bidding them well! Shall a man bid his murderer well before he pulls the trigger? Then how do supposed Christians bid well those who go around seeking to ensure the soul is doomed to eternal Hell!
What about the testimony of Christ, even that which is not spoken of with words. Do our coworkers see the difference between us and them or do we also laugh at the crude and perverse jokes that are made at the workplace? What about the responsibilities that God has given a man towards his wife and children or the responsibilities that a wife has towards her husband?
The Bible in many homes of proclaimed Christians gathers dust, indeed being an object that requires occasional dusting, as it is often left out to give a false testimony to guest who come over. The assumption is that the owner reads the Word of God and grows in knowledge of Him. Yet a quick swipe of the finger across the cover reveals the dust that man will return to.
Does God not see? Does He who Created the heavens and the earth not take notice? We might be able to skirt doing the work of Him, whether in deed or testimony, before man, but I assure you that you will not slight God. God is not a man that He can be tricked, take heed you who do such things.
“And it came to pass in the sixth year, in the sixth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I sat in my house, with the elders of Judah sitting before me, that the hand of the Lord Jehovah fell upon me there. Then I looked, and there was a likeness, like the appearance of fire; from the appearance of His waist and downward, fire; and from His waist and upward, like the appearance of brightness, like the color of amber. And He stretched out the form of a hand, and took me by a lock of my head; and the Spirit lifted me up between earth and the heavens, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the north gate of the inner court, where the seat of the image of jealousy was, which provokes to jealousy. And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, like the vision that I saw in the plain. Then He said to me, Son of man, lift up your eyes now toward the north. So I lifted up my eyes toward the north, and behold, toward the north at the gate of the altar, was this image of jealousy at the entrance. Furthermore He said to me, Son of man, do you see what they are doing, the great abominations that the house of Israel commits here, to make Me go far away from My sanctuary? Now turn again, you will see greater abominations. So He brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, behold, a hole in the wall. Then He said to me, Son of man, dig into the wall; and when I dug into the wall, there was an opening. And He said to me, Go in, and see the evil abominations which they do there. So I went in and saw; and behold, every sort of creeping thing, abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, carved all around on the wall. And there stood before them seventy men of the elders of the house of Israel, and in their midst stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan. Each man had a censer in his hand, and a thick cloud of incense went up. Then He said to me, Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the room of his idols? For they say, Jehovah does not see us, Jehovah has forsaken the land. And He said to me, Turn again, and you will see greater abominations that they are doing. So He brought me to the door of the north gate of the house of Jehovah; and behold, women were sitting there weeping for Tammuz. Then He said to me, Have you seen this, O son of man? Turn again, you will see greater abominations than these. So He brought me into the inner court of the house of Jehovah; and behold, at the door of the temple of Jehovah, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men with their backs toward the temple of Jehovah and their faces toward the east, and they were bowing down to the sun toward the east. And He said to me, Have you seen this, O son of man? Is it a trivial thing to the house of Judah to commit the abominations which they commit here? For they have filled the land with violence; then they have returned to provoke Me to anger. Indeed they put the branch to their nose. Therefore I also will act in fury. My eye will not spare nor will I have pity; and though they cry in My ears with a loud voice, I will not hear them.” Ezekiel 8
What is required of a Christian?
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
“But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which is corrupted according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, putting away lying, let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. Be angry, but do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give to him who has need. Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for the business of building up, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all wickedness. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:20-32
What characteristic attributes should be found in those who are in Christ?
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1-2
“Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God; for you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus.” 1st Thessalonians 4:1-2
“If then you are raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on the things of the earth; for you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: sexual perversion, uncleanness, passion, evil lusts, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience; in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his practices, and have put on the new man who is renewed in full true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all things and in all. Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also do. And above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God, even the Father, through Him. Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter towards them. Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is pleasing to the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, that they may not become discouraged. Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. And whatever you do, do it from the soul, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.” Colossians 3
What works are befitting those who are Saved?
…”but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance.” Acts 26:20
“What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Is faith able to save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, Depart in peace, be warmed and filled, but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith, if it does not have works, being alone, is dead. But someone will say, You have faith, and I have works. Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith from my works.” Jacob (James) 2:14-18
“Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us! So when He saw them, He said to them, Go, show yourselves to the priests. And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. So Jesus answered and said, Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner? And He said to him, Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.” Luke 17:11-19
How does a Believer know what God desires?
“And so we also have a more sure Word of prophecy, which you do well to heed as to a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that not any of the prophecies of Scripture came into being from personal exposition, for prophecy was not formerly brought forth by man’s choice, but holy men of God spoke as they were propelled along by the Holy Spirit.” 2nd Peter 1:19-21
“All Scripture is breathed by God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2nd Timothy 3:16-17
“But Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word of God.” Luke 4:4
How does one in Christ know what commands to keep?
“So he answered and said, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on all the armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against authorities, against the world’s rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual wickedness in the heavenlies. Therefore take up all the armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand firm therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints;”… Ephesians 6:10-18