The world is a marketplace, not only of consumer goods and living standards, but also of ideas. Ideologies drive wars and economies. They impact history and help shape our individual life. Most of us have a primary ideology by which we live. By receiving Christ, we have chosen Christianity and the Book of Ephesians makes it clear what we stand to benefit with this choice. Some of the basic spiritual biblical truths must be discovered. Each must be believed and stood upon as we journey through life.
What it means to be a Christian
A Christian must accept that God is good and He is loved by Him.
A careful reading of the Bible shows that God is involved in a cosmic confrontation with an enemy who wants to harm you and me, and one of the ways He does that best is by getting us involved in doing bad things—what we call sin. The Bible declares that “the wages of sin is death.” Romans 6:23, but God doesn’t want us to die, so He came up with a plan to rescue us: “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16.
A Christian must know God has a purpose for our lives.
God has an eternal plan of salvation for humanity as a whole and for each of us as individuals. The biblical God is a personal God. He pleads, “My son [my daughter], give me your heart and let your eyes keep to my ways.” Proverbs 23:26. The Holy Spirit has been promised to guide us and teach us God’s saving truths: “When He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth.” John 16:13.
A Christian is free from guilt.
One of Christianity’s greatest gifts is God’s free offer of forgiveness through Jesus Christ. An Old Testament prophet expressed God’s offer: “’Come now, let us reason together,’ says the LORD. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.’” Isaiah 1:18. The New Testament tells us this renewal is possible through Christ’s sacrifice.
“In Him [Jesus] we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of God’s grace.” Ephesians 1:7
A Christian should see God as His Friend.
The Bible teaches that God is not distant or disinterested in our affairs. He wants to be our Friend! Jesus said, “I have called you friends.” John 15:15 Life isn’t perfect, but knowing we have a Friend in high places can help us to walk through life’s darkest passages without fear. Christianity is not just simply receiving. It involves constant and deep sacrificial giving. Though, this giving stems from what we have received, a sense of giving will greatly help in our Christian-walk. For instance, a Christian marriage is not guaranteed divorce insurance. Shocked? It’s true. Recent studies reveal that Christians are divorcing at a higher rate than their non-Christian counterparts. If, by facing the truth, we come to understand that a successful Christian marriage requires more than just exchanging vows with someone who goes to Church and claims to follow Jesus, we just might discover the real principles and benefits of Christ-like living that make a happy home. Here are three of those principles.
Being a Christian means we live a sacrificial life.
Of Himself, Jesus said, “Even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45.
True followers of Jesus live sacrificed lives and practise the principles of service that characterized His life. Christians don’t “look out for number one.” They look out for the needs and concerns of others—including their spouse and children. Philippians 2:3, 4. This is because an “it’s all about me” attitude can destroy a marriage. It’s easy to see how an “it’s all about you” attitude practised by both partners will bless a marriage.
A Christian should walk and live in forgiveness.
Since we have received forgiveness for our sins from God, we, in turn, are to “be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave us.” Ephesians 4:32 When we forgive the mistakes of those who share our lives, hard feelings, grudges, and vendettas don’t have the chance to fester and become deep wounds that won’t heal. The two most powerful words uttered in a happy home are “I’m sorry.” Use them often
When, with our Christian stand, we begin to align our lives with the principles of the Words of Christ sent by God, then and only then, would we be Christians of advantage to the world that constantly needs our light.
A Christian has divine help.
In a Christian home, one plus one equals three. God is the unseen partner in the union, and His power to love, forgive, and heal is abundantly available to the couple who prays for and with each other. This one benefit alone provides the best defence against unfaithfulness, selfishness, and abuse. God’s presence in a marriage, not church attendance or mere religious practice, will bring happiness and the kind of home we all dream about.
When we walk in the light of who we are as Christians and live from the vintage position of our identity in Christ, then victory in our home, relationship, business and work is guaranteed.
For Further Study:
Matthew 5:13-16, John 15: 1-27
Questions for Reflection:
- Do you compare yourself with the world?
- What is the difference between a Christian and an infidel?
- Do you know you have help in the Holy Ghost?
Lord, I’ll do my part as the Holy Spirit does His. My life will be a reflection of heaven.