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The Life of a Christian
For Christians who are walking the path of faith with the hope for heaven, it is important to know the word of God. However, what is more important is to put the Word into practice. People in the world have a positive expectation that Christians will be different from other people in some ways because they believe in God. So, if they see a Christian doing evil, they become greatly disappointed and come to distrust Christianity itself and look away from it, saying, “Christians are not different.”
If we are true Christians, we should be careful in everything we say and do. Our speech or behavior may lead people around us to the kingdom of heaven or to destruction. Considering this, we should follow the example of God as heavenly children called by God, so that we can lead people around us to feel like believing in God through our good deeds.
The importance of good deeds worthy of Christians
This is an anecdote about Gandhi, a nationalist, who took the lead in gaining independence for India from the control of Britain. In his youth, he tried to be a Christian. At that time, he was boarding with a Christian family.
Unfortunately, the couple frequently quarreled with each other. Being very disappointed with the people who claimed to believe in Jesus but always quarreled and bred discord unlike the teaching of Jesus, “Love one another, and live in peace with each other,” he pledged himself never to be a Christian even if he might come to believe in Christ in the future.
Here is another similar story. There was a faithful Christian captain on an American warship. One day, he came across a young soldier who had no faith in God from the time he was born, living a dissipated life. The captain, who always recommended whomever he met to read the Bible, ordered his aide to give the soldier a Bible. Then the aide said to the captain.
“Captain, you don’t need to do that. That private is always close to the Bible. So there is no need to give him one.”
Being suspicious, he asked him the reason. The aide answered, “You are the Bible to him. He learns the teachings of God through you, watching your every action. If you keep on living a successful and righteous life, he will surely become a Christian some day. Otherwise, he will not believe in God.”
On hearing this, the captain could not sleep at all that night, realizing that his every action exerted a great influence on the people around him.
Through these stories, we, Christians and Elohists who believe in Elohim, can understand how much our behaviors affect people around us. Likewise, many people around us—our husbands or wives, parents, friends, relatives and neighbors—may be watching how we behave. Therefore, we should conduct ourselves in a holy and godly manner as true Christians, so that we can fully carry out our function as a living Bible.
The examples of Christ and the disciples we should follow
Christ is the best example of faith for us. We must follow Christ as our example of faith and life.
Jn 13:15 『“I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”』
God Himself came into this world, putting on flesh like one of us, and showed us the right path of life that we human beings should walk. So, we should not make excuses for weakness in our body, but correct our faults and fill up what is lacking in us, imitating the life of Christ.
People may slander us because they do not know the truth and teachings of God, but we must not be slandered because of our wrong behavior or disobedience to the will of God. Each of us should become a good example even for the people who do not believe in God, by following the way of Heavenly Father and Mother and leaving the footprints of the true faith.
When we take a look back at the history of the Early Church, we can see that the apostles and prophets in those days set examples for us in many ways.
1 Co 4:6 『Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written.” Then you will not take pride in one man over against another.』
When there was division in the church, Apostle Paul showed an example of faith by telling the saints to give glory and honor to God alone and to humble themselves, reminding them of the fact that God Himself was leading all the work of the gospel. Just as the apostles did, we should also give all glory to God who gives us salvation, and lead many souls around us to salvation through our good deeds and beautiful attitudes that resemble those of God.
Php 3:17-19 『Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things.』
In our life of faith, it is very important whose example we follow. We must not follow in the footsteps of those who were destroyed as a result of thinking only of earthly things and pursuing worldly glory, but we should follow the examples of the apostles like Paul who longed for heavenly glory and ran the way of the gospel diligently.
Let us be Christians who set good examples
When I was an elementary school student, there was a classmate who stuttered when he spoke. The students of our class began to mimic his stuttering for fun. After a while, most of them actually started to stutter themselves.
In the same way, while we are living in this world, we often see someone’s behavior and even his or her life change comepletly according to whose example he or she follows.
In our life of faith, we must not set wrong examples that have ungracious influences on the people who want to believe in God, while saying we believe in Heavenly Father and Mother. We, the people of Zion, should function as the salt and light of the world by setting good examples of faith and leading many people, who are wandering in the dark, to God.
Tit 2:7-8 『In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.』
People of the world will think that all our behaviors come from the teachings of God Elohim because we’ve received Elohim and are following Them.
That’s why our every action or attitude should not go against the teachings of God, but become godly, good, uncorrupted, and blameless as Christians.
Through our good deeds in accordance with the teachings of God, we should prevent our enemies including false prophets who oppose us, from slandering us. Rather, we should make them feel ashamed of their deeds.
Since our brothers and sisters have made efforts to live godly lives, keeping in mind the teachings of Father and Mother, now even false prophets acknowledge that our deeds are good and right although our doctrines are different from theirs. It was the same in the days of the Early Church 2,000 years ago. As God Himself set examples of good deeds first, the apostles followed His examples and the saints who were taught by the apostles glorified God through their good deeds. As a result, the Church of God was recognized and praised by many people and grew rapidly despite countless hindrances and obstructions in those days.
Pay attention to the sound instructions
The Bible teaches us that no matter how eagerly we may believe in God and however passionate our faith may be, if our deeds are not good, we will never be saved.
Mt 5:20 『“For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.”』
How can people who live ungodly lives while claiming to believe in God enter the kingdom of heaven? If we do not live righteous lives, we are not different from false prophets—the hypocrites who cannot enter the kingdom of heaven, nor do they let those enter who are trying to.
We must obey everything God has taught us, without neglecting it, no matter how small it is. Then we will be able to lead all people around the world to God, as the salt and light of the world.
1 Ti 6:3-5 『If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.』
If we do not pay attention to the words of God or put them into practice, our faith will not grow and we may end up walking the wicked way. On the contrary, if we try to do even the smallest things according to God’s word, our faith will gradually mature and we will be able to participate in the divine nature that leads to salvation. As long as we seek, recognize and believe in God, we should put all the teachings of God into practice first. Then the whole world will acknowledge that we are God’s children and kneel down at the feet of Elohim, giving glory to Them.
Until we receive honor and praise from the world, we, as Elohists, should always make every effort to perform our role as salt and light in our society even in the smallest matters.
As children of God, let us live in a manner worthy of being called Christians by setting good examples for others and faithfully carrying out our function as salt and light for the rest of our life of faith, so that we will lead many to righteousness and shine like stars in the sky forever and ever.