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A Christian in Jesus' Image
by Mark Nickles
2/08/2021 / Christian Living
Today, it is more unpopular than ever for the church to truly be what Jesus intended it to be. For fear of being ridiculed, disliked or called-out, God’s people often surrender to false theories based on faulty understanding or blatant twisting of scripture. Too often, God's people have believed some of the lies we've been told. "You shouldn't judge!" "Christians aren't supposed to get angry at others!" "God's people should be more tolerant!" These, and similar claims are leveled at the church, but they should not always be believed. Following are some hard and fast truths, borne out by the life and ministry of Jesus, Himself.
- The Christian can love, and still be disapproving of a sinful lifestyle. Jesus said, "Go, and sin no more." (John 8:11)
- The Christian can be meek, and still be passionately rigid on reverence for God. Jesus made a mess of the temple, and never even said "Excuse Me." (John 2:13-22)
- The Christian can express frustration when those who have been exposed to the truths of God's word for many years don't seem to "get it". Jesus said things like, "Oh, unbelieving and perverse generation, how long shall I stay with you and put up with you?" (Matthew 17:17)
- The Christian can judge, and not be a hypocrite, when we judge sin, and not people. Jesus said, "judge with right judgment." (John 7:24)
- The Christian can get angry about sin and still be in the will of God. Again, Jesus made a mess in the temple.
In all of this, the Christian who is seeking to follow Jesus will STILL attract others, because of their resemblance to him. Jesus said, "And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself." (John 12:32)
The Church is not perfect. We make mistakes. We struggle each day with an old nature which wars against the new. However, God's people must not allow the world to tell us what a Christian is supposed to be; we model our behavior and lives on Jesus, alone. Only in doing THAT, and living a life that reflects His love, will the Savior be rightly shown to a world which desperately needs Him.
Mark Nickles is a husband, father of three, and a pastor in Northeastern Oklahoma. Copyright, Mark A. Nickles.
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