WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SHOW FOR FOLLOWING CHRIST? By DAVIDSON ARINZE
Intro by Edith Ohaja:
How would you respond if someone asked you, “What do you have to show for your faith in Christ?” Apparently, this is a common question these days posed by those who want to show believers they don’t need the Lord to get what they want out of life. So how do you, a child of God, answer such a question?
In this guest post, our daddy in the Lord, Davidson Arinze, shows different ways people respond to this, pointing out the misconceptions of what Christianity is really about that inform such answers. You see, what you think you’ve gained from your faith is a reflection of what you’re seeking. Let me step aside as the man of God explains this better to us.
May the Lord promote the writer more and more as he serves in His vineyard and cause the fruits of his labour to abide in Jesus’ name. And to you, dear reader, may your faith be authentic through and through in Jesus’ name. Kindly supply your views on this subject in the Comments Section and share this post widely. You are blessed in Jesus’ name.
WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SHOW FOR FOLLOWING CHRIST?
I do not know if you have heard people in recent times, asking this question: “What do you have to show?”, either for your praying, your holiness or generally, for your profession of faith in Christ?
When this question or a similar one is posed today, the reference is usually to material and other earthly things like wealth, marriage, children, education and long life here on earth.What will you answer if asked what you have to show for your faith in Christ? Click To Tweet
None of these things is evil in itself. That is why the Apostle Paul describes God as the One “who giveth us richly all things to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17). God wants His children to have and enjoy the good things of life. However, the problem is whether or not any of them or all of them should be regarded as “what you have to show for being a Christian”.
After John the Baptist announced and introduced Jesus as the Lamb of God which would take away the sin of the world, his two disciples who heard that, left him and followed Jesus (John 1: 35).
When Jesus saw them following Him, He asked them: “WHAT do you seek?” Jesus knew that they wanted to see Him, but His emphasis on ‘what’ instead of ‘who’, according to the King James Version of the Bible, sounded as if the Lord was asking them: “What is your motive for leaving John to follow me? What do you think that following me entails?’ Are you coming after Me for what you can gain here on earth? What do you really seek?”
Of course, at the end of that encounter, it became clear that those disciples desired to follow Jesus for the right reason. Little wonder then that they were among those who changed the world, and also gave their lives for what they believed.
Unfortunately, when we talk about what to show for our faith in Christ today, we mean how much wealth one can display as a mark of being a Christian. Well, whereas we must work hard to legitimately make wealth in the most godly way, yet, if wealth is what we have to show for being Christians, I’m very sorry for us, because the wealthiest people in the world today are not necessarily Christians. So, if wealth is the issue, then we have nothing to show for being Christians.
(Related: What is the Value of a Person’s Life?)
Some believe that if someone is a Christian, then, he or she should live a very long life here on earth. Again, while we should practise healthy habits, pray and trust God to give us health and long life here on earth, yet, if having a long life on earth is what we have to show for being Christians, then again, I’m very sorry for us, because there are many people today who live long even though they do not profess any faith in Christ. So, if long life on earth becomes ‘the way to go’ as Christians, then, we really have nothing to show for being Christians. The list can continue!
In First Corinthians, when he was addressing the misconception of some Corinthian Christians about the Resurrection, Apostle Paul argued that, if it was only in this world that Christians had hope in Christ, they were the most miserable of all people (1Corinthians 15: 19).
In other words, Paul was saying: “If it is the acquisition and/or the possession of earthly wealth that you use as a benchmark for determining who a true Christian is; if it is how long one lives here on earth that determines who a true follower of Christ is, then, you really have nothing to show for being Christians: because such things are universal issues, and therefore, are applicable to both Christians and non-Christians alike.”If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. - 1 Cor. 15:19 Click To Tweet
In his last Letter ever written, which he addressed to his spiritual son Timothy, fully aware of the sentence of death by beheading which he would soon face, St Paul made it clear that his time of departure was near, and that he was ready to be offered; that he had fought a good fight, finished his course, and had kept the faith. He capped up that information by declaring that, from then, a crown of righteousness awaited him, which the Lord, the Righteous Judge would give him as well as all those who loved or looked forward to His coming (2 Timothy 4: 6-8). Paul was ecstatic that he would soon be with the Lord, which is what he desired all along above anything this life could offer (Philippians 1:21-23).
The Apostle Paul was, in other words, saying that he had lived the Christian life and had served the Lord like a soldier on the battle front. That he had met the requirements of the race that was set before him as it were and had finally completed it. And, at the end of the day, he had something to show for it: He had admission into the presence of God for eternity and would receive A CROWN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS!Are you excited about heaven or are you consumed with the things of this life? Click To Tweet
That was what St. Paul had to show for being a Christian and a servant of the Most High God. And that is what everyone of us should strive for as Christians. That should be our goal for serving the Lord, while making the most of whatever life and wealth the Lord has given us here, for His kingdom and for humanity! That is what marks a true Christian: humble obedience to the Master in all things and a longing for the believer’s home on high.
“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” – Philippians 3:20 (ESV).
Another misconception we may have is that unless we preach everywhere like Paul did, we have not served the Lord meaningfully. While we are all called to share the gospel as the Great Commission requires (Matthew 28:19 & 20), not all of us may run ministries or churches, travel to innumerable countries, etc. What matters is that we faithfully serve the Lord wherever we are and in whatever capacity He puts us. And that we do not place the preaching above basic Christian living (being like Christ, bearing the fruit of the Spirit) for which the followers of Christ were originally called Christians (Matthew 25:31-46).
(Related: Do Not Neglect the “Little” Things)
May God’s grace abound for all of us, in the Mighty Name of Jesus!
Please, if you find this message to be helpful, kindly assist in sharing it among your friends and on various social media.
You are richly blessed in Jesus’ name!
The scriptures used in this post are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible, except where otherwise stated.
ABOUT THE WRITER:
Davidson Arinze has been in full-time gospel ministry for the past thirty years; and has been with All Christians Fellowship Mission, for twenty-five years.
He is a pastor, a theologian and an educationist, by the grace of God and has served as Resident Pastor, Area Overseer and District Overseer in various churches and sections of All Christians Fellowship Mission, Nigeria.
A prophetic teacher, preacher and writer, his ministry has touched and transformed many lives and ministries both within and outside All Christians Fellowship Mission to the glory of God.
He is married to Mrs Tina Arinze and they live and serve God in Jos, Nigeria with their son, Favour Osinachi Arinze.
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