I’m just going to put this out there. It can be very disheartening to meet professing Christians who have obviously never actually submitted their lives to the Lordship of Christ.
I’m going to follow this statement with the admission that I struggle with sin daily. I am surprised by how easy it is to think unkind thoughts; to not want to do the right thing. I have downright blown it.
The difference is in the intention, I think. Romans 7 outlines it clearly: Christians will fight against sin nature as long as they are here on earth. The very fact that we wage war against our natural, sinful inclinations is the evidence that the Spirit of God lives within us. Whenever I ask myself if I am truly in the faith (a wise thing to do from time to time as stated in 2 Corinthians 13:5 ), no matter how much or often I’ve fallen, the conviction of right and wrong, coupled with repentance and an earnest longing to be obedient quiets my fears. I believe, even through my doubts. I have been changed, made new. I am His.
So it will be for everyone who is filled with the Holy Spirit. That’s why, when I converse with “Christians” who are able to laugh at their sin, claiming the blessings of God but revelling in darkness all in the same breath, I am saddened and scared for them.
We might be able to convince others. Maybe we’ve convinced ourselves. We said a prayer once. Maybe we’ve grown up around people who have modeled a shallow version of Christianity, and that’s all we know. It is important to ask: Did anything actually change, most importantly our hearts? Do we love God, like for real? Are we a light in this world or are we part of the darkness? Is our life’s motto “Thy will be done” or “I do what I want!”?
These questions are not meant to be mean, but they are certainly worth asking for anyone who claims to be a Christian. We all get it wrong sometimes, but by all means let’s not stay there!
The beautiful reality of the love of Christ is what draws us to the Father. Our gratitude for his sacrifice gives us the strength to lay down sin and choose a different way, the way he has modeled for us: love, peace, joy, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control. Have you experienced this?
Faith saves us, but true faith will always produce change.
Have you been changed?
It’s definitely a journey of progress, not perfection, and filled with grace, second, third,and fourth chances.
Let’s dare to examine ourselves, and submit whatever it is we’ve been holding back to God’s will. Let’s dare to live differently.
“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?”- Romans 6:1-2