Based on Biblical Text: Romans 10:10-11:
For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”
Becoming a Christian can be similar in some ways to starting a new job. Similarly, there are new rules to follow and new schedules to adopt. Like on the new job, there are new people to meet and, quite possibly, a new mindset to accept. Embracing the changes can be a bit overwhelming, maybe on some level even a little scary.
Becoming a Christian could be a problem especially if not everyone in our household is saved. It could be stressful if the folk where we used to hang out are teasing us and laughing at the fact that we chose to follow Jesus Christ.
Think about it, Beloved; we chose to follow a leader who was essentially homeless, broke, and alone in His hour of need. We were not promised financial security, comfort, or stability. The truth of the matter is, what we were promised was persecution. However, in spite of everything we read and heard, we said yes to the offer of salvation. We put our name on the role and vowed to wear this new garment of servanthood.
The question is, what does all this mean? In other words, what does it mean to be a Christian? In becoming a Christian, how is it that we change our entire existence, put on a completely new image and become a whole new human being? How can we be sure it is even possible?
To help us understand this new job, this new life, this new commitment, and these new requirements, we can look at it from a life in Christ, with Christ, and for Christ perspective.
Life in Christ is the starting point. This is where we begin. Sign up day, and we have just landed the job of Christian. We are excited, enthusiastic, and on fire with new possibilities. We have come to this point with high expectations and even higher hopes.
What should we be feeling, relief, liberation, or exoneration? I contend we should feel all of that and more! Think about it; we have just started over. We have just exchanged our old life for a new one. In fact, this is our fresh start. 2 Corinthians says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” This new life means that we have been released from condemnation, set free from sentencing and banished from blame. All that stuff that weighed heavy on our heart has been lifted. Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” It is as if our sin sentence has been converted to time served.
How did all this happen? How could all that guilt we have been lugging around suddenly disappear? Maybe we are not quite sure; however, we do know for sure it feels good and we owe it all to Jesus! Romans 8:2 says, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”
We are brand new living life in Christ; next comes life with Christ. Our heart has been sanitized, but now it needs to be sanctified. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20) There is a new resident in our earthly house. His name is Jesus Christ.
Our old friends will start to wonder why we are not present at some of the places we used to go and why we don’t talk like we used to talk. In fact, folk may think we are missing in action. The Bible says, “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:3). That old self was buried with Christ, and we are resurrected with Christ to a new way of life our old friends won’t recognize.
Living with Christ, He helps us develop new relationships, new goals, new habits, new attitudes, and new responsibilities. Christ sets a new standard of living that begins with our heart. He teaches us how to be holy and how to follow His example. Suddenly, we find ourselves hungering and thirsting for His righteousness. We don’t worry about the past or the future anymore because God’s got us in the palm of His hands.
We are a work in progress. We are being molded and shaped for our new assignment, life for Christ! Jesus said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24). We find out that there is work to be done. We must share our testimony with the ones who have yet to hear about Christ. In the Parable of the Great Supper, Jesus tells us to “go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled” (Luke 14:23).
Christ’s love motivates us, and His Spirit anoints us. Christ’s hand guides us, and His Grace energizes us. By His wisdom and through His power, God directs us to accomplish what we could never do by ourselves. We are becoming obedient soldiers because Christ is in us and with us. We are laborers, but we are laborers together with God. We no longer live for ourselves. Christ “died for all, that [we] which live should not henceforth live unto [ourselves], but unto Him which died for [us], and rose again” (2 Corinthians 5:15).
Living for Christ God’s love is our motivation, and His Word is our inspiration. The Blood of Christ is our justification. Living for Christ we will grieve over the sin in our life instead of trying to justify it and earnestly pursue holiness as our new way of life.