If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. John 13:17
Can you recall a time when a stranger approached you out of the blue and asked what you believe about Jesus Christ and the Christian faith? I imagine that you have had very few, if any, experiences like that. We ought to be prepared for such encounters, to be sure; the apostle Peter tells us to be ready to give a reason for the hope we have (1 Peter 3:15). But opportunities to explain what we believe most often result not from random encounters with strangers but from the way we live day in and day out before those who know us well.
How we live and what we believe ought to reflect our attachment to Christ. This is one reason why Peter says Christians are “a people for [God’s] own possession” (1 Peter 2:9). Our connection to Jesus as those who are in Him and belong to Him is comprehensive. That means we are not at liberty to believe whatever we want; we are not free to form our own views of marriage, of sexuality, of finance, or of anything else. Our view is now to reflect that of our Messiah and Teacher, Jesus. But He is not content with His disciples simply knowing the truth. They also need to be living the truth: “If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” Believing must lead to doing. We are not free to behave in any way we like either, then. Our conduct is to reflect that of our sacrificial Savior, Jesus.
Many contemporary religions and secular creeds require nothing of your lifestyle; they leave you free to live as you please. (In fact, many make that their guiding principle: that you do what seems right to you.) But the call to Christian discipleship is utterly different, for at its heart it is a call to follow a King who is not you. The call to the Christian life is not merely to believe the gospel but to “let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ” (Philippians 1:27).
We all fall short. Do you have someone helping you, and whom you can help, in identifying areas of behavior that are not yet worthy of the gospel? Lock arms with a brother or sister in Christ, shine the light of God’s word on one another, and seek to bring the truth to life!
The church is God’s primary appointed means of reaching His world. You are part of that. But do not expect those around you to ask about the gospel—still less to repent and believe the gospel—if you are not living out that gospel:
You are writing a gospel,Commonly attributed to Paul Gilbert.
A chapter each day,
By deeds that you do,
By words that you say.
Men read what you write,
Whether faithless or true,
Say! What is the gospel
According to you?
Devotional material is taken from the Truth For Life daily devotional by Alistair Begg, published by The Good Book Company. Used by Truth For Life with permission. Copyright © 2021, The Good Book Company.