The Job of the Christian

As Christians, it is not our job to change anyone, we are to only re-present Christ to people. We are to be Christ to the best of our abilities. We will undoubtedly fall short of being a perfect representation of Christ. As humans we are imperfect, sinful creatures. Others should understand that, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us, we are still but poor caricatures of the real Jesus. If people want to know who the real Jesus was, who he is, they should read the Bible. The Old Testament will give them the context in which to understand the New Testament and in particular the meaning of the Crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.

So the job of the Christian is not to run around trying to change people. The job of the Christian is to show people why they may want to change. This is done by showing grace, mercy and agape love to all. We are not to hold ourselves out and say “be like me”; we would rather people look at Jesus and want to be like Him.

If people are moved to want to change, to receive forgiveness, to find the joy of salvation, they must seek the help of the Holy Spirit. Only the Holy Spirit can change people. Seeking the help of the Holy Spirit is as easy as prayer. Pray for Jesus to come into your heart and declare Him King of your life. Will this produce a magical change in you. Yes and no. You will be indwelled by the Holy Spirit which is pretty magical, what is sometimes referred to as a mystery of faith. You will also be a new person (Jesus said that he came to make all things new). However, this new person will still be in your old body which will still have its old desires, passions and sinful nature. You will be like a newborn, a spiritual infant. The rest of your life will be spent growing up, maturing through a process called sanctification. You will grow through study, through feasting on the Word of God found in the Bible. You will stumble and fall, you will rise again with the help of Christ and your Christian brothers and sisters. Although you have become a Christian at this point, you will not have become perfect. As the bumper sticker says: Christians are not perfect, just forgiven.

We cannot force people into becoming Christians. (This is one of the reasons we know that our God is not the same as the Muslim god. Conversion by the sword is the work of the antiChrist not Christ.) We can point people to the well but we cannot make them drink. One can only become a Christian by their free will choice to accept Christ. Christ will not force you to come to Him. After all, is it really love if you force someone to marry you? Christ is often referred to as the groom and the church (all Christian people, not a building) the bride. Love that is not freely given is not love at all.

The Church as the bride of Christ:

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing,  that she might be holy and without blemish.. (Ephesians 5: 25-27)

I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. (2 Corinthians 11)

(Those that understand how deeply the concepts of bride, groom and marriage represent the relationship between Christ and the church, will have some insight into how the recent US Supreme Court ruling has grieved the faithful.)

In summary, the Job of the Christian is to be as Christ-like as possible. They are to offer Christ to all who are willing and to transform the unwilling to willing, not by force of arms or incessant argument but rather by living a better way, a way of forgiveness, mercy and agape love.

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