I marvel sometimes at how little the faith we profess seems to impact how we actually live life. The hope that the Bible declares to us, for example (see Romans 5:2-5), should stand in contrast in the Believer’s life with the patterns of hopelessness that surround us in the world. The joy of Christ, as another example (see 2 Corinthians 8:2), should be as day is to night when compared with the morose mentality of most these days.
Obviously, qualities of a redeemed life should be evident if indeed that life is truly redeemed. Is God truly sovereign and working in all things? Is He truly good and loving? Is He truly righteous and just, holding accountable people who do what is wrong? Is He truly able to forgive my sin, all of it, forever and ever?
The Bible tells that He is all these things and that Jesus is God’s testimony and demonstration that all of these things are found perfectly in Him.
So if He is all these things, and my life, when reconciled to Him through faith in Jesus, is saved from sin’s penalty and power, then ought my life to show it? Should it not be evident in me that these things are true and have taken place? That they are real and are relevant just as much today as when the words were first written?
Well, the obvious answer is yes. Of course! And if the answer is yes, then there are practical ways that the “yes” should be worked out in my life! “So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:1-5 ESV).
A Christian who puts himself above others or pursues his own benefit at the cost of others (whether materially, emotionally, or socially), has cast doubt on the genuineness of his own conversion no matter what title he holds or occasional good deed he does.
This means that my character and conduct should be entirely lived out as though I really believe that God is watching my actions, hearing my words, and exploring my heart. Whether what I do or say is known or not by others, I must realize that a genuine salvation produces a genuine (thoroughly true) response of humility, faith, awe of God and consideration of others. And most of all, it renders a heart of true love for God and for the people that He has entrusted to me in relationships.
So if you profess to be a Christian, ask yourself the question, to what extent has God’s gift of salvation really changed me? And to what extent do I still need transformation? As He through His Word, the Bible, answers those questions, rest assured that He will help you to further progress in your walk with Him, growing in love, joy, peace, hope and faith.
Thom Mollohan and his family have ministered in southern Ohio the past 25 years, is the author of Led by Grace, The Fairy Tale Parables, Crimson Harvest, and A Heart at Home with God. He blogs at “unfurledsails.wordpress.com”. Pastor Thom leads Pathway Community Church and may be reached for comments or questions by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed are the work of the author.