I actually started to read this this morning out of the NIV (New international version) bible. I like the words that it uses because it just helps clarify some points that I would like to make:
"As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received."
Ephesians 4:1 NIV
Here's the thing, I'm doing a study on Christian living: How are we supposed to be living and acting as Christians? Now when I said I am doing a study, it is more like the Holy Spirit is leading me to do a study on this. I had a desire to know what it really means to be a Christian. I wanted to know "Am I doing everything there is to do to be a good servant to the Lord?"
I am trying to get a clear understanding and a clear way to teach that we don't have to do extra, but we do have to be doers.
I'll give you the conclusion right now: You do not have to do anything extra to earn your salvation. Jesus did that already by dyeing on the cross. He got it, it's done, that part is finished.
There is a specific course (you can call it road, way, purpose, calling, vocation, etc. . .) that we have to follow to reach our destination (destiny-the hidden power of our future). There is a specific work that we have to do for the building up of the body of Christ.
The First step comes in a 3 part direction:
The first step to a new life in Jesus Christ, is to humble yourself, confess that you are unclear of the truth, and then confess with you mouth (believing) that the truth can only be found through Jesus Christ.
That is it, that is how you accept your gift of salvation.
This is a good thing to do this. You do well in doing this . . .
So about my study:
What does it mean to be a good Christian? What are we supposed to be doing?
Each morning I am prompted and led to scripture that allows question to be answered more clearly. I will expound on my post from yesterday to explain what we are supposed to be doing as Christians to fulfill our purpose here on this earth.
An additional question that you probably ask yourself subconsciously everyday:
"Truly, I am a Christian because I believe in Jesus, right?"
Ehhh!!?? Yeah, your a Christian, but their is something you need to know about it. I'll address this in it's totality in a minute but let me first say this. . .
Go and read Ephesians chapter 4, 5 and 6. Here you will find a guide that Paul has given trying to explain the responsibilities that you have as a Christian.
My writings this week are consisting of a lot of instructions that we should be following to live a life for Jesus. I said this before but I'll say it again: our purpose is to grow. So I ask you how can we grow if we keep sitting back and doing little to no work in the body of Christ? How can we grow just by claiming in our minds that we believe in Jesus, but we don't share this truth with anyone else? How can we grow if we are afraid day by day of all the evil that is going on in the world? For most of us, our actions as Christians are not proof that we are servants of the Lord.
If we are offended by calling ourselves prisoners, or servants of the Lord, then we lack understanding of the mystery of our Lord Jesus Christ.
A Christian life should be a life full of light. Jesus said:
"Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house." Matthew 5:13-14
So what exactly does this mean?
Look guys, I am on a mission from God to help people understand their purpose. Hence, you are meant to do something, specific and purposeful. You have a specific calling, a specific purpose, and specific way (gift) that was specifically designed for you to reach and help others. If you do not know what that is, and you are not working "in your vocation" then you are not living on purpose. You are not living to the will of God, regardless if you believe in Jesus or not. (again wait for a further explanation on this).
Jesus says right before 5:13
"Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men."
Did you hear that?
If you are not walking in your purpose
(What you were meant to be or what you were made for),
then you are good for nothing!
You are just in the way, getting stumped on, trampled on, walked over, abused, and misused.
This should not be for true followers of Christ. We should be led by the Holy Spirit so that we walk in our purpose every single day!
So what is the problem?
We are confused about who we are in Christ . . .
In Christ, we are new creatures. In Christ we are a member of one body, one spirit. We are all working together, growing together in love. Reaching out for others to join us in love. We should be doing God's will, as servants, to build up the body of Christ. God has given us everything we need to do this work. When we fulfill our duties, we will be unified and able to understand the fullness of Christ. We will grow in knowledge and wisdom according to his purpose. (see Ephesians 4:11-13)
***if you are not operating in love, for the growth of the body of Christ, then you are not in the body of Christ. Not yet at least. Any unclean thing will be rejected. Any luck warm thing will be spit out. You must be either hot or cold, on the right side or the wrong side, in the light or in dark, in the truth or in ignorance. Keep reading . . .
The confusion comes when we go back and forth. One day we are (Christians) on team Jesus, then the next day we are on team world. We will never get anywhere with this type of thinking. It is called being double minded:
We have to be careful of how we really want to do this . . . Do we want to keep playing with God or do we want to do this for real. You just have to talk to Jesus and admit to yourself that this thing is really happening. This is for real, not for fake! Their are blessings and promises that many of us are missing out on because we are choosing to be double minded. Some of us are choosing to indulged on the, temporary, false promises of the world instead of believing in the everlasting promises of God.
But guess what, when you ask your father in heaven for something, your not going to get it. This is why prayer doesn't work for double minded "Christians!!" We do not always live the life that beliefs with faith. And we certainly lack in the ability to apply our faith in the work that we do for Christ.
"But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways." James 1:6-8
"Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts." James 4:3
"Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." James 4:2
You see, many of us haven't practiced the word, nor applied the word, nor studied , nor talked to God to know the mind of Christ.
But there is good news, even in this. As once confessors of the truth, we belong to God, and he will not leave us nor forsake us, but he will continue to call us back to himself. God will find favor for those who humble themselves and sincerely pray for forgiveness. He gives us this gift of grace and mercy.
His Grace and Mercy will bring us through!
So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed. That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Live your Life for God, and for his Son (the word, who is Jesus Christ). Continue to be directed by the Holy Spirit to achieve this.
With that said let me explain what I meant when I posed the question: Aren't I a Christian if I believe in Jesus?
My answer: . . . it all depends on what your definition of "believe" is . . .
What kind of mind do you have? Do you really have a mind for Christ or do you still want to live life the way you want to live it? Jesus asked: And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? You can "believe" in Jesus all you want, it doesn't mean that you are a follower of Christ, which is the real definition of a Christian. Remember, they were first called Christians at Antioch because the people were following the teachings of Christ. There are a lot of people proclaiming that they are Christians but are not following the ways of Jesus Christ.
So, I pose the question again: Are you really a Christian if you believe in Jesus? Most of us want to proclaim Christianity because we want to receive the promise of eternity, peace, joy, love, and fulfillment in that place we call Heaven. . .
The bible says:
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."
"Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. But someone will say, 'You have faith; I have deeds.' Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?"
I encourage you this day, to start working for Jesus. Be a doer.
"But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves."
Until Next Time.
Extra Credit: What happened to Abraham's brother when they were both tossed in the fire by Nimrod? If you want to know, you have to study . . .