A Different Perspective

You Are A Royal Priesthood…A Peculiar People


Who is a Christian?

Many people think they know what a Christian is.  But most people, even those who claim to be Christian, do not.

A Christian is not someone who was born Christian, the same way Jews are born Jewish.  Christianity is a daily choice, not a birthright.

A Christian is not someone who goes to Church once in a while or even faithfully every Sunday.  That’s a lifestyle choice, that doesn’t guaranty that those who live that way actually know who they worship.

A Christian is not someone who knows the Bible inside and out, and bases their life decisions on what is written between its pages.  That is a good discipline not limited to Christians, but also religious people and even unbelievers.

A Christian is someone who has a relationship with Christ, initiated by their acceptance of His gracious sacrifice and redemption of their soul on the Cross.  The relationship commenced when they repented of their former ways and accepted forgiveness for their sins, and received the Holy Spirit as a living Counselor in their soul.

Everything a Christian believes, practices and experiences from that moment forward is directly as a result of that indwelling Spirit and relationship with their Saviour.  With the absence of the Holy Spirit and a relationship, one cannot be a Christian.

This is very important to make a distinction because of the promises Jesus gives to His followers.  Many people who consider themselves to be Christian, or who even consider a whole country to be Christian (because of the multitude of Churches and Church-goers), assume these relationship benefits for themselves and for their country…

However, Christianity is not a corporate identity!  Christianity is a personal relationship, which can and should be experienced in community with other Christians.  The Body of Christ (His Church) is an invisible body of Believers, that will be revealed at the second coming of Christ (and no sooner).

I recently had an exchange with an Atheist, who argued that Jesus promised to feed all the starving children because Jesus said:

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matt 6:26)

Christians know to whom Jesus is speaking…  Jesus is speaking to His disciples, His followers, who He has also commanded to forsake all things to follow Him, and that they should have faith in God’s provision!  Jesus is not talking to a faithless world, or a Christian country, or Church-goers.  Jesus’ promise is for those who live by faith and take up their cross and follow in His footsteps.

In the same way, she misunderstood other references in the Bible to state the claim that God promised that there would be no poverty, because He takes care of the poor.  I don’t know anybody, even among those who claim Christianity culturally but not personally, who believes that no more poverty is a sign of God’s reign!

The same Christians whose needs He promised to meet are the ones He commanded to heal the sick, feed the poor, help the oppressed and love one another.  If more people will exercise the faith to obey Jesus and actually do these things, no doubt, world poverty, sickness and the rest will be a thing of history.

Mandela-1

Jesus presented the solution to our problem in a way that allows us to take personal responsibility and develop godly character, but we would much rather He do it for us, and we can continue to be as selfish and disobedient as we like.  This is probably why when the anti-Christ comes, he will have a great following.  As an earthly ruler, he will probably settle the third world debt and bring false peace on the Earth (1 Thes 5:3), and many will follow him because in their hearts they will say “he did what God could not do!”

She later went on to justify her lack of belief in the power of God to help people in genuine need, because Christians all over the world are asking God for petty favours, and thanking Him for their luxuries.  What this reveals more than anything is that she doesn’t know who a Christian is or what it means to be Christian!

The President of the United States is probably the most powerful man in the world.  He has so many resources at his disposal and many servants at his command.  If his daughter needs money for school fees, would he tell her that she has to wait until he resolves the unemployment crisis in parts of the country, and that he doesn’t want to look biased???  Of course not!  Whatever she wants, as long as it is within his power, and he believes that it is good for her, she will get it!

That is the difference between Christians who live by faith, and the world, who may or may not believe that God exists!  By virtue of our relationship to the Father, who has the whole Earth’s resources at His disposal, we CAN and we DO go boldly to His throne of grace and ask whatsoever we need of Him, believing that He loves us and will answer us according to His perfect will for our lives.  We do not presume that He will spoil us and give us things that will cause us to disregard Him, dishonor Him or fall away from Him (just like the President might refuse to get his six year old daughter a smart-phone, because it just isn’t appropriate, and she doesn’t know what she’s asking!).

Yes, Christians ask God to meet even their most mundane needs.  They believe He cares and will answer their prayers, because He is watching over them like a loving Father.  If you do not have such a relationship with God, you can not expect the same response when you suddenly realise that you need money for rent!  It doesn’t mean that God won’t graciously provide (because God is good to the unjust and the just), but you would have no real cause to expect Him to prioritize your requests.

No, God does not always deliver Christians from trials.  Many Christians have had genuine needs for health or safety or even provision that God has not met.  It has caused some Christians to lose their faith, because they believed that God would always show up for them.  But I believe there’s a reason that God allows even His chosen to go through times of tribulation and testing.  Read my post WHERE WAS GOD, which deals with this issue for Believers.

More than children of God, more than followers of Jesus, Christians are called to be set apart for God…to be a Royal Priesthood unto Him, and a peculiar people in the world (1 Pet 2:9).  This means that as Christians, we can be even more audacious about how we expect God to move in our lives, the way that an unbeliever, or even a Church-goer cannot.  As royalty, we have been given authourity over the Earth.  As Priests, we can appeal to God on behalf of others.  As peculiar people, we do not conform to the world in their definitions of wisdom, love, strength and many other things.  Christ, to whom we belong, uses our bodies to perform His will on the Earth (Rom 12:1-2, Eph 2:10).

True Christianity is rare, but many seek to make it common (Matt 7:14).  People might accept Christ for the privileges that Christians enjoy, especially when these privileges are used as bait by Preachers to get more followers.  But God is never mocked.  No matter how many things you do in the name of religion, He knows those who are His, and will say to the pretender, the copy-cat, the ignorant (who came cluelessly in without understanding) – “Depart from Me, you workers of iniquity, I never knew you!” (Matt 7:23).

Photo credit: http://www.lesliepuryear.blogspot.com

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17 replies »

  1. “I recently had an exchange with an Atheist, who argued that Jesus promised to feed all the starving children because Jesus said:

    “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matt 6:26)

    Christians know to whom Jesus is speaking… Jesus is speaking to His disciples, His followers, who He has also commanded to forsake all things to follow Him, and that they should have faith in God’s provision! Jesus is not talking to a faithless world, or a Christian country, or Church-goers. Jesus’ promise is for those who live by faith and take up their cross and follow in His footsteps.”

    Wow. I actually addressed this, directed at Peter:

    “Your only recourse then would be to say that children who are starving must not pray hard enough, must not believe hard enough, must not live in an area where they worship the correct god, and that would be a pretty callous answer.”

    It is a despicable answer, actually. Careful, your mental gymnastics are showing.

    Like

    • Hi Nancy,

      What you’re still failing to understand is the concept of relationship. It’s not about how hard you pray or believe that what you ask you’ll receive. I’m also not saying that all the children still starving are not Christians. Some may well be, and may still be struggling. Being Christian doesn’t stop us from suffering. What you fail to understand is that God has chosen to use His people to meet the needs of the less fortunate, not to change the world through miracles (which He does at times do).

      The poor are still poor because there are not enough Christians reaching out to them, because many so called Christians are distracted by their own needs and the vast majority of people in the world continue to live selfishly. Don’t blame God or use that to discredit His Sovereignty.

      Thanks again for your commentary.

      Like

  2. Strong meat and something I needed to read this morning. Unbelievers and nominal believers expect God to serve them and are disgruntled when he doesn’t. True believers know they are here to do God’s Will and serve others by serving only Him, no matter how difficult the circumstance or the sacrifice that service requires. Truly, the saints are called and chosen because the Way is narrow and hard and no naturally self-serving human being would choose it on their own.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I needed to read this. I often get discouraged in my walk with God because I don’t like reading the Bible. I don’t like reading in general. Hand me a newspaper and I have to make a conscious effort to finish one article. Hand me a novel and I’ll check the clock three or four times before I finish one chapter. It’s hard for me to faithfully read the Bible, and I have failed time and time again to read the whole thing. This often makes me feel like I’m failing as a Christian. I get discouraged when I can’t get when I would consider enough scripture read to finally get the whole bible read before anyone realizes that I haven’t done it yet, and I give up. Your words have me a little breather. 🙂 Now maybe I’ll lighten up on myself a bit and just read for the sake of getting to know my Heavenly Father, instead of constantly sabotaging myself with my lofty expectations.

    Thanks! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Anaisa, I think it’s time you take the pressure off. Start with the more interesting reads in the New Testament, then go back to read the old, if and when you can. It would be good to read it all in your lifetime, but I think many of the new converts to Christianity didn’t have these compiled scriptures to read – if they could read. The Spirit of God was their living Word and Counsellor. He is still available to us and will lead us into all Truth!

      God’s blessings x

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A Christian is someone who has a relationship with Christ, initiated by their acceptance of His gracious sacrifice and redemption of their soul on the Cross. The relationship commenced when they repented of their former ways and accepted forgiveness for their sins, and received the Holy Spirit as a living Counselor in their soul.

    Before any meaningful dialog on any aspect of Christianity can take place I would like just one Christian to fully explain the neccesity of the blood sacrifice of Jesus.
    Christians I have asked this question of have either refused to explain or been unable to do so.
    How about you, Ufuoma?
    Are you able to fully explain the necessity of the Crucifixion?

    Like

      • This does not explain anything , merely dishes up another convoluted vaporous theological rationale.
        This gives no reason why a barbaric Crucifixion was required to demonstrate his divinity, or why he=is death suddenly absolved humanity form its supposed sin..
        He is claimed to have risen from the dead , and your religion stands or falls based on this belief yet he had already shown his power through the raising of Lazarus.

        So, please explain in as simple terms as possible in under 300 words why the absolute necessity of the blood sacrifice.

        Like

      • I realise you are not one, but my assertion is that you simply do not understand the reason for the blood sacrifice and are merely parroting the theological line you have been brought up with based on instilled guilt.

        If you not understand why a barbaric blood sacrifice was necessary – and I firmly assert you have no clue as why -then why do you believe it?

        And if my assertion is wrong then show me.

        Like

  5. ‘Peculiar people,’ in the best possible way, well said. ‘Strangers and pilgrims’ too. But indeed a royal priesthood, set apart for a purpose when once there was not only no purpose, but antagonism………..toward the purposes of God.

    Man left to his own devices could never dream of such a high calling.

    Solid post here btw Ufuoma.

    Liked by 1 person

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