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How are Christians to live in this current world? What are the Christian virtues and how are we to obtain them? We want our lives to be pleasing to God, but many times we fail. [Let's be honest!] We see our faults and our Christian virtues seem slim.
The first thing we have to realize is that, if we have accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour, God is already pleased with us. We live under His smile. We do not earn our salvation and we do not work to keep it. It is a gift of the grace of God made possible by the shed blood of Jesus Christ. You and I are already pleasing to God. He sees us through the perfectness of Jesus not the imperfections of our life. We can always come boldly and lovingly into His presence. We have nothing to fear from our loving Father. [See our Master Life Series for an explanation of how law, grace, and love work together.]
the other hand, the Christian life is not one of a careless attitude
toward sin. We are not to drift along wherever the current of the world
may take us. We are commanded, yes - commanded, to war against sin and
to work at adding Christian virtues to our lives.
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge
of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He
has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them
you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge,
self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance,
godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly
kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing
measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in
your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.
my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election
sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will
receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior
2 Peter 1:3-11
This is not working for salvation. This is following the natural progression of salvation. We are like babies born into a new world. We start, often times, with very little, but as we grow to love and obey God we gain in Godly attitudes and actions. The Christian life is a process. We are all moving toward the goal of becoming Christ-like. It is a goal which can never be perfectly fulfilled, but over time we should be coming closer and closer.
Gaining Christian virtues in our lives is not something which we have to strive to accomplish in our own strength. That is legalism and it always leads to frustration and death. In reality, our Christian life is a partnership of working with God to accomplish the overall goal of increased Christian virtues in our lives. As we work with the Holy Spirit we do not come under condemnation for our failures, but we do grow in our love and knowledge of Jesus Christ and who we truly are in Him.
Before we look at mustard seed faith we need to know the meaning of faith. What is the definition of faith?
Both Christians AND non-Christians have to begin with faith assumptions. These assumptions or presuppositions cannot be proved by science, they are simply accepted or assumed to be true.
History has been full of great women of faith who knew how to stand firm in their faith. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ often brings out great opposition and men, women and children have had to face tremendous trials. Here are five women of faith that I find inspiring.
I doubt you have heard very many messages on the servants in Luke 17:10. It is one of the sayings of Jesus we like to avoid because it conflicts with what we want to believe.
Many times these two different belief systems can say the same things and do the same actions, only the results are different. How can we tell the difference between faith and presumption?
Ruth's loyalty was one of total commitment. Her focus was
on her relationship with Naomi. She loved beyond herself.
Ironically, those who know the Word of God best are often able to hear the "still small voice" the clearest and discover the will of God with confidence.
A great woman or man of God is one who knows their God. Often that will lead to exploits or great acts for the kingdom of God, but the key is they know their God.
Jesus is the example of perfect faith for everything He knew and did was based on faith in the Word of God revealed by the Holy Spirit.
What do a Centurion, a Canaanite woman and a thief have in common? More than you might think...