What is Expected of Christians?
Jumping back into Scripture as we look at what is, most likely, the most convicting subject for us as Christian writers. I consider it the most convicting because of the accountability it places us under as God’s children and ambassadors. In addition to this being a study, it is also a solemn warning. By writing for others, even through fiction, we are teaching and setting an example for others. This is not to be taken lightly.
You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law? For “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,” as it is written.Romans 2:21a; 23-24
My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.James 3:1
We must beware that we are representing God rightly. So what is expected of us?
Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.1 John 2:3-6
To sum up what John is saying: If you’re going to claim to be a Christian, it should be obvious because you’re obeying Christ’s commandments and have made Him the standard of your life. Is that to says we must be perfect? No! Even in Christ, on this earth it is impossible, but we cannot as Christians continue to live in a pattern of sin.
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?Romans 6:1-2
And what was Christ? Was sin found in the Sacrificial Lamb?
“Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth.”1 Peter 2:22
What shall we do, then? There are many lengthy lists in Scripture of what not to do, but what can we do?
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are if good report, if there is any virtue, and if there is anything praiseworthy- meditate on these things.Philippians 4:8
Other passages include 2 Corinthians 6:14, Matthew 5-7, and the book of James. But what be like Christ? What is the purpose? Take a look at 1 Corinthians 10:23-33 on your own, and I’m going to highlight a couple parts of the passage.
All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.1 Corinthians 10:23
In the context of the passage, Paul is talking about not causing another believer to stumble in a point of weakness because of your actions. We are to be examples to the brethren.
Therefore whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.1 Corinthians 10:31
We are to be like Christ and to do whatever we do with the highest goal being to glorify Almighty God. Spend some time in the Word learning about who He is and why He deserves all the glory (I highly recommend Kay Arthur’s “Lord, I Want to Know You” study. Link on the resource page.)
In an effort to keep this installment from being unbearably long, we will pick this question back up next time. For now, we know that we are expected, as Christians, to be like Christ, be an example to the brethren, and bring glory to God.