In my last post I talked about the transformation of the outside when you become a Christian. I want to explain it more here. I am referring to the process of sanctification. Now that is a big, confusing word. Though the idea is really simple, it means to become like Christ. Some people believe that to get forgiven you have to do good things (sanctification) and then you will get forgiveness of your sins (justification). That is not true. Only the cross and Jesus dying on it can get us forgiveness, not anything we do. If we could get to heaven by ourselves Jesus would never have came.
So what does a true Christian look like? Well to state it plainly, like Christ. Christian actually means, “little Christ”, so let’s please try to live up to our namesake (though we can never truly succeed at that). So what does that look like? Well this is Romans 12’s “Marks of a Christian”.
“9Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal [lazy in passion], be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints [Christians] and seek to show hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Now that is a pretty hefty list. I think that I am going to be hanging it on my wall to remind me how to act. We all know hypocrites! We all know how annoying it is when they start preaching at you and you are sitting there thinking, “Yeah, sure say that. Look at your life!”. Now my life is far from perfect (hard to believe right?). These are things that I am working on, but as I grow in my faith, as I become holy, more like Christ, through the holy spirit’s work in me.
Another good list to work on is the fruit of the spirit. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. (I did that from memory, thanks to the song (the fruit of the spirit’s not a coconut! *knocking on my head and clicking my tongue*))
We as Christians are called to be “holy as I am holy” (God is saying this to us). That is beyond human capabilities, but that doesn’t give us an excuse for not pursuing it(Outdo one another in showing honor)! We are commanded to strive for more than we can reach. As a friend of mine pointed out while studying Do Hard Things, “When we set a higher goal and higher bars, we might not reach that, but we will sure do a whole lot better than having a lower standard and not even reaching that.”. I hope this helped you all. If you have any questions leave a comment and I will do my best to answer. Soli Deo Gloria!
In Christ Alone,