Sunday, August 26, 2012

Action, Not Commission Makes an Officer/Christian

Remember that it is the actions, and not the commission, that make the officer, and that there is more expected from him, than the title.
GEORGE WASHINGTON, Address to the Officers of the Virginia Regiment, Jan. 8, 1756

"For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." James 2:26

Recently, friends of ours from Oklahoma came by for a visit. What a wonderful time of fellowship we had. For me, there is no greater time than when believers share with each other the glorious works of God in their lives. Skip politics. Skip sports talk. Go directly to testimonies.

One thing became clear in our discussion, we were in agreement: the Christian life is about discovering God and all that He is, and in so doing, bringing Him pleasure.

Many place upon themselves the title "Christian" and stop there. But being a Christian is so much more than wearing a title.
"...And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch." Acts 11:26

So who were these people who were called Christians? What set them a part from the Jews and other religions?
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, born of a virgin of the line of David, a king of Israel, came to offer Himself in our place for the payment for our sins.
This man, Jesus, had many people who followed Him while He was on earth. He died on the cross, was buried, and then rose from the dead on the third day. He did this so that those who believe in Him (that He is the Son of God, that He did die in our place, was buried, and rose again) would be reconciled to God, being saved from the eternal damnation brought to them by their sin (those bad things we do like lie, steal, cheat, etc.).
The people who were first called Christians in Antioch were people who believed this. Some of these people knew Jesus personally when He lived on earth. Some of these people heard the stories or listened to the sermons preached by men who knew Jesus personally. All of them would be those who turned from their old beliefs of God or gods to believe that salvation of a person's soul comes from faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

What visible distinction would these people have? How they acted out their faith.
"Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." Matthew 16:24
When we deny ourselves we become dead to the lusts (the desires for pleasure) that rule our bellies. When we follow Christ, the life which we now live in the flesh, we live by the faith of the Son of God (Galatians 2:20). We gain an extra measure of His grace. We become filled with the knowledge of His will and gain the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.
"The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 
"And what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe according to the working of His might power,
"Which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places," Ephesians 1:18-20
 The time with our friends was a time of rejoicing and building one another up, of communing in the Spirit with fellow believers. They were to us examples of Christian officers in action not in title. And I pray that we were so to them.

To God be all glory and honor and praise.

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
II Corinthians 5:17

3 comments:

  1. I love what you said, Lynn, about bringing God pleasure. It really struck me. So often I think that I couldn't possibly bring the God of the Universe any pleasure.. I mean, who am I? Just a lowly human who's made a ton of mistakes.. Yet, to think, to actually consider that God smiles when we approach Him.. that He laughs when we laugh and dances when we dance. Simply amazing!

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  2. Great article, Lynn. And I love your comments, MaryLu. Amen and amen to both of you!!

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  3. What a great post! Thanks for sharing.

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