Are You Making False Claims
Nowadays so many are professing to be Christians. Are they? Wherein lies their proof?
"The partisans of the several sects of philosophers of old paid great regard to the dictates and practice of their respective teachers and sect-masters, much more should the Christian, he who professes to abide in and with Christ, aim to resemble his infallible Master and head, and
conform to His course and prescription."
"Christians must be of Christ's mind. We must bear a resemblance to His life, if we would have the benefit of His death." - both quotes from Matthew Henry
In this day and hour, it is very common to hear the crowds confessing of Christ - "I know Him...I live in Him...I am in the Light."
But after closer examination of their lives, you have to wonder how they came up with such conclusions.
For many, these are false claims. The truth of the matter is that they really do not know Christ...they are not connected to Him in any way, shape, or form...and they certainly are not children of the Light.
How do we know this?
Because their lifestyles say the total opposite.
In the above quotes from Pastor Henry, we see that disciples "pay great regard to the dictates and practice" of their Masters. They aim to resemble them and conform to their course of life.
Since Christians are followers of Christ, this same principle applies. The proof that they are His students is that they resemble Him in their philosophies and every day walk.
In the midst of so many false claims to Christianity, how do we keep from being a phony or a hypocrite?
There are three arguments to consider -
1. Be Conformed To The Image Of Jesus
1 John 2:4 - "He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in Him."
Romans 8:29 - "For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren."
There are those who are saying - "I know Him..." yet they really don't.
How can we know if we know the Lord?
In Philippians 3:10, Paul seemed to indicate that knowing Him constituted knowing Him in the "power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death."
Most people love the part about being filled with God's power, but they don't want to pay the price in order to get it.
We cannot know His power without being conformed to His death.
What does it actually mean when it says in the Word that we are to be "conformed" to His image or His death? It simply means that we are to take on His form...we are to share in His death.
How does this take place?
How does any Potter mold and shape his clay into an image? By applying pressure.
So it is through pressure and various forms of suffering - obeying God no matter what the cost...choosing His will over one's own - that a believer becomes conformed to Christ's image.
This is the one - who chooses the pattern or path of suffering while dying to his will and way - who really knows God. Any other person - who chooses to escape this path of obedience and death to self - is a pretender and guilty of making a false claim.
2. Settle Down In Christ
1 John 2:6 - "He that saith He abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked."
So many today are claiming a life in Christ. Do they really have it? What is their proof?
The Apostle John made it very clear in this verse as to who actually is enjoying life in Jesus. It is the one who is living the Christian life. He is patterning his lifestyle after the teachings of his Master.
His communion with God is not sporadic in any sense of the word. It is without intermission or end.
How do we know this? His abiding is evidenced by a life filled with habitual obedience and modeled after Christ. In other words, he imitates the Lord - lives and acts like Him - in all things.
3. Practice Humility
1 John 2:9 - "He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now."
Philippians 2:5 - "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus."
Many claim to have the Love of Jesus in their hearts when the total opposite is true. They simply do not have Christ's "mind;" hence, they do not see things from His perspective.
In this verse, "hating one's brother" does not constitute being ill-tempered toward another. Surprisingly, it means having the attitude of indifference to the needs of others by failing to respond in love. In other words, when you see that your brother is in need and you have the means to help, you are actually "hating him" when you ignore that need or turn the other way as to no longer see the need.
What was Paul referring to when he admonished the believer to "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus"? What is the "mind of Christ"?
Adam Clarke explained it this way - "Christ laboured to promote no separate interest; as man he studied to promote the glory of God, and the welfare and salvation of the human race. See then that ye have the same disposition that was in Jesus: He was ever humble, loving, patient, and laborious; His meat and drink was to do the will of His Father, and to finish His work."
Those who claim to "walk in the Light" are the ones who are living sacrificially and doing nothing out of selfishness - while caring and doing good for others. They humbly place their fellow man before themselves - always taking on the disposition of a servant - for the glory of God and the salvation of others.
What about the claims concerning Christ - "I know Him...I live in Him...I live in the Light"?
Are they true or false in your life?
Are you professing to know Him while trying to escape any form of suffering or dying out to your Self Life? Are you telling others that you are "in Christ" yet your lifestyle is not patterned after His but the devil's? Do you claim to have the "mind of Christ" yet you live for yourself and your own lusts, pleasures, and self-aggrandizement - while totally ignoring the needs of those whom God places in your life?
The world is tired of people making False Claims to Christianity. People are earnestly pleading for the "real deal" to manifest.
It is as if they are crying out - Will the real Christians please stand up? Are you one who is standing at this moment?
May God Bless His Word.
P. O. Box 383016
Duncanville, TX. 75138-3016
Copyright 2004 by Connie Giordano
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