Victorious Christian Living
Preparation for heaven is merely begun, not completed with baptism. No one is baptized into heaven, but into Christ, into a new life, a new relationship. Living the new life in Christ indeed begins with the new birth, putting on Christ in baptism (Galatians 3:26-27) but it does not end with this conversion experience. Paul affirms in Romans Chapter Six, verses three through six that we are raised from the water burial (baptism) into the death of Christ to walk in the newness of life. For that reason, every church member needs a thorough and practical knowledge of how to live the Christian life completely and successfully. It’s a great tragedy when a baptized believer fails to endure in the new life to which he is called.
Hear the Apostle Paul’s words: “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13,14). We must press on in our effort to walk with the Lord with no looking back and longing for the world of sin we’ve come out of.
One of the first things we need to remember is that we have changed our commander in chief. No longer are we servants of Satan and sin, but now we serve Christ (Romans 6:17-19). All relationships change when one becomes a Christian. We are new creatures (2 Cor. 5:17). Conversion is a vast change from being “without hope” and “without God in the world” to being a child of God (Ephesians 2:12). When one truly obeys the Gospel, he is turned from “darkness to light and from the power of Satan unto God.”
Many “grow weary” in well doing (Galatians 6:9) and many “fainthearted” ones turn back (Hebrews 12:3). Some love the present world and turn away. Others drift away by gradual neglect. The marvelous truth is that it doesn’t have to be this way, but we must be active in the process to avoid such pitfalls. Someone described it as having to put logs on a fire to keep it burning. It is so wonderful when we see Christians who have walked with Jesus all their lives and who just grow deeper in their faith and richer in their spiritual understanding of why they exist. These are people who have added “logs” to keep the fire of faith burning within their hearts.
As Abraham and Moses of the long ago, we must have the “forward” look (Hebrews 11:8-10; 23-29). We must endure: “But Christ as a son over his own house, whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope unto the end” (Hebrews 3:6).
May I encourage you today to make the choice to begin a new life in Christ. For anyone who has drifted away from their hope in Christ, and grown weary, there’s a race to run and a crown to attain. Get back on track and walk with the Lord.
The author can be reached for comments at 256-574-2489.