[Biblemat] S) AM I JUST A CHRISTIAN?
J5827Sasser at wmconnect.com
J5827Sasser at wmconnect.com
Thu Nov 6 04:59:09 CST 2008
Brethren and Friends, Jim Sasser here. Here is a study from my files.
Use to the glory of God.
AM I JUST A CHRISTIAN?
An article appeared several months ago in Truth Magazine
entitled "Is It Possible To Be Just A Christian?" I want to answer
that question, but from a different standpoint. The author brings
out the point that people of the world consider themselves and
others as Christians because they affiliate themselves with a particular
religious organization other than the church that we
read about in the New Testament. A well written article by broth-
er Heath Rogers dismisses that claim by correctly stating, "the
preaching of the apostles did not produce Catholics, Baptists, Pre-
sbyterians, Pentecostals, etc. It produced simply Christians."
Using the same title, "Is It Possible To Be Just A Christian?",
what does it mean to be a Christian," whether it be a Baptist,
Methodist, Catholic, or even a member of the church of Christ?
Just because we regularly go to a building with the name "church of Chirst"
attached to it, that does not authomatically
make us Christians.
Sadly, there are those who think that being a Christian invol-
ves nothing more than being immersed in some water and, after
that, there is nothing else to do. Do we stop growing once we
are baptized? If so, why do we have Scripture that tells us to
grow? 2 Pet. 3:18 commands, "But grow in the grace and know-
ledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory
both now and for ever, Amen."
Do we understand everything about the Word of God and
need not to know anymore? Do we think we have the answers
to everything contained within God's Word? Is it possible to be
"just a Christian?" Can we be idle in the work God has given us
to do and be pleasing in God's sight? There are brethren who
think just because they occupy a space on a pew each Sunday
and Wednesday, such is all they have to do to be a Christian. I
suggest to you that God requires more of us than warming a spot on a pew.
What makes us think we can be idle in the king-
dom of God? Are we going to do as the laborers in the vineyard
(Matt. 20:1-16) who waited until the end of the day to seek work?
Are we going to be idle until the day of judgment and then procla-
im that we did nothing in the name of the Lord? The judgment day will be too
late. "For we are His workmanship, created in
Christ Jesus for good works, which God afore prepared that we
should walk in them" (Eph. 2:10). God created us to do His work
not to sit back and do little or nothing at all. We cannot sit back
and watch the world pass us by. Our purpose upon this earth is
to do God's work.
What does God require of us? The passage of Scripture that
comes to mind is found in Jas. 2:17,18 "Even so faith, if it have
not works, is dead in itself. Yea, a man will say, Thou hast faith,
and I have works: show me thy faith apart from thy works, and
I, by my works, will show thee my faith." Your faith may be strong and
steadfast, but James is telling us that your faith alone is not enough. There is
more than faith that is required of
you. Verse 17 is what we quote most of the time and do not go
beyond that one verse. However, verse 18 is showing us that
we do not have the option to choose between faith or works; rather, it is
telling us that faith and works belong together.
We most definitely need to have faith, but we must prove our
faith by our actions. If you think that your "actions" are attend-
ing worship services, partaking of the Lord's supper, giving of
your means, and the other acts of worship we perform when we
assemble together, then you are sadly mistaken. Do you have
the mind set that because you make your presence known at the assembly, you
are a "good" Christian? Remember what
Paul writes to Timothy in 2 Tim. 3:17: "That the man of God may
be complete, furnished completely unto every good work." What do you think
"furnished completely unto every good work" means? The first part of that
verse says, "that the man of
God may be complete." Other translations use the term "perfect" which means
"complete." Are you "complete" or "per-
fect" enough in your faith that you are willing to risk doing noth-
ing? We have a responsibility to be active in the kingdom of God.
"And whatsoever ye do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the
Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." (Col. 3:17). It is
required and commanded of us
to do all things tht we do in honor of our Lord. No matter what
we do, we are to honor our Lord in everything, even if we are just eating
"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye
do, do all to the glory of God" (1 Cor. 10:31). Give honor and glory to God
We have a responsibility as Christians to be more than mere
pew warmers. We have to preach the gospel to the whole creat-
ion (Mk. 16:15). How can we preach to the whole creation if we
are idle Christians? Jesus says in Matt. 25:32-46 that we will all
be gathered together before the Lord on judgment day and we
will have to give an account of all that we have done during the
course of our lives here on the earth. Take time to read this passage.
How are we going to answer Jesus on that great day? We are not using
Christ as our example if we do not heed His Words
and if we neglect our daily duties toward HIm. Take the example
of Phoebe in Rom. 16. She was one who took care of other saints when in
need. Paul says that she "was a helper of many,
and of mine own self." Are we? There is much more that we can do than what
is talked about here. Take a look and see if you are just a pew warmer or
active in the Lord's work on a daily
basis. Jesus says that we are to take up our cross DAILY and
Ask yourself a question: What MORE can I do to be an active member in
the kingdom of God? You cannot afford to just
sit back and think that you are "doing enough" to get to heaven.
Your presence at worship services is not enough. So answer
the question about yourself: Is it possible to be "just a Christian" in name
only? Even though worship services every
week are a required activity in serving our Lord, it is not all that
we are responsible for. ----- Jonathan Chaffin in Truth Magazine
Vol. 52, No. 4, April, 2008.
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