Godís Expectations Of Every Christian
By DAVID HOFFMAN, Pastor
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH
POST OFFICE BOX 206 Ė LOWELL, INDIANA 46356
Do you claim to be a Christian? Do you realize that God expects certain actions and attitudes of you? 2 Corinthians 13:5 states, "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves."
I. Relationship Ė Son (Romans 8:16)
Are you 100% sure that you are a born again believer in Jesus Christ? Jesus told a religious teacher, "Except a man be born again, he cannot SEE the kingdom of God." The spiritual birth is conditioned on personal faith in the LORD Jesus. The Lord Jesus declared, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
No church, religion, priest, or any act of goodness or work has any part in your spiritual rebirth. "For by grace are ye saved through FAITH; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)
2 Corinthians 5:17 declares, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." Is there a specific time that you can pinpoint a change of attitude or an alertness in your conscience about your sins?
Has God ever punished you for sinful behavior as faithful parents punish and correct their children? "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth," reveals Hebrews 12:6.
If you have verified your faith in Christ, you are expected to fulfill many obligations in order to please your heavenly Father. As your parents expect certain behavior from you, so your spiritual Father expects proper behavior of you. As a coach expects certain behavior of his players, so God expects holy behavior from His children.
II. Responsibility Ė Service (Col. 3:22-25)
A. Student of the Scriptures
Godís first expectation of the new believer is to learn about his Saviour through a pure Bible. 1 Peter 2:2 says, "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby." 2 Peter 3:18 states, "Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."
Do you desire Godís approval? "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." What you do with the Bible determines what God will do with you. God Almighty expects you to be a fanatic of His written word.
B. Steward of Sanctification
When you learn truths from the Scriptures you are expected to change your life in order to match the Scriptures. True fellowship with God is dependent upon holy living. 1 John 1:7 says, "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."
God expects you to listen to the Holy Ghost when He teaches the Holy Scriptures; so that, you live a holy life. 1 Corinthians 4:2 says, "It is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful." A stewardess is required to faithfully serve the Captain of the ship.
C. Servant of the Saviour
Wise parents expect their children to work. Jesus Christ said, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 5:16)
It is your duty to proclaim the good news of the Lord Jesus. 2 Timothy 2:24-25 commands, "The servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing..." Do you speak publicly of Jesus Christ and His holy word? Are you ashamed of Him?
Your second duty is to verify the truth to others by a sincere life. Titus 2:14 says, "Who gave himself (Jesus) for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. "
D. Soldier of Suffering
Earthly suffering will be the outcome of the preceding three obligations. Worldly and carnal people do not like a fanatic of the Scriptures. A good soldier knows his weapon, the sword.
Ephesians 6:17 orders, "Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. " An ideal soldier masters his spirit. Proverbs 16:32 states, "He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city. "
Paul wisely warned in 2 Timothy 2:1-4, "Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier."
What happens if you neglect to fulfill your obligations to your Saviour? You may forfeit a spiritual inheritance. A child who displeases his father may be disinherited, but he is still his fatherís child. The gifts of life and salvation are free, but awards and rewards must be earned.
Coaches honor athletes who sacrifice to perfect their sport and they are rewarded for their efforts, but the lazy athlete receives no commendation or awards. See Luke 19:11-26.
The Lord Jesus revealed that born again believers will see and enter the millennial kingdom of God (John 3:1-8), but to reign with the Lord Jesus Christ is conditional.
Romans 8:17 says, "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. " 2 Timothy 2:12 says, "If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us."
Colossians 3:23-24 says, "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ." The glorious opportunity to reign with the King of kings may be denied to the lackadaisical and carnal Christian.
Worldly Christians may forfeit rewards. Acts 20:32 reveals, "And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified."
Worldly Christians will be spectators of the millennial kingdom of God because of their new birth, but they will forfeit the spiritual inheritance and opportunity to reign with Christ Jesus. Study Galatians 5:19-21 and Ephesians 5:1-5.
III. Reward Ė Sovereign (Rev. 1:5-6)
Born again believers will face judgment for said obligations at the Judgment Seat of Christ. This unique judgment is revealed in Romans 14:10-12; 1 Corinthians 3:10-15; and 2 Corinthians 5. Please study these passages in the only pure Bible, the Authorized 1611 King James Bible. The purified fire of the Lord Jesus will consume the selfish actions and attitudes of Christians at this judgment.
The perfect standing of the believer is revealed in Colossians 1:21-29; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-23; and 2 Timothy 3:15-17. As individual athletes are rewarded for their special achievements at a banquet after the season, so specific champions of the Lord will be rewarded for their sacrificial service for the Lord Jesus.
As all opponents try to dethrone a champion, so wolves in sheepís clothing will try to dethrone or deceive the prospective champion of the Lord. "Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward," cautions 2 John 8.
Deceivers will subtly alter or malign the rule book without completely informing the potential champion. No athlete can perfect his sport if the rules are constantly altered.
No Christian can be a champion of Christ if the rule book is not pure. Does your pastor believe the book in his hands is perfectly preserved? If he does not believe in the perfect word of God, he will deceive you and you may lose your rewards.
A sincere and dedicated Christian will seek to perfect his life through a perfect copy of the words of God, the Authorized 1611 King James Bible.
Are you faithfully attending a Bible-believing church? You may be a Christian without being a faithful attendee of a Bible-believing church, but you will be hindered in fulfilling said obligations to God.
True success in the Christian life is only attained by faithfully applying the perfect rules of the Holy Bible. See Philippians 3:13-16. g