What's A Christian?
What's a Christian? Will Just believing the right thing make you a Christian? Only if those beliefs shape your life. What I mean by that is that your beliefs will affect your actions. If belief is acknowledged, but actions fail to follow, something"s amiss. So what does a Christian life look like?
In his letter to the Romans, Paul not only spells out the foundational truth of Christianity but the actions that should follow. He writes and encourages to act on their faith. Here are his words on the subject:
I appeal to you, therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.
For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function.
Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them.
Let love be genuine.
Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.
Love one another with brotherly affection.
Outdo one another in showing honor.
Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
Live in harmony with one another.
Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.
Never be wise in your own sight.
Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God.
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities.
For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.
Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience.
Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.
Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.
You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet.
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.
Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy.
As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.
Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.
Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men.
So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual up-building.
Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats.
Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves,
Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up,.
May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. ( excerpt Romans 12-15)
May God give your strength to live out his life in you by the power of the Holy Spirit.