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Being Christian

Updated: Feb 3

2/6/2022- Let us start with Psalm 15 today:

Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill?

He who walks uprightly, And works righteousness, And speaks the truth in his heart; He who does not backbite with his tongue, Nor does evil to his neighbor, Nor does he take up a reproach against his friend; In whose eyes a vile person is despised, But he honors those who fear the Lord; He who swears to his own hurt and does not change; He who does not put out his money at usury, Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.

He who does these things shall never be moved.

The tabernacle was God’s portable dwelling place, and what David is saying here is God does not dwell with the wicked, but with the righteous. For those that have been called, the Lord is with you (Haggai 1:13). When Jesus Christ calls us (John 14:6), we are expected to act in accordance with His example and His teachings. From the day that Jesus began His ministry in Galilee, He would teach that the kingdom of heaven was at hand, and people needed to repent from their sins. Jesus Christ also explained what sin was by teaching from the Old Testament and even expanded on these. Jesus Christ would use parables but would explain them later and the use of parables fulfilled a prophecy in Isaiah 6.

Once Jesus Christ calls us, we become His representatives, “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us” (2 Corinthians 5:20 NKJV). To be reconciled with God, you must repent from your sins (me included), turn back to God, and ask the Holy Spirit for help in performing His work. For Jesus Christ Himself said that He will send the counselor (the Holy Spirit), and the Holy Spirit will guide you into doing God’s work. But how are we expected to be Christians and walk like Jesus Christ?

Walking Like Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ was God in the flesh and yes, He is the Son of Man. He was perfect and blameless before you or I were ever created. Acting like Jesus Christ seems to be impossible, especially in modern times as sin is contained in a handheld portable device that nearly 83% of the world population has (smartphones). Fortunately, there are scriptures to help us understand how we should be as Christians.

In fact, the apostle Paul wrote a letter to the churches in Galatia. In Galatians 5:22, Paul gives specific characteristics, “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” Paul tells us that there is no law against these characteristics, and “those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” Paul is explaining to us is that we have desires from the flesh, but to walk like Jesus, we must “crucify the flesh” by laying our desires in God’s hand and allowing the Holy Spirit to lead us. Paul also states that, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.” (Galatians 5:24-26).

Paul also wrote a letter to the Christian brethren in Colossae. This was an ancient city in Asia Minor, which is now part of modern-day Turkey. In Colossians 3:12 Paul tells us to “put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.” In this chapter, Paul does not stop there. Look at what else he says:

14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

These characteristics are not to feed our desires of the flesh, but to serve one another in love. Galatians 5:13 reinforces this, “For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” Philippians takes this a step further, “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4). These statements tie into Jesus Christ’s response to the Pharisees and Sadducees when one of them asked what the greatest commandment in the law was. Jesus responded with, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 13:37-40)

Coast, City by the sea, Mountian
Photo Credit: Wix Media.

Brief Recap

To recap, Jesus Christ calls us out of sin to repent, and we become His representatives here on earth. To represent Him, we must act in accordance with Jesus Christ’s example and teachings. We must also lay down our desires, and let the Holy Spirit guide us. In addition, we are expected to be a certain way. Think about the traits that Paul mentions in Galatians and Colossians; love, peace, meekness, longsuffering, kindness, and forgiving. Was Jesus Christ all these things? Yes, He was. Think of the last time you used any of these words to describe someone you know, or even yourself. How many times do these words come up? I know I never used the word longsuffering to describe anyone or myself.

Beloved, I do not want to come across as perfect. I am far from it. I lack some of the qualities that Paul outlines for us. I particularly do not love people enough, and I certainly lack patience. These have become lessons that I am learning in my Christian path, and I have His word as a “lamp to guide me and a light for my path” (Psalm 119:105). But is that not why we are here? We have a lifetime to try and get it right, and the Word of God guides us. John 1 says that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Hallelujah.

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