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july
Feb 11th 2009, 01:54 PM
When Christians Become UnChrist-like... (http://julykillua22.multiply.com/journal/item/434/When_Christians_Become_UnChrist-like...)
Feb 11, '09 9:00 PM


Paul started the eleventh chapter of 1 Corinthians with these words, "Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ." Interestingly, I have never heard this verse preached in the pulpit, nor have I found any Christian who is bold enough to make this assertion. I think that over the years, the quality of what it takes to be a Christian is losing its hold.

In the book God: The Evidence, atheist-turned-Christian Patrick Glynn said this, "Part of the reason for Christianity's rapid spread, historians have remarked, was simply that the early Christians and their service to the poor and downtrodden attracted new adherents. Christians astounded the ancients with their Charity."

Towards the end of the second century, Christian author Tertullian writes, "We are but of yesterday and yet we already fill your cities, island, your palace, senate and forum, we have left to you only your temples." What Tertullian is saying here is that 150 years after the death of Christ, what started from one man has now flourished into the whole Roman Empire. Christians are like wildfire devouring an entire forest. Everywhere you turn, you'll see Christians. That's the speed of Christianity's growth inspite of the bloody persecutions laid on their shoulders.

Historian John Woodbridge added, "One explanation of its rapid spread... is that many Christians were not just taking care of their own, but they were caring for neighbors, the poor, and widows, the hurting, and they were basically very loving. They showed compassion toward children, who were often treated very callously by the Romans and Greeks at birth, especially baby girls. The lifestyle of Christians matched their teachings, so that many early Christians were not afraid to say, 'Imitate us as we imitate Christ.'"

"Unfortunately, in contemporary evangelicalism sometimes people say, 'Don't look at us, look at Christ,' because we are worried what people will find if our own lives are scrutinized. That wasn't true of many of these early Christians---there was consistency between their beliefs and behavior."

Friends, if you'd ask me if my life is on par with the quality of the Christians living in the first century, I'll be very honest that I'm still far. I still have a long way to go. I do not know where you are at... but I know where I am at. In 1 Thessalonians, Paul wrote:


You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.

1 Thessalonians 1:6-7


Friends, it is easier for you to prove to me that you are saved than to prove to me that you're a Christian. Let me repeat. It is easier for you to prove to me that you are saved than to prove to me that you're a Christian. You see, true Christians will never tell anyone to immitate Christ and not himself. True Christians are role models. They are God's emmisary to this world, to show the world that the spirit living in us is not of our own but that of the Spirit of God. It's fascinating to observe that preachers and evangelsits would talk boldly about the supernatural change that Christ brings yet show so little of that supernatural change in their lives.

I have avoided writing the next few sentence that comes after this for many many months now. In those months, it laid upon me a heavy burden. Thus, I believe that the time has come for me to write this. FAITH, my friends, IS NOT ENOUGH. If you do not believe me, get your Bible and take out all your presuppositions injected in your mind by your friends, priests and pastors and start reading it from start to end and find out for yourself if the Bible truly says that faith is all that you need. You see, the first requirement that God gave men is not to believe in Him. The first requirement that God gave us is to OBEY. Having faith is simply the fruit of Obedience. A fruit is no greater than the tree that produces it. In the same way when Jesus used the vine and branches metaphor where He is the vine and we are the branches, so is faith is no greater than obedience. We all know that apart from having faith, Jesus has laid down a series of things that we should do which can easily be summarized in this one verse:


I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.
John 13:15


Did Jesus say that faith is all that you need and forget about obeying other things God has required of you? The answer is no. I challenge you to read your Bible and see for yourself whether or not what I have just written is the truth. Rehoboam had his faith, yet God's anger burned against him. Not because of his unbelief, but because of his disobedience. In the same way, Paul reprimanded the Corinthian church, not because of their faith, but because of their disobedience.

In the anime Bleach, one of the characters said, "We captains are to be role models. If we refuse to obey the Law, then who will?" You can never say that "I choose obey Jesus when he tells me to have faith but I choose not to obey Jesus when he tells me to love my enemies." Partial obedience is DISOBEDIENCE... and disobedience entails punishment.

You can never win people to Jesus with your faith. You win people to Jesus through good works. I, as a person, never found Islam pleasing. While their faith in Allah is superb. the hostility of its adherents repelled me from bowing down to Allah. Non-believers judge you not by the faith you have but by the works you do... and until you realize that faith and good works are two requirements of a Christian that can never be separated, you will never live a complete Christian Life. I challenge anyone who would tell me that good works is not a requirement to live a life of faith devoid of good works and see if that worldview will put a smile on God's lips.

Know that I am not trying to attack any denomination here. But I write to challenge the incorrect mindset many Christians are having and in turn diminish the quality of Christianity today by injecting unlove and ungrace to the life of its adherents. You are called to be Role Model dear friends. Christians are holy people, set apart to be Role Models especially to unbelievers. Can someone with faith yet devoid of good works be a role model? The answer is No. When Christians become unChrist-like, they need to be shaken and be awaken from their senses. Think it over. We all have much to learn.

TODAY'S PRAYER

Heavenly Father we thank You for this day that You have given us. Father, Christianity has diminished in its quality by crowning believers as Christians with half baked wisdom. Father, help us realize that obedience to Your Word needs to be part of our lives. We know that obedience is hard, but because we love you, we will endure the difficulties of living a life not only of faith, but also with the good works You required of us.

All these we pray in Your Most Holy Name,

AMEN!

Grace and Peace be with you.