Obedience Is Not For Wimps
Living As An Unsaved Person
Has the question of whether or not you really are saved ever come to your mind? People, especially you, should be able to see the difference between a Christian and an unsaved person. Simply because of the way Christians are instructed to live. The Bible is our source of guidelines for Christian standards. In the book of Ephesians, Paul emphasized that we are to leave behind the old life of sin once we become followers of Christ. But too often many of us still want to cling to our old life, or even worse, become selective in our obedience to God.
If, by chance, you've asked yourself that question regarding being saved, first you must understand what a Christian is. A Christian is anyone who has the Spirit of God living in him. Therefore, if you have earnestly trusted Jesus for your salvation and professed Him as Lord, then the Holy Spirit has come into your life, and you are saved and you are a Christian. Now the question is: Have you completely given your life to Jesus? If you are still after the flesh and living as an unsaved person, you may have to reevaluate your commitment. If you are compromising your Christian values, you may have to examine who you really belong to -- God or Satan.
On the contrary, if you have completely surrendered to the Holy Spirit's leading, you will begin to act as God directs in the latter half of Romans 8:5 (read your Bible). A sincere Christian will want to obey God because His ways keep us in obedience to Him. On a daily basis, Christians must consciously choose to center our lives on God. When the Holy Spirit points out what is right, we should obey Him eagerly. A surrendered life to the Holy Spirit will produce Christ's characteristics as outlined in Galatians 5:22-23 (go to your Bible). These two verses describe the characteristics of the Fruit of the Spirit. With those qualities of Fruit rooted into your life, you will not only be living in the Spirit, but also walking in the Spirit (verse 25).
When we continue to live as the unsaved, we allow that old sinful nature to rule us. We fall prey to the sins that nature produces. If you are ignoring the Holy Spirit and not decisively dealing with the works of the flesh, and if you are ignoring those natural evil desires, then you are still living as the unsaved. Galatians 5:19-21 identify those evil desires as the works of the flesh and explain how those works are manifested. Be aware, ignoring sins and wimping out on God have a frightening consequence as warned in verse 21 (read that verse). That warning should stir up some critical thinking about where you want to spend eternity.
Ephesians 4:17-24 clearly admonish us not to live as the unsaved. And it goes without saying that the Christian life is a process. At conversion, we have a new nature, and we don't automatically have completely good attitudes. The process we engage is discipleship and daily listening to God through His Bible and Bible teachings. Through that process we allow the Holy Spirit to change and mature us.
Now, ask yourself: Am I really a Christian? Now, examine yourself in this manner: Since your conversion, do you see a process of change for the better in your thoughts, attitude, and behavior? Change is a day-by-day process. It comes about if you trust God to change you and if you consciously follow and obey His commandments daily. For more study on our new nature as Christians, see Romans 6:6; 8:9; Galatians 5:16-26; and Colossians 3:3-8.
Look for my next article concerning obedience