The apostle Paul exhorted, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Rom. 12:1-2).
It would be easier if Paul had stopped after the first verse. That would have left the application open to individual interpretation. But he closed that loop hole by specifying that we are to not be conformed to this world. We are to live lives that have been transformed through the knowledge we gain pertaining to God’s will for our lives, obviously gleaned from his word.
It’s one thing to claim to have faith in Christ. It’s something else altogether to live a life that shows faith in Christ. James challenged the proposition that we can have proper faith within us without putting our faith into action through outward faithful living, including service to God. James wrote, “Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works” (Jas. 2:18).
His basic premise seems to be that real faith is visible to those around us, openly demonstrated by the lifestyle that we live. It is not that we are trying to call attention to ourselves, but that our faith, by the very nature of our dedication, is observable to others by the way we live.
So, we need to continually ask ourselves self-probing questions to see if our faith is what it should be. Does your life show commitment to Christ? Does the frequency of your church attendance show commitment to Christ? Does the way you worship show commitment? Does the way you conduct yourself in the privacy of your home bespeak commitment to the Lord? Does the way you act at work, at school and in public in general demonstrate that you are a dedicated follower of Jesus Christ? Does your language indicate deep dedication to your Savior?
We need to always remember that we, as committed Christians, are not supposed to be like everyone else in the world. We are supposed to be an example to the world. As Jesus put it, we are to be seasoning salt and shining lights that make this world a better place through the influence of Christ through our lives…
Gary L. Hutchens