Christians are unlike their neighbors in many ways. Some of these are apparent while many of them remain invisible. One objective of Christian living is to become like Christ (I Peter 1:14-16). Thus, the qualities of the Savior should be apparent in every mature Christian. Peter neatly summed Christian characteristics in 2 Peter 1:5-8, saying: "And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that you shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. " I John 4:17 states: "Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgement: because as he is, so are we in this world." Modern life has many aspects. Let's examine, briefly, a few Christian attitudes and actions typical in every aspect.
Christians hear neither inner voices of instruction, nor the teachings of men; they listen well, however, to the voice of God, the Holy Bible. I Cor. 2:12, 13 teaches: "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual."
The apostle, Paul, instructing the young evangelist, Timothy, wrote (in I Timothy 6:3-5, saying: "If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; he is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself." Thus, Christians can have no creed but that of Christ as revealed by the Bible: Jesus prayed, soon before His execution (John 17:17-21), that all of His followers would teach the same thing so that, "They all may be one . . . that the world may believe that thou hast sent me."
trouble today's people. Christians, however, have direction about marriage, family relationships, child-raising, and the selection of friends; they are untroubled in their own lives by today's philosophies, but they grieve deeply over the results of sinful ideas and associations upon our civilization.
The book of Hebrews (Chapter 13, verse 4) reveals that, "Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge."
Jesus said about divorce in Matthew 5:32: "But I say unto you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery; and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery." Thus, fornication, or adultery, is the only cause for divorce satisfactory to God. Paul instructed Jesus' followers regarding family relationships as follows: "Therefore, as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything." Paul also said: "Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Study carefully Ephesians 5:22 through 6:4.
emphasizes promiscuous sex, extols law violation and condones drug use, the Christian must look elsewhere for relaxation and entertainment. When selecting activities for recreation and entertainment, the Christian must consider:
1. Will this activity violate my conscience? Romans 14:22,23.
2. Will my doing this activity cause weaker Christians to lose their faith or will it set a bad example of Christian behavior for others? I Cor. 10:23-33.
3. Will this activity place me under evil influences? I Cor. 6:19,20.
4. Will my doing this activity conflict with Christian duty? Christians must put God and His kingdom first. Matthew 6:33.
5. Will my doing this activity arouse in me indecent responses? Books, magazines, and movies that create indecent desires are contrary to Christianity. Paul instructed, "Whatsoever things are pure . . . think on these things."
6. Is this activity both legal and right? Christians should always respect the rights of others as well as to obey the law of the land.
the Christian must be obedient to civil authority although others might take their obligation to authority lightly. Jesus said, in Mark 12:17, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." When speaking about civil government, Paul said: "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God; the powers that be are ordained of God." Read Romans 13:1-7. Thus, Christians obey their government's laws. They give their measure of taxes, and their automobiles need no radar detectors because they will not be driven above the speed limit. Christians are aware that a civilization's fabric can be torn and destroyed by widespread lawlessness.
represents one aspect of life where there seems little difference between the Christian and the disbeliever. When submerged in materialistic outlooks, the Christian's conscience is bothered, for materialism is foreign to the religion of Jesus who said, in Luke 12:15-31: "Therefore, I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what you shall eat: neither for the body, what you shall put on. The life is more than meat and the body is more than raiment."
We concede that materialism invades much of today's society, including the church. Yet, many Christians avoid materialism: New church buildings are being erected through funds gathered by the mortgaging of Christian's possessions, while loans obligated by Christians for the cause of Christ are being repaid by savings from driving older cars, living in smaller houses, and wearing older styles. But, compared to the many who claim to be the Lord's, these are few. Truly materialism is a great weakness among the Lord's people today.
Christians are different because they live by the word of God. Thus, they are free of much of the envy, strife, and worry common to worldly people. Yet, even the best of Christianity misses the goal of being entirely like Christ. Christians must continue to perfect their lives after that of their Savior, Jesus Christ.