The Lifestyle of a Christian (Part 2)

In our previous discussion, we established

  • that one becomes a saint the very moment s/he accepts the Lord Jesus Christ as his/her personal Lord and Saviour;
  • that both the Hebrew and Greek words interpreted as saint in English point to a person or object that is most holy;
  • that the saint is called to live a life of holiness, and
  • that the lifestyle of the saint is that of being a heavenly minded person.

As we proceed to discuss into details what is expected of the saint, let’s start by drawing our attention to a few scriptures essential to this theme.

  • In the account of Paul’s conversion in Acts 9, the disciples of the Lord were also referred to as the men and women of this Way (emphasis mine).
  • The Greek word translated way is hodos and means a course of conduct or manner of thinking, feeling or deciding, when used metaphorically.
  • This means the saint has a particular manner of thinking which obviously reflects in his/her conduct.
  • This conduct is expected to be nothing short of the very life of Jesus Christ as He stated in John 14:6; “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
  • Pairing this scripture with Hebrews 12:14; “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord”, it is clear that the only way to see God is the way of holiness which Jesus lived out for all to see, having committed no sin.

Realizing that we of our own accord stand no chance of ever attaining that status of holiness which Jesus Christ achieved for us and has given to us as garments with which to see (optanomai-to appear before) the Father, it behoves of us to preserve that status till the day of meeting. As emphasized by Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:7, … God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness, we need to always be on the lookout for the dos and don’ts of this way to avoid being caught unawares. He also admonished the Philippian saints and all other saints for that matter to “work out their own salvation with fear and trembling.” The phrase work out as used here carries no sense of attaining salvation but maintaining salvation as there is no other foundation that anyone can lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 3:11).

Should Do:

1. Matthew 22:9-14 Keep your holiness garment on.

a) Why was the man questioned? {he looked different from all the others}

b) How did the master address/call him? {friend. Which means there are people with only casual relationship with Jesus but not a relationship that can ensure their entry into eternal life}

c) Was he able to answer the question? {No, he wasn’t}

d) What one thing will speak for us on the judgement day? {holiness}

2. Matthew 24:42: Be alert always as a security guard, guarding your holiness.

a) What are we told to do always? {watch=give strict attention to (our holiness)}

b) Why should we be watchmen (security men/women) of our holiness? {we never know when Jesus will appear to demand it; and since it is our most expensive possession without which we cannot go with him, we need to guard it with our very life}

 

3. Matthew 24:45 & 46: Be faithful, wise and blessed.

a) What is the duty of the servant in this scripture? {to give food to members of the household when they need it}

b) Does the saint have a similar duty? If yes, explain. {Yes, the saint has a duty of giving the word of God to the universal church (both saved and unsaved) and now is the season!

c) What qualifies that servant to be called faithful, wise and blessed? {when he is found performing exactly what he has been entrusted with}

d) How can the saint prove his/her faithfulness, wisdom and blessedness? {by dishing out the word to all souls at any point in time}. We should understand that just as we don’t preach the word to become faithful and wise but rather preach the word because we are faithful and wise, likewise we don’t preach the word to become blessed but rather preach the word because we are blessed to preach.

Should Not Do:

1. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17: Do not defile the temple of God

a) What two (2) things is the saint expected to know? {1. The saint is the temple of God; 2. The Spirit of God dwells in the saint}

b) Is it possible for the saint to defile the temple of God? If yes, how? {Yes, the saint defiles the temple when he/she introduces abominable things (works of the flesh) into the temple 1 Cor. 6:12-20}

c) Is the saint permitted to defile the temple of the Holy Spirit? {No, s/he is never permitted}

d) What is the punishment for defiling the temple of God? {destruction by God. The ultimate destruction by God is to cast the soul into hell temporarily and finally into the lake of fire permanently! Luke 12:4&5; Revelation 20:14&15}

2. 2 Corinthians 6:14: Do not practice the evil of the unbelievers.

a) What does yoke here mean? {A yoke is a wooden bar placed across the necks of two oxen of the same height and stature (strength) with a hoe attached behind for them to pull along to dig up (plough) the earth for planting. The two animals need to move side by side at the same pace.}

b) What does it mean for two animals to be unequally yoked? {When the two animals are different in height and stature(strength), one side of the yoke becomes shorter. Moreover, the weaker animal is not able to work at the same rate as the stronger animal. In such a situation, we say the oxen are unequally yoked}

c) Is it possible for a saint to get unequally yoked with an unbeliever? If yes, how? {Yes, it is very possible. Due to the unbelief of the unbeliever, s/he engages in certain thought patterns and conducts that are contrary to what is required of the saint. Spiritually, the unbeliever is seen as a fetus who is not yet born (again) and the saint seen as a child or man/woman of God. Just as it is unimaginable to see a child or adult having a fetus as a playmate, not to even talk of thinking like that fetus, when the saint begins to associate with the unbeliever to the extent of adopting the thinking and conduct patterns of the latter, it is a case of being unequally yoked. This is, however, not to say that the saint should cut every relationship with the unbeliever, since we need the relationship in order to speak the word, but be very circumspect in relating with a fetus (unbeliever) in order not to reduce him/herself to the level of the fetus. Just as a mother can speak to a developing fetus without adopting the thought and conduct pattern of a fetus, the saint can equally preach to the unbeliever without ending up as an unbeliever!}.

d) On what two (2) divides are the saint and unbeliever placed? {1. Righteousness versus Lawlessness. 2. Light versus Darkness. Interestingly, there is no law inside the womb by which the fetus should operate! Moreover, there is darkness in there. Food for thought}.

3. Matthew 24:48-51: Do not take your eyes/focus off Jesus.

a) What word is used to describe a servant who says “My master is delaying his coming,’? {Evil servant}

b) What two things do evil servants do? {1. They beat up (bully) their fellow servants; and 2. They eat and drink with the drunkards (they become unequally yoked with the unbelievers)}

c) Do we experience such things in these days among the saints? If yes, give examples. {Yes, enmity/begrudging among supposed men of God; bullying of church members; practicing things that hitherto were done by unbelievers right in the chapel; etc.}

d) Will the Lord Jesus announce His date of Coming? {No, He won’t}

e) What shall happen to saints caught by the Lord Jesus in these acts on His return? {they shall be given a place with anyone who chose to remain a fetus (unbeliever) till that day; the lake of fire}

f) What shall be characteristic of inhabitants of the lake of fire? {They shall be weeping and gnashing their teeth for all eternity.}

Beloved, the choice is now yours. For God so loved [everyone in] the world that He gave His only begotten Son [to die for our sins so that He (God) can forgive our sins], that whoever believes [that Jesus Christ truly died for him/her] should not perish [be cast into the lake of fire] but have everlasting life [dwell with God forever]; John 3:16, emphasis mine.

Don’t remain a fetus; get born again and grow into an adult saint awaiting the coming of the Lord and Master Jesus Christ.

If you are a saint and yet have compromised, rededicate your life and allow the Holy Spirit help you lead your life in holiness, for that is what He is sent to do.

SEE YOU IN HEAVEN! STAY HOLY!!                                                  

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