What type of Christian are you?

Posted: September 10, 2021 in Shared Thoughts

In the world there have always been basically two types of Christians.

One type has many strong convictions, at least in the beginning. That is basically because when they first hear the Gospel and come to Christ, they seek Him to help them be the kind of Christian they should be. Naturally, He does. His spirit, the Spirit of Truth, begins by opening up and illuminating His word to them, revealing His will as to what is expected of them. Thus, they come under conviction of His Holy Spirit as He begins to expose those subtle things in their lives that are not compatible with His holiness, things contrary to His purpose and will, things therefore which consequently need to be either faithfully embraced or forsaken if they are to continue both to walk with and grow in Him.

1st John 1:7 – But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

This Gospel truth reveals the critical “relationship” Christians need to maintain, a holy communion with Jesus Christ and God our Father, which is necessary if we are to walk, live, and worship in the Spirit of Truth. A Christian must be ever purposing to be yielding to God and abiding in Christ as He faithfully endeavors to make us His holy and “peculiar people.”

John 15:4 – Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5 I am the Vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

Romans 12:1 – I beseech you therefore brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not [continue to] be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you might prove what is that good and pleasing and perfect will of God.

1st John 1:3 – That which we have seen and heard we declare unto you, so that you also may have fellowship with us, and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.

At first, there is usually a noble attempt to do the right thing, but because many have not truly surrendered fully to Christ, He can’t empower them so as to have victory over their sin, for they are not in truth wanting to “abide in” Him. For if He did empower them, it would in truth be disregarding their freewill, because in their hearts, having an affection still for the things of the world, they don’t really want to resist all the temptations in their lives. These are just like those who followed Christ only because He fed them with the bread and fish, and were willing to have Him as a King over them as long as He would continue to do so, but did not however want to eat of His flesh and drink of His blood. No, their hearts actually want to continue in their ways and be sustained by Him. They believed in Him, but in truth did not have faith in Him else they would have loved Him.

John 6:14 – Then seeing the miracle that Jesus did, those men said, “This is truly the Prophet, the One coming into the world.” 15 Therefore when Jesus perceived that they would come and take Him by force, that they might make Him a king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain alone by Himself… 26 Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, You seek Me not because you saw the miracles, but because you ate the loaves and were filled. 27 Do not labor for that food that perishes, but for that food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of man will give you. For God the Father sealed Him.”

In all this we can see the purpose why temptation is allowed in our lives; it serves to prove to oneself the trueness of their heart. We see this with Adam in the garden, for as long as he did not eat of the forbidden tree, he could know his love was faithful and true towards God. But by his choosing to eat the forbidden fruit, it revealed how his love for God could be deceived, and thus lessened and corrupted, and directed towards something or someone else. But did Adam fully understand all this at that moment, or did his eyes and carelessness allow him to be distracted and ensnared?

Even though these first type of Christians are convicted, like Adam they are distracted by the world and easily drawn back to their sins; for in truth, they do not believe their sins are deadly and therefore do not really want to give them up, at least not all. Therefore, being double minded, if they do not recognize the danger they are in, with time they will either completely fall away from Christ, or they will adjust their faith and just as the Pharisees did, they will merely become vainly religious. Like Adam, do you think they fully understood all this at that moment, or did their hearts and eyes and carelessness allow them to be so distracted and fatally ensnared? For such believers begin to simply justify themselves by comparing themselves to others, with those who they deem to be worse than they are. Without true faith and faithfulness, they will spend their life away arguing about doctrine, deceiving themselves that what they know will one day save them.

1st Corinthians 4:1 – Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2  Moreover it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful.

Romans 10:17 – So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by [or receiving into the heart] the word of God.

Romans 14:23 – For whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

James 2:19 – You believe that there is one God, you do well; even the demons believe and tremble. 20 But will you know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

These types of Christians are always in a struggle with their commitment, and thus will often try to negotiate with God by giving their time and money to noble causes or deeds; but what they do is done only in a vain hope of reaching a compromise with God. Such believers often make commitments to their church to oversee something for a season in a vain effort to show their seriousness and to prove their faith; but what they do is of their own will and choosing, not of the Spirit, right only in their own eyes, and not of faith.

But here is where we will now leave the struggling Christians and reflect upon the other type of Christians, the ones with true faith, the overcomers. The ones with true faith understand the truth where the Apostle John warned them to be not deceived; “He that sins is of the devil, and he that works righteousness is righteous even as He [Jesus] is righteous.”

Because God’s word is hid in their heart, they cannot consent to sin because they understand what an offense it is to the Holy Savior. Therefore, having looked unto Christ they can resist temptation, because coming to and abiding in Him, they are faithfully empowered by His Spirit and made to be overcomers of all pressures and temptation the world throws at them. This is always done at a cost to themselves, for Jesus warned them that they cannot be His disciples unless they choose to pick up their own crosses and follow Him. He makes this requirement because it is the only way He can fully restore their souls. But this restoration will take them down the path of righteousness winding through a dark valley haunted by the Shadow of Death, their death. God does this because He must tear down what is corrupt in them if He is to restore their souls aright, which requires their confessions and forsaking of sins, true repentance, an absolute trust and surrender to the Lord. Those who do such can only do so by that type of faith which compels them to lay hold of salvation, and is evident because it strives for consistency, perseveres, and works by love for the fulfilling of the will of their Redeemer.

They understand they were once dead in their trespasses and sins, so now they wholly trust Him, knowing that not only has He given them life, but that He is in truth their very life. They understand that to trust and obey Him is the only way to the realization and fulfillment of those exceeding great and precious promises to them of becoming partakers of His divine nature. Thus, they walk in the light just as He is the very author and means of that life; therefore, they have holy fellowship with their Father and Savior. Their hearts are settled and hence resolved to give heed to the purifying of their souls by obeying His truth, which is possible only through the empowerment of His Spirit within them. This is both believing unto salvation [justification] and working out salvation [sanctification]. These Christians, though always fully capable of yielding to sin, nevertheless purposely out of love for God and others now walk with conviction of righteousness and not under the condemnation of sin.

Sadly, Jesus said there were going to be many, many more of the first type of Christians. Those who will be found guilty of taking His name in vain. For scripture plainly say that they who call themselves Christians “ought to walk even as He walked.” These Christians are only “overcomers” in that they have overcome the conviction of sin; for while professing Christ as Savior they remain, or are entangled again, in sin because their conscience has been so seared it permits them to freely continue in doing what is right in their own eyes, and doing so they willfully sin. Not all go back into the moral depravity of their past lives, many, because of religious pride, simply become pharisaical and continue in the vanity of a religion of their own governance. Having chosen such over the truth, they continue to ignore that Jesus came, died, and rose again so that He might save them from their sins, quicken them, and make them new creatures. But how, if they will not let Him save them from their sins, can He truly save them from their sin’s reward of death and hell?

The latter Christians are indeed very few, Jesus said so. That is because they understand The Gate is a strait, and not straight. It is a path fraught with dangers whereby they must always be clothed with the armor of God and yielded to the commands and orders of the Captain of their Salvation. They understand He alone knows the narrow path that leads to eternal life, and being His sheep, they have learned to trust His voice as the Great Shepherd of their souls. Thus, they have tuned their ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the Churches and will be overcomers of both their carnal nature and adversary. Why? Because they have come to love God with all their heart, mind, and strength, and have experienced through all their hardships that He is indeed able to sanctify them wholly, so that their whole spirit and soul and body might be preserved blameless unto the coming of their Lord, Jesus Christ. He is faithful.

So, which kind of Christian are you?

Jude 1:24 – Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, 25 To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion, and power, both now and ever. Amen.

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