Directions for Discipleship in a Fallen World
When a conversion to Christ occurs, many things change; the new Christian has new purpose, responsibility, and a new relationship with God. But at the same time, there is a perplexing realization that many things also remain the same. He or she still lives in the same fallen world with its evil, corruption and suffering. And temptation is still there as well, and ultimately the disappointing realization that there is still a long way to go before perfection is reached; mistakes are still made and there will be times where one will stumble. How does one live successfully as a Christian in such an environment?
First, we must learn the nature of Satan and sin. Satan can be very deceptive sometimes even appearing to be the opposite of what we might expect (2 Cor. 11:13-15). Sin deceives, often offering more than it can deliver while obscuring the horrible reality of the ultimate outcome.
Second, we must develop a hatred for sin. God hates it. We must not be merely indifferent about it (Psa. 119:04).
Third, we should remember how Jesus met temptation. He was absolutely successful. He met every temptation with Scripture (Matt. 4:1-11). The Scripture was His absolute authority for right and wrong and His guide for conduct. It should be for you and me as well.
Fourth, we should pray for strength and guidance in doing what is right. Again, this is like Jesus handled His dread of the cross. He found strength in this approach (Matt. 26:39).
Finally, be positive about good and negative about evil (Rom. 12:9). Christianity is not only putting away sin, but also adding goodness and kindness to our lives as we obey the gospel of Christ.
By Jon W. Quinn
The Final Page
From Expository Files 14.1; January 2007