October 15, 2015
It seems as if many professing Christians think that God has changed. Sins that are spelled out in the Bible have somehow become acceptable and living for Jesus is not desirable. “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” Titus 1:16. As Christians, we represent Christ and therefore need to strive to be like Him. That means we need to study our Bible and apply its timeless truth to our life. Our words and actions identify us with whom we serve…God or the world. If we aren’t diligent in guarding our actions we will fall into the ways of the world and accept sin as normal; Christ will be compromised. If you confess Him as your Lord and Saviour, then you need to honor Him with your life; you need to live for Him.
Do you confess your faith in Jesus Christ before men? We are told to take the Gospel to the entire world, and that includes your neighborhood. The mission field is local as well as global. Worldly people around you will watch you very closely, mostly hoping for you to fail so they can mock you…and thus mock Christ. “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead be ye reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20. We represent Christ and it is important to represent Him faithfully. When your neighbors look at you, do they see someone who wears t-shirts with Christian messages on them or puts a Christian bumper sticker on your car, but who lives as the non-Christians do? Your actions speak louder than words. If the people around you see you cussing out a neighbor child for tossing a basketball in your yard, they won’t see Christ living in you. What movies do they see you standing in line for and what music do they hear booming on your radio? If your boyfriend or girlfriend sleeps over at your house you are committing fornication and you are not living for Christ. The neighbors will notice and your choices will compromise your witness for Christ. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16. Glorifying God is the goal for every Christian. Living for Him means that you make choices based upon Scripture.
Too often a Christian will profess Christ with words, but deny Him with their way of life. “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 10:32-33. The word confess is translated from the Greek word “homologeō” and according to Vines Expository Dictionary, it means “to declare openly by way of speaking out freely, such confession being the effect of deep conviction of facts”. Does this describe you? In America we have the right to speak openly about Christ, but Christians are silently giving up that right. Our silence is deafening. Now let’s look at the word “deny”, which comes from the Greek word “arneomai“. Again according to Vines Expository Dictionary it means “to deny by way of disowning a person, as, e.g. the Lord Jesus as Master”. Have you disowned the Lord Jesus as Master? If you’re a Christian who confesses Him with your mouth but denies Him with your life, you’d better take a closer look at Matthew 10:33.You may not truly know Him. Don’t try to use the argument that times have changed since Scripture was written, or that people have progressed and are able to know what God “meant” rather than what He “said”. The same devil who tempts us today has tempted mankind throughout history. God has never changed nor has His truth. Your life should represent Christ and not Satan.
According to the Scriptures, our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit and should be treated as such. After you accepted Christ’s free gift of salvation, did you turn your life over to Him? The justification process takes a lifetime. Study your Bible and apply it to your life in order to honor Him. “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” 1 Corinthians 6:19. That fact should stop you in your tracks. The Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Trinity, lives in you. When you accepted Christ the Holy Spirit was sealed within you and you became God’s possession. Your life should begin to reflect godly changes and show the lost world that you follow Christ. We are saved by the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ and can do nothing to add to our salvation, but that doesn’t mean it’s alright to continue in sin. “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” Romans 6:1-2. You are not doing God a favor by sinning so He can show you more grace. As long as we live in these mortal bodies we will continue to sin, but Christians should be very uncomfortable with the sin in our life. Justification is the process of becoming more like Jesus, and that process will continue until death. In order to move forward in the justification process, study God’s word and know what constitutes sin, then change your way of life accordingly. Is this always easy? No, but each time you fail go to Him and ask forgiveness, then start again trying to live for Him.
There is a trend today for professing Christians to live in the sin that the world accepts. More and more professing Christians see nothing wrong with living with a boyfriend/girlfriend or using vulgar language or watching movies that glorify sin. “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Proverbs 16:25. The way of the world will seem right to human eyes blinded by Satan’s lies, but sin is still sin. If you live your life as a testimony for Christ without compromise, perhaps you will be the example needed for those around you to come to know Christ. Brethren, by not speaking out against sin, our silence seems to condone sin. It has been said that you can preach a better sermon with your life than with your mouth. Live for Jesus and you will speak loudly.
Living for Jesus means making choices based on biblical truth instead of following the ways of the world. “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. We can’t “update” God’s word to make it conform to the world, but we must allow the Holy Spirit to transform us to honor Christ. How many times does a Christian say “I think God would approve of ____” (fill in the blank with your favorite sin). The plain truth is that if the blank is filled with anything that contradicts God’s word, He doesn’t approve. We’re saved by the grace of God and not by works, but if you don’t allow yourself to be changed then how can you live for Him? The Greek word translated “conform” is “syschēmatizō”, and it means: “to conform one’s self (i.e. one’s mind and character) to another’s pattern, to fashion one’s self according to another’s pattern”. To live for Christ means we change to conform to Him, rather than try to force Him to conform to us. We all occasionally make bad decisions that don’t glorify God, but He forgives us if we ask. When a professing Christian consistently makes the same bad decisions, then there’s a problem. Now, before you send emails telling me about the freedom we have in Christ and that works won’t save us, I know about all of that. I’m also aware that when you accept Christ a transformation needs to begin. You need to walk closer to Him and move away from the world and its temptations. Your life should reflect His love.
Brethren, our Lord is being attacked. “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.” John 15:18. The people of the world are under the influence of Satan and have always hated Christ. If you do not live for Him then you no matter what your words say, you have surrendered to the enemy and fall into line with those who hate Him. Moment by moment we have to choose to live for Him. The world may dictate certain ideas and practices as acceptable, but unless those ideas and practices agree with Scripture, Christians must stand against the world. “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” John 15:19. Jesus Christ entered His creation to give us the only way of salvation. God does not want anyone to perish but to live with Him eternally. He has chosen you out of the world, so how can you claim to follow Him yet deny Him with how you live?
God’s word is awesome, and like God Himself, it never changes. Read it, study it, and digest it. Apply it to your life. Study your Bible and learn more of God’s unchanging ways and His unchanging love. Be a good ambassador for Christ and live your life so others see Him in you. Learn to love what God loves and hate what God hates. Remember, God loves the sinner, but God hates the sin. Live your life to honor Christ, not the world.
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