Don't just talk about it, BE ABOUT IT!
[ Faith up to your conviction ]
As someone who has grown up in the Christian faith, I'll be the first to agree with many non-believers on their assertion that "Christians are the problem with Christianity."
The term Christian is used so loosely it's hard to determine what or who a Christian truly is -- at least by original intent. Too bad Noah (Webster, not the Ark builder) is no longer involved in shaping the English language, but Dictionary.com defines Christian as "relating to or professing Christianity or it's teaching" and goes on to describe "a person who has received Christian baptism or is a believer in Christianity." WRONG!
If you're a believer in the Bible's historical, devotional, and doctrinal truth, you know it's a self-defining Book - and a Christian simply believes in the true God revealed in scripture, nature, and within us if we've received Him. God created all things and sent his only Son to be the payment for ALL sin (yours, mine, OURS) and the recipe for eternal success requires one ingredient: trusting in and calling upon Lord Jesus Christ by confessing your sinful shortcoming and professing Him as your only Saviour. Jesus has a grand-scale plan when He became man to dwell among us: Defeat sin and death for ALL mankind, so that we wouldn't have to! Spoiler alert: HE DID IT (which is very good news, because we never could).
Once you've asked Jesus Christ to be the Lord of your life and to set up shop inside your heart and spirit, reviving your triune being - that's both the beginning (of your newness of life) and the end (of your self-doubt settling eternity). Just like the Godhead, you/me/we originally (with Adam) made as a special (set apart) creation, unlike the animal kingdom, intended to be complete in the similitude of God's image [see Genesis 1:26], but Adam (our genetic progenitor and patriarch) caused 1/3 of that body, soul, spirit trio to die.
Without the spirit being revived or "quickened" by the living God (resurrected Jesus) you're not complete. That's why separated from Him, we feel so hopeless, chasing whatever pursuit, goal, or fill in the _________ vanity and pride offers as a flimsy temporary purpose and heading. Beyond hopeless...we're lifeless without Him. Trapped in a ticking time-bomb of destined-to-die flesh.
Since we've established what a Christian is...what does a Christian "look" like? Many people claim the name Christian, but how can you tell? One word: FRUIT. Have you ever spent time with a professing Christian and wondered how they claim Christianhood and live like the world? Not just living like it, but unashamedly part of it, all about, it and nodding along to the soundtrack. It's done everyday. I've done it, and you've done it. The x-factor is plain and simple: CONVICTION.
Having the Holy Spirit living within us doesn't grant a supernatural solution curing our sinful nature. Living with a flesh (another word for our desires, like a snail inside of his shell, our home is unfortunately also our nemesis). If you carry on in sin while the Lord tarries on waiting for you to call upon Him, that's a symptom of something missing (salvation). Chances are He's at the door knocking, but it's hard to hear with the distractions and noise of the world turned up to 11. Because He's a loving God that wants your heart of your own free will, He's not going to force His way in. Light has no place with darkness, and we're either for or against Jesus. Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. (mammon described the world-system, basically idol worship and using your influence or position to enlarge your vanity and tear down others).
So what is "fruit?" Fruit is the result or reward of an action or series of decisions to provide an expected and worthy end; just like in nature fruit is the result of abiding in a vine and fully maturing through time and proper use of nutrients to produce something worthy of enjoying.
As a Christian the world is always looking at us through a magnifying glass, waiting for us to mess up so they can bask in the "Got ya" moment, while creating their own watered down imaginary version of Christ by observing your actions as a Christ-ian. Remember...we're representatives and ambassadors! James 1:22 says "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." We are called to be a light to the lost world around us, and if we're professing to be Christians, we better be reinforcing that claim (words) with a pattern of thoughts and deeds (doing) seeking out the approval of our God. Not works-based salvation, but worth-based sacrifice...because He is WORTHY of our everything.
If you're convicted, and justifying it in your heart (the matters of life come forth from the heart after all, sin isn't an intellectual concept) as "not that bad as _________," or looking around you at others to create new standards of what's appropriate or not; God has one standard, and it's as unattainable as it is unchanging. Thank God we can't live up to His perfection by the way, because what need of Him would we have? We desperately needed a perfect sinless sacrifice, to provide what we could never earn, and therefore can NEVER lose. Our one-and-done eternal assurance of our afterlife.
If you're trapped in the devil's device thinking "I'm not as bad as they are" you're basing your eternity by looking down, when we should all be looking UP for our standard, our shield, and our Saviour! Jesus Christ was and is our example - start and end your self evaluation there, and whether or not you're worthy of taking on His name as "Christian." We're likely the only Bible, the only Jesus, the only Christian the world will ever 'read,' 'see,' and base their opinions on. Are you giving God a good name, and a reputation worthy of His free gift of salvation? Would Jesus be using profanity, using God's name as a cuss word, drinking alcohol, smoking, watching pornography, cheating on his spouse, lying, worshiping false gods, stealing, or...vacuuming babies from mothers' wombs and dismantling their fragile living bodies by ripping their limbs out of socket with forceps?
Think about God's actions on that cross to purchase you, then think on your actions on a daily basis...are you earning your purchase price? Give God glory, make Him look good, and give this world the best representation of His goodness, as His representative.
BE A LIGHT to the world, BE OBEDIENT to God, BE KIND to others, and BE AWARE of your actions -- God is, and the world is, don't be the only one clueless about your conduct. Wear your nametag and be worthy of it..."CHRISTIAN!"
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