Practice Your Christianity NOW!  0

Before we begin, have you ever thought of how to answer the question “What makes a person a Christian?”

Many profess to be Christians or believers in Christ. But one wonders how many can sensibly explain what it means to be a Christian to an unbeliever. Perhaps many who claim to be Christians live the way they live because they do not understand who or what makes one a Christian. I would encourage us to reflect on this on our own.

One major expectation and living hope of the Christian is that Christ is coming again. This is one reason a Christian makes effort to live to please the Lord. Though we are saved by grace and it also grace that enables the believers to do the will of God through the power of the Holy Spirit, believers are still required to take responsibility and make personal efforts in their journey of faith.

How much effort are you making?

So, today, we want to encourage ourselves to practice our Christianity in the here and now, to live a lifestyle that pleases our Lord.

Our discussion will be based on the following passage of the Holy Scripture: 

11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.

12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.

14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” (Rom 13:11-14).

11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.

The recipients of this letter knew the time being spoken of here. The time referred to here is not time in general but the end-time in particular. Right now, is a time of darkness over the earth as the powers of darkness hold sway over the lives of the people. We are in the end time and it is a perilous time (2Tim 3:1).

The time or hour has already come.

Sleep here is a figure of speech for careless Christian lifestyle. For lackadaisical attitudes to be shoved aside. Believers are to awake from sleep means they should come out of their indifference towards spiritual and eternal things.

It is time for believers in Christ to pay closer attention to their lifestyle with the intension of stopping whatsoever is contrary to God in their lives. Rather, they should now be intensifying their efforts in activities that glorify God.

The believer in Christ is to “awake to righteousness, and sin not.” (1Cor 15:34). He is to be sober and vigilant because the enemy is on the prowl seeking whom to devour (1Pet 5:8).

Salvation here refers to the final deliverance of believers in Christ from this present evil world (Gal 1:4). As we are told that, “the whole world lieth in wickedness” (1John 5:19), and the whole creation is groaning as it waits for that day (Rom 8:22-23). This is reminding the believers that the time of the Lord coming for their final deliverance when the Lord will take them to Himself is nearer than when they first became believers in Christ.

The Lord’s Second Coming draws near each day (Jam 5:8). This is telling the believers in Christ to live earnestly and expectantly as the Lord could come anytime now. The reason to be awake, vigilant and live soberly is because of our final or ultimate salvation which will take place at the return of our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth and could take place unexpectedly anytime (Rom 8:23; Heb. 9:28; 1Pet 1:5).

12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

Night is a metaphor for darkness. The night is the time when ungodliness reigned. The night is of evil and the wicked plough their wares in thick darkness.The night is the time we live in now, this end time that is full of the activities of darkness.

The night is when evil doers carry out their evil activities. The Lord tells us that “men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:19). This period is far gone when viewed from when Christ first came into the world. Though, chronologically one may not know the order of things or what will happen next and when, the believers are to live in expectation of the Lord’s second coming.

The day of final triumph or victory over all evil. The day of the Lord’s second coming is at hand, i.e. it is so close that it could happen anytime. And the believers are commanded and expected to be ready.

To cast off is to throw away with some force as you will urgently throw away a dress on fire!

This is now stated in plain speech: The believers are to do away with works of darkness. Whatever could have an appearance of darkness should be cast off. They are not to rationalize, pretend or argue, but to use whatever means they are capable of to do away with acts of darkness. This is the negative, the DO NOT!

The armour of light means the protective covering of a righteous or holy life. The believers are to put on this armour of light. The various pieces of this armour are described in some detail in Ephesians 6:14-18. These are also the elements of true Christian character. This is the positive, DO THIS!

The time of our final salvation will be the start of a new day for all believers. The present time in which Christ is absent (He has gone to the Father) (John 14:2-3; Acts 1:11), and Satan is at work (2Cor 4:4; Eph. 2:2), is described as the night (2Pet 1:19).

Believers are at war with the enemy of God, and as soldiers in a conflict must be alert and equipped for battle with the armour of light. Since the day is almost here, and indeed, could occur anytime, believers are urged to put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armour of light.

Believers in Christ are all the children of light and the children of the day, are not of the night nor of darkness. They are therefore to

“be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation.” (1Thess 5:5, 8).

13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.

Now, some specific activities are mentioned: What to do and what not to do.

Believers in Christ are to walk as becoming of a follower of Christ.

Our own night had passed for we were once in the dark partaking of the works of darkness (Eph. 5:8). But now as believers, we are of the day partaking of the righteous things of the day and not the unrighteousness of the night. Believers are children of light and of the day (1Thess 5:5). So, they should only do things that are fit to be exposed to the light of the day, things that would withstand the scrutiny of their Lord.

Rioting and drunkenness denote various forms of intemperance that usually end in intoxication. Believers are to be temperate or self-controlled in their appetite.

Chambering and wantonness denote various forms of impurity and believers are to avoid any form of impurity in their lives.

Strife and envying denote the various forms poisonous feelings and attitudes between one person and another.

These all go against or work against the law of love between people, especially between the brethren or Christian community. The Christian have nothing to do with wild parties, drunken brawls, sex orgies, vile excesses, bickering and envy.

Notice that the emphasis is on our practical Christian walk – what we can and should do ourselves.

14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

The conclusion or sum-total of what has been said and demanded of the believer now follows.

Put on the Lord Jesus Christ is one way of telling the believers in Christ: Conduct your life in such a way that Christ can be seen in and through you. This is saying the believers should take upon themselves, the whole of the Lord’s character, become truly Christ-like. Adopt the lifestyle of Christ, living as He lived, accepting Him as our Guide and Example.

Those who opposed the apostles took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus (Acts 4:13).

  • Does your life reflect anything or aspect of Christ?
  • Without some long, winding introduction or description can someone who is meeting you for the first moment see anything different in you?
  • Do remember that you are the first and open epistle of Christ that people see and read (2Cor 3:3).

“For as many of you as has been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal 3:27)

Take no forethought or premeditate on. Do not direct any of your thought and attention to the cravings or demands of your corrupt, fallen nature, as to how you may provide for their gratification or satisfaction. Be realistic and admit it, the flesh which is the old corrupt nature incessantly cries for attention, demanding to be pampered with comfort, luxury, illicit sexual indulgence, empty, fleeting amusements, worldly pleasures, materialism and such other things.

You are not to indulge the cravings that your appetites are demanding. Rather, you should bring your body into subjection.

One makes provision for the flesh:

  • When he/she buys things that are associated with temptation,
  • When he/she makes it easy for himself/herself to sin,
  • When he/she gives a higher priority to the physical than to the spiritual.

Thus, the Christian should not indulge the flesh even a little.

Becoming Christ-like will remove every likelihood of indulging the flesh or anything associated with it.

Verses 13-14 speak of the lifestyle of the believer. Violence, wickedness and crime ordinarily are associated with darkness and night (John 1:5; 3:19-20; 8:12; Eph. 5:8, 11), and should not be found with the Christian.

Summary / Conclusion.

Our Lord Jesus Christ is coming soon for His own. Every true believer in Christ should live in that expectation. We should be constantly aware that He could come anytime. Each day brings His second coming ever closer.

While waiting, we put our Christian faith into practice now by putting away from us every work associated with darkness and engaging in works of righteousness.

As we are at war, we continuously put on the armour of God.

As believers in Christ we are able to do this through the grace the Lord has granted us, the ever-present help of the Holy Spirit who ever empowers us to triumph. Hence, we are not to be discouraged or give room to fear knowing that “it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Phil 2:13).

We ensure that we adopt the lifestyle of Christ to such an extent that Christ will be see seen in and through us. Resolve today to be a practicing Christian – one who truly emulates Christ.

May the Almighty God uphold you and continually grant you all you need to be sustained in your Christian journey and to please Him in all you engage in as you eagerly await the Second Coming of the Lord in Jesus Name, Amen.

The unbeliever

But this has been about the believers in Christ. Those who have made peace with God through the propitiation of Jesus Christ. They are the one being exhorted to live true to their calling in Christ as they wait for His second coming.

But what if you are an unbeliever? What if Christ is not yet your Saviour and Lord? What if you are not yet born of the Spirit? Then the above does not yet apply to you. You are yet outside the fold of believers in Christ. And you cannot be expected to please the Lord and to do things that are only possible with the enablement of the Holy Spirit.

Perhaps you are saying you what to be part of the wonderful people of God who are the disciples of Christ. You want an end to the enmity between you and God.

And having read this piece you see the possibility but are wondering how you can change your situation.

You are asking, “How do I come into the fold of believers in Christ seeing I do not yet know Christ?”

Truly, there is a way out for God has made provision for you too. 


By becoming a born-again child of God as demanded and provided for by God: 

The invitation has gone out to all human beings including you reading this piece.

Accept God’s verdict concerning human beings:

“All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). And that“the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).

That is, in the opinion of God, we all fall short of His standard. Further, our sin has earned a deserved wage which is death or separation from God in hell.

But while we are still in our sin, God took the initiative to reconcile us with Himself as we are told:

But God commendeth His love towards us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us(Romans 5:8).

Yes, while we were all still in our sin, God showed His love for us by sending His only Son, Jesus Christ to die for us. God gave Jesus Christ to the whole world (John 3:16). So, all we need to do is to accept that Christ has died for our sin by standing in place of us.

We do this by doing what the word of God commands all would-be believers:

If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.(Romans 10:9-10). For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved(Romans 10:13).

Everyone who appropriates the sacrifice of Christ is acceptable to Him. And He Himself extended the invitation to all:

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.(Matthew 11:28-30).

So, I encourage you to appropriate the finished work of Christ and confess Him as your Saviour and Lord NOW!

I prayer that God will accept you into His household through Christ in Jesus’ Name, Amen. o

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