Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Stop Trying To Be A Christian

Stop Trying To Be A Christian

There are some really hard things to accomplish as a believer. Among them is found that general heading of "Being A Christian". This heading takes in a lot of ground. I am sure that you have either been part of or have over heard or have even been the topic of such statements as: "That person cannot be a Christian because (fill in the blank)."

This means of course that there is some kind of standard set in the minds of individuals as to just what being a Christian means. Sinners have a standard as to what a Christian should be; every denomination has a standard as to what a Christian should be.

This can be very discouraging to a believer. With double, triple and multiple standards it makes you want to "Stop Trying To Be A Christian". The natural result of being put under so many subjective standards leads to one or two choices. 1. You give up completely or 2. You come up with your own standard. But there is another answer, another choice that needs to be considered.

Stop trying to be a Christian and just be one. This sounds like doubletalk but I am really just trying to free your mind from the bondage that you are in. Just listen for a bit. What do you have to lose?

The word of God has the objective answer to the question of what it means to be a Christian. I mean this in the sense of after salvation, as in the sense of the daily walk. Because of this I will have to assume that at some point in time you have put your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for justification before God. You have been convinced of your sinfulness and your inability to do anything about it. You have been convinced by the word of God that the Lord Jesus Christ died for your sins, he became your substitute. You have been convinced by the word of God that Christ was buried and rose again the third day. And in believing the scriptures you have put your trust in Christ alone.

Assuming then that you are a believer and that you want to be a "good Christian" then what is holding you back?

This may come as a shock or a surprise to you initially but if you will think about it, if you will consider it then it can change your life. Here is the key to obtaining the right standard for your walk as a believer.

God is not, has not and never will be interested in your ability to do anything for or for that matter against him. God is not interested in the opinions of others about you. As a believer God is not interested in what you might accomplish for him in your own strength, ability or power.

What God is interested in is His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. Our very acceptance by God comes only through His Son. We have been accepted in the beloved Eph 1:6 . God accepts us because we are in Christ Rom 3:24. What did we do to get into Christ? We believed the report of the word of God when it tells us that we were ungodly Rom 5:6 and without any redeeming value or merit at all Rom 3:23.

What is true in our justification before God is also true in our walk. There was nothing we could do or bring that God would accept in exchange for redemption of our souls. He did it all for us. All he asks of us is to believe the report of the word of God.

Paul writes in the book of Colossians: Col 2:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:. How did we receive him? How did we receive the free gift of eternal life? The word of God speaks again: Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

What then, according to the verses, are the good works we are to walk in? The workmanship is God's. We are his workmanship. He is doing the work. He is doing the walking for us but there is still the variable of our free will evolved.

Just as in justification we must choose to receive the free gift of eternal life and let God do the work for us, so in sanctification we must choose to what is right and let God do the work in us.

Christ is the standard in the walk of the believer. God is the standard for justification in the sense that he must be satisfied. God is satisfied, propitiated, with his son.

Churches may not be satisfied, sinners may not be satisfied, scholars may not be satisfied but God is fully satisfied with the work of His son for us and in us.

The really big question is this: "Are you satisfied? Are you willing to put your life into the nail scarred hands of the Son of the Living God?"

The church at Galatia was in a mess. They had been saved by grace through faith but in their walk they had gradually degenerated to the point that they thought sanctification could be gained by or through their own merit, ability or power.

This is common in churches today. So much so that it has a name. It is called Galatianism. The Galatians were wrong and the church today is wrong when it supposes goodness can come from anywhere outside of God.

Gal 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? 2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

The argument Paul makes here is the same one I have been making. Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Your flesh or the flesh of others, it does not matter - God is a Spirit and he must be worshiped in spirit and the truth.

Stop trying to be a Christian. Stop trying to conform to the expectations of other and just let Christ work in you. Just be who God made you to be "in Christ".

Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth 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.

Will is the issue. Not mine.... but his will be done!