Written and media by Bradley Stubbs.
The way we fight being conformed to the world is through a real relationship with Christ. If we want a real relationship with Christ we have to understand that intellectual knowledge of Christ alone is not a relationship and will not get us into Heaven. Some churches want an easy answer for what it means to be a Christian. They say that if we know who Christ is, go to church, or do mission work, then we are saved. This is a lie. Even the demons know who Christ is and they shudder. Christ mentions the phrase “on that day,” in Matthew, meaning the day when we will see Christ face to face. Many will say to Jesus, “Lord, Lord” and He will say, “depart from me for I never knew you.” The only thing that will save you is having a real relationship with Christ and that takes time and effort. You would talk to your wife every day if possible, so you should also talk to God every day, especially since that is always possible. Share with God the good and the bad in your life and then listen to what He has to say to you. Christianity is not easy, but it is worth it.
Having a real relationship with Christ is following the commands of Jesus because you love Him. In Jewish culture when one country did something for another, that country would follow their laws to show their appreciation for what they did for them. God talks about how He freed the Israelites from slavery in Egypt so they should follow His laws. Jesus died on the cross for you to have eternal life and showed the most love anyone could for you, so you should love Him and follow the commands He gives in the Bible. This requires you to read and study the Bible to know what the commands of Jesus are. If society says something is right but the Bible says differently, we should follow the Bible. The means taking in things that are Holy and pleasing to God to discern what is God’s will. The Bible talks about this in Romans 12:2. What we take in controls our actions.
Having a real relationship with Christ is being willing to die for Him. That means caring for the orphan and the widow, even if it puts you in danger. It means welcoming the stranger to our church and home knowing there are always risks. We do mission work whether that is at home or in another country. We share our faith knowing we could be persecuted for it. Jesus says, “blessed are the persecuted,” so it is actually a positive thing if you are being persecuted because it means you are sharing your faith with others.
How do we transform the world? By producing fruit the world needs, we are cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit. If you want peace from God you have to first have peace with God. When people see you having self-control and peace along with all the other amazing fruits of the Spirit, they will begin to want it for themselves. This is one opportunity to share the Gospel with others.
Some of you might need to repent of your actions and turn back to Christ to reconcile that relationship. Some of you may not have ever had a real relationship with Christ and today you want to begin. I encourage you not to wait. If you have a real relationship with Christ, then you understand belief alone is not enough, you follow the commands of Jesus because you love Him, and you are prepared to die for Him. You will produce fruit in your life and you will transform the world for Christ.