We are in the world but not of the world so what are 4 ways that Christians are to be different from the world?
By This will All People Know
Jesus told His disciples that “just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34b-35). There is something very important here where Jesus said that it is by this loving of one another that “all people will know that [we] are [His] disciples.” This is a cognitive or head-knowledge in which the world (presuming those who are not saved) will know for a certainty that we are His disciples if we are loving one another but not just any type of love but the same kind of love as Jesus says “as I have loved you” and that is a self-sacrificing, life-giving (if necessary) kind of love. When we are that loving we are winsome to people and people are more likely drawn to us and then quite possibly, to Christ.
We Pray for our Enemies
What other religion in the world do you know about where they pray for their enemies? Most religions either teaches complete ignorance of them, hatred for their enemies or to bring them harm them in some way like persecution. Jesus is the only leader of a world religion Who ever prayed for His enemies and even forgave them while they were nailing Him to a cross. We too have been called by God to love our enemies and to also pray for them (Matt 5:44). That is truly one unique way in which Christians are different from the world in which they live.
The Meek Will Inherit the Earth
If you watch any kind of pro sports, the last thing you’ll likely see is humility and humbleness. The meek are thought of as weak and the lowly as those who are treaded upon but those who are Christian try to esteem others better than themselves (Phil 2:3) and honor others more than themselves (Rom 12:10) and do nothing “out of selfish ambition” (Phil 1:17). The Apostle Peter tells us to “be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble” (1 Pet 3:8).
We Do Not Fear
This doesn’t mean that we don’t worry about things in our life because that is our nature. The most often quoted or spoken thing by Christ was “fear not” or “do not worry” because He knew our tendencies to do just that but the absence of fear I am writing about is the fear of God’s judgment. We don’t fear death as much and we have no fear of God’s wrath because it has already been placed on Christ for us. I have recently experienced some near-death occurrences and have done funerals and the look in the eyes of the unbelievers when I tell them that all “people are destined to die once, and after that to [the] face judgment” of God (Heb 9:27) tells me that there are not many atheists on deathbeds. Believers have had their sin judged by Christ at Calvary and now how peace with God (Rom 5:1) but the wicked have no such peace with God (Isaiah 48:22; 57:21) but “only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God” (Heb 10:27).
Shouldn’t we be rejoicing about now because we have the Spirit-given capacity to love one another so that “all men may know” that we are Christ’s, that we are a peculiar people who pray for our enemies, that only the meek will inherit the earth since God resists the proud and will give His grace only to the humble (James 4:6) and that we have no more reason to fear because Jesus became sin for us so that the Father will see us as having the same righteousness as the Son of God has (2 Cor 5:21) and that nothing, not even death, can separate us from the love of God (Rom 8:35-39). This makes us so very different from the world, doesn’t it?
May God richly bless you,
Pastor Jack Wellman[ssba]
Image source: CC BY Brett Jordan
Modifications: text added, cropped
Republished by Blog Post Promoter