WHAT DOES GOD EXPECT OF A CHRISTIAN?
This blog is based on the outline of a sermon preached by Jimmy Chrisman at Liberty Avenue Baptist Church, Berea, KY, on May 21, 1980; and transcribed on May 29, 2021 for this blog by J. David Chrisman (with the intent of retaining his original style and structure). Personal note: I really enjoyed revisiting the simplicity of this outline – the way it is mostly comprised of Scriptures with less commentary. Too often we spend too much time trying to add our own commentary when presenting or studying the Bible – when we would be better served simply to let the Scriptures do the talking!
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10)
What makes you a “good Christian?”
It is not what the church expects. It is not what others expect. It is not what the minister expects. But it is what God Almighty expects. Let us note some of God’s expectations in the life of a Christian:
God expects us to grow.
We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other (2Thessalonians 1:3)
as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby [NU adds up to salvation] (1Peter 2:2)
but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen. (2Peter 3:18)
God expects us to go.
However, Jesus did not permit him, but said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.” (Mark 5:19)
Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.’ (Luke 14:23)
So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”(John 20:21)
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses [NU adds My witnesses] to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
God expects us to glow.
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)
“No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a vessel or puts it under a bed, but sets it on a lampstand, that those who enter may see the light.” (Luke 8:16)
that you may become blameless and harmless [innocent], children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world (Philippians 2:15)
God expects us to sow.
Full reference The Parable of the Sower in Mark 4:1-20.
4 And when a great multitude had gathered, and they had come to Him from every city, He spoke by a parable: 5 “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. 6 Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. 8 But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop [Lit. fruit] a hundredfold.” When He had said these things He cried, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Luke 8:4-8)
Those who sow in tears Shall reap in joy. 6 He who continually goes forth [to and fro] weeping, Bearing seed [Lit. a bag of seed] for sowing, Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing [with shouts of joy], Bringing his sheaves with him. (Psalm 126:5-6)
God expects us to show.
It is good to give thanks to the Lord, And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; 2 To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, And Your faithfulness every night (Psalm 92:1-2)
“Return to your own house, and tell what great things God has done for you.” And he went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him. (Luke 8:39)
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light (1Peter 2:9)
God expects us to know.
And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has life [or the life]; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. (1John 5:11-13)
For we know that if our earthly house [physical body], this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. (2Corinthians 5:1)
But know this, that in the last days perilous times [times of stress] will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving [irreconcilable], slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! (2Timothy 3:1-5)
What is a Christian?
A Changed Person.
And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch. (Acts 11:26)
A Christian is a person who has been changed in thought and action.
A Christian is a person who has been changed from something old into something new.
A Committed Person.
Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.” 29 And Paul said, “I would to God that not only you, but also all who hear me today, might become both almost and altogether such as I am, except for these chains.” (Acts 26:28-29)
A Christian is a person who has made a definite choice for God in Jesus Christ.
A Christian is a person who has made a definite commitment of the whole life, the entire self to God.
A Christian is person who is dedicated to the Kingdom of God.
A Challenged Person.
Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter [NU name]. (1Peter 4:16)
A Christian is a person who is challenged to serve others.
A Christian is a person who is challenged to save others.
A Christian is a person who is challenged to witness to others.
Be what God expects of you each day, Christian brother and sister. And if you haven’t surrendered your heart and life in service to God, you can do so today. No matter what your past, whosever will may come!
© 1980 by Jimmy Chrisman
© 2021 by J. David Chrisman
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.