September 10, 2015
Christians represent God. Because of that fact it is important for every Christian to honor God by living according to His will. People around us will then see God living in us and know that we respect Him. Through our actions, we will encourage fellow believers to live godly lives, and perhaps convict a non-believer of their sin and their need for salvation.“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:2. Every day we have a choice of whether to conform to the world or of conforming to God. As I look around it seems that more and more Christians conform to the world.
Once we accept Christ’s sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sin, we no longer belong to our self; we belong to the One who paid the price for our redemption. “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” 1 Peter 1:18-19. The precious blood of Christ…oh what a price He paid for you and me. Remember the price He paid when you’re tempted by the fleshly lusts and desires of the world. Ask yourself if your actions reflect Christ who died for you, or Satan who wants you to conform to the world and a life of rebellion to God. The Holy Spirit is continually working in us to help us conform to Christ’s image and we need to listen to Him. “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.” Romans 13:14.Temptation will always come our way, but if we stand firm upon Scripture and walk close to Jesus, temptation will not turn into action.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Romans 12:1. How do we present ourselves as a living sacrifice to God? By honoring God with our life. There are many things that the world condones which should not be present in a Christian’s life. Foul language does not honor God, nor does dressing provocatively. Tattoos and body piercing are worldly desires, sexual relations outside of a one man/one woman God ordained marriage is outright sin. Yoking with friends who are worldly will only drag a Christian back into the gutter of the world. If we don’t keep ourselves separate unto God we are no longer distinguishable from people who reject Jesus and who live for the world. Remember, we are in the world but not of the world. Our bodies are the temple of God and they belong to Him. We have no right to mar these bodies or make sin a part of our life. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” 1 Corinthians 3:16-17.God dwells within Christians and we are His temple. That fact should humble us and cause Christians to desire to please Him in all we do and say. Remember that when you are tempted by the flesh.
Whatever activity we participate in, whether it is godly or worldly, we take Him with us. He sees what we do and hears what we say. Why would a professing Christian want to take Him into an abortion clinic or a homosexual encounter? God’s word is our guide in life. “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. Once we accept Christ as our Saviour we are justified; our salvation is secure. After that a process of sanctification begins. That is when we begin to grow in our faith and draw nearer to our Lord day by day. Our attitude is molded and we learn to honor God with our life by turning away from the things that Satan, the god of this world, tempts us with. The process of sanctification continues until we are glorified…until death carries us Home to Jesus. In Heaven God is honored and the sins you find so tempting are not tolerated. If you claim to be a Christian begin honoring Him with your life today.
Ephesus was a very pagan city. False gods were worshipped and most people didn’t care about the one true God. It wasn’t so different from our world today. Paul wrote to the Christians there and urged them to honor God. He reminded them that before they came to Christ they belonged to Satan and lived according to the standards of the world. “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” Ephesians 2:1-3. We, like those Christians in Ephesus, were once dead in our sins, but Christ has given us life eternal. The word “conversation” means the way we conduct our life; the way we live. Paul reminded them, and us, that prior to coming to salvation through Jesus Christ we lived according to the lusts of the flesh, but since accepting Christ our life should be changed to honor Him, not Satan. “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)” Ephesians 2:4-5. Christians need to step away from past sin and honor God in all we do. Christ sacrificed His own life so that we can live with Him eternally. That fact should humble us and cause us to honor Him with our life instead of conforming to the ways of the world which is ruled by Satan. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9. Religion is based on works, and there is no salvation in works. Faith in the finished work of Jesus on the cross is the only basis for salvation. The faith we have placed in Christ should bring changes to our life because of love and gratitude for what Christ has done for us, not as an attempt to make us more saved based on works.
If you claim to have accepted Christ but continue in rebellion to Him, you might want to take a hard look at how you live. If you accept the sin in your life as “normal” then you may not have truly asked Christ into your life. “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. Sanctification is a process that continues throughout our life. This process means the sin in our life needs to be recognized and turned away from. I’m not talking about works based faith, but God honoring faith. “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” 1 Thessalonians 5:22. That isn’t easy to do, but if you study God’s word and consciously begin to apply it to your life in all situations it soon becomes a habit. Then, instead of conforming to the evil of this world you will honor God with your life and those around you will see Christ living in you.
“Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.” 1 Peter 2:11-12. Again, the word “conversation” means the way you live and conduct your life. Former friends may speak against you because of your faith, but they will see the good in your life. If you stand fast in your faith you just may lead someone you love to Christ. “Let you light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16.Christians are to be a light that shines out of the darkness of the world, showing the way to Jesus Christ.
Jesus was asked by a scribe what the first commandment is. “And Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31. Jesus quoted this Scripture found in Deuteronomy chapter 6. The Israelites had left Egypt, which was filled with pagan worship of false gods, and were headed to the Promise Land. This land was inhabited by demon worshipping pagans who practiced many of the evils that are common in our world today. God did not want the evil of the Canaanites to influence His chosen people as they entered the land that He gave to them. “Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey. Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: and thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” Deuteronomy 6:3-5. This was true for the Israelites and it was true for the scribe who questioned Jesus. It is also true for us today. If we love God with all our heart, soul, and mind then we will honor Him with our life.
Brethren, be conformed to Christ Jesus and not to the world. “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” Ephesians 5:11. Honor the Lord your God with your life.
God bless you all,
Ron & Nathele Graham
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All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.
This commentary was started by Ron Graham before his death on March 14, 2013, and finished by his wife, Nathele Graham