The Most Important Role of a Christian
Too often, Christians don’t think they have any responsibility to do anything outside of their normal way of life. Many Christians have said the sinner’s prayer or have done the altar call on Sunday and then continue their lives on Monday and it is no different than it was on Saturday.
Ignoring the problems with the sinner’s prayer and the altar call, there is a problem when Christians think it is normal to behave in the same way as the world does. The reality is, once we become Christians, we do have additional responsibilities that we did not have before and whether we uphold those responsibilities or not determines whether Christ is really abiding in us or not.
Often, Churches give their members a Spiritual Gifts test that helps them to know the sort of work for which God is preparing them. Personally, I am not a fan of these tests for several reasons:
- They can have different results if taken multiple times;
- They limit the member’s reliance on God to lead them into the work they are to do;
- They limit the types of gifts to only those mentioned in the “Spiritual Gifts Scripture Lists,” (Romans 12:6-8, 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, 1 Peter 4:11) even though these lists are not complete (for example, the gift of prayer is not listed though it is an obvious Spiritual Gift).
One of the responsibilities every Christian has is to use the Spiritual Gift God has given them for the benefit of the church body. The only real way to know what that Gift is, is to work in the body and find out whether God brings success or is pointing to another option. When looking for a church, the idea is not to find which church you feel most comfortable in or what that church can provide for you. Instead, you should be looking at what you can do in a church that would benefit the body.
The Great Commandment:
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” – Matthew 22:36-40
Hence, two other responsibilities every Christian has is to love God above all else and love our neighbor as ourselves. We are responsible/called/expected to give our whole heart to God. He is to be our priority. Everything we do should result in loving Him.
Loving our neighbor is right behind loving God regarding our Christian responsibility. Loving our neighbor means we go out of our way to please them. We don’t put ourselves before them but we place them ahead of us.
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. – Philippians 2:3-4
The Great Commission:
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. – Matthew 28:19-20
Every one of us are called to go out and share the Gospel with the world. It is important to note that sharing the Gospel consists of two parts: baptizing them and teaching them. We aren’t called to make converts, which is what most evangelists do. We are called to make disciples, which means we are responsible for teaching them to obey all Jesus commanded.
This is an important but often overlooked aspect of the Great Commission. We think of Salvation as simply going to heaven. We want everyone to be made right with God so that they can enter into the Father’s presence. This aspect of Salvation is called Justification. It means to be forgiven of sins and made righteous in God’s eyes so that one can escape Hell and live with Jesus forever.
However, this is only one part of Salvation. The second part is called Sanctification. Without it, our Justification is less pleasing to God. 1 Corinthians 3 describes it as, “he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”
True Christians will not only be Justified but they will also be Sanctified. They will be holy as God is Holy (1 Peter 1:15-16). They will work out their salvation (Philippians 2:12). They will press on toward the goal (Philippians 3:14).
The Most Important Role
While all of these are important, I would venture that we have a responsibility that is of the utmost importance.
We must work to keep our Christian witness in everything we do.
In some way, every previously mentioned responsibility combined makes up this witness. Our witness comes from Loving God above all, loving others as ourselves, sharing the Gospel and making disciples, and using the gifts God has given us to build up the church body.
If you think this is a lot of things we are responsible to do, you are correct. However, someone who is a Christian is more than able to do these things because they are empowered by the same Spirit who raised Christ from the dead. When you recognize the impossibility of bringing the dead back to life, doing these other responsibilities is simple for the Holy Spirit. We are able to keep our witness, if it is something we desire to do.
King David failed here. When you read about the life of David, the entire first part of his story is filled with a Godly witness and God constantly blesses him for it. Yet, the entire last part of his life is filled with misery and difficulty. The turning point was when he gave up his witness.
When David took Bathsheba and murdered her husband, Uriah the Hittite, David lost his witness. From that time on, he lived under the consequences of his actions. Before this, David won battles, enlarged the kingdom and had the love of the people and his family. After this, David lost his children, lost the affection of the people and almost lost the nation.
David’s eldest son Amnon, rapes David’s daughter Tamar. David’s next oldest son Absalom murders Amnon. Then Absalom tries to take the kingdom away from David. This all fulfilled what God had said to David, “Behold, I will raise up evil against you from your own household” (2 Samuel 12:11).
David lost his family because he lost his witness. He lost the right to tell them what was right or wrong. He could no longer expect others to take advice from him since he was in no position to speak about these things.
Learn from David
This is what happens to us when we lose our witness. The world is watching us to see if we will do what we say is right or if we will fall. When we fall, we lose the right to speak truth to anyone. We can no longer teach our children. We can no longer mentor others or help those who are lost or hurting. We lose the right to be in positions of leadership.
What is true about David’s story as well as anyone else who might lose their witness: the sin that brought us down was for but a moment. After a short time, whatever it was that we did, has passed and we no longer even desire it. However, for the pleasure of a moment, we give up all that God has in store.
Do not allow a momentary weakness to destroy your witness. Right now, while you are not tempted, commit to yourself and to God that you will think about the long term effects of any sin you are tempted to do. Think about what it will be like to lose the respect of your family and your church. Think about how you will no longer have the right to speak into people’s lives.
Guard your Christian witness with every ounce of strength that is within you. Ask God now, before you are being tempted, to guard your witness.
Only when you have a strong witness will you be able to bring glory to God and to fulfill the purpose He has for you.