Are you really a faithful Christian?

By Chuck Bartlett

We should not be surprised when we hear people claim they are faithful Christians regardless of their personal conduct. In the four gospel accounts (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John), Jesus encountered many Pharisees and other religious people who claimed to have God’s approval. Like when Jesus asked, “Why do you call Me Lord, Lord, and do not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46).

Jesus knew that they called Him Lord because they thought that would be enough. This is precisely what many religious people do today. They say, “I believe in Jesus Christ and have been baptized for the remission of my sins” but they do not worship God with His people, nor do they worship His way (Heb. 10:25; John 4:24).

In order to truly be a faithful Christian, one must walk in the light (I John 1:7). This does not mean we just walk around and say “God knows my heart.” If we are knowingly committing sin, God knows that our heart is not right (Acts 8:21). Just because we know that something is wrong does not mean we are automatically forgiven. As Jesus said, “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish,” (Luke 13:3).

James had something to add when he wrote, “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin,” (James 4:17). Just as sin is held against us even if we know an activity is wrong, we will also be held accountable for the good works we knew we should do but did not. In both cases, God knows their heart. This just means that they need to repent and turn back to the Lord.

People have a knack for justifying not doing what the Lord demands. They tweak things to fit into what they personally want to do. This is nothing more than selfish living. To learn what Jesus thinks of that kind of thinking, just read Matthew 23.

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