Acting out the faith may be the biggest challenge for Christians. Recently Rev. Si Duoyong, a house church pastor in Southen China, shares the message of the life in Christ on a Sunday service in the "Heart-to-Heart" fellowship of Hangzhou.
He lists six signals of Christians without life in Christ, seen from the Scripture:
1. Matthew 6:1-2 "Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. "
People without life in Christ feature tokenism. It is clear that those with life in Christ do things quietly and those without deliberately want glory from men.
2. Matthew 6:5-6 "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."In Jerusalem, many people pray at the crossings and a lot prefer to pray before the Wailing Wall......Jesus perspicaciously sees their hypocrisy. They purposely let people see their pains.
In Jerusalem, many people pray at the crossings and a lot prefer to pray before the Wailing Wall......Jesus perspicaciously sees their hypocrisy. They purposely let people see their pains.
3. Matthew 6:16-18 "When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."
Jesus shared this on "Sermon on the Mount." Christians who don't have life in Christ show others their fasting in sackcloth and ashes.
4. Matthew 7:3-5 "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."
This teaching is really hard to practice. Christians without life in Christ always judge others, on the contrary, believers with life in Christ often take introspection rather than stare at others' problems.
5. Matthew 7:15-16 "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them."
Fruits reflect your life. The greatest trait of this type of Christians is no fruit. The inner fruits contain love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Produce fruit in keeping with your faith that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. The fruit can bring new life and lead the people around you to Christ. If you experience no change after converting, it may show that we don't have insufficient life in Christ.
6. John 7:19 "Has not Moses given you the law? Yet not one of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?"
The last signal of having no life in Christ appears being against the law. Since God teaches us ten commandments, we can't bear fruits if we don't obey them. Holding fast to the commandments lives out life and receives grace.
The worst thing is that believers don't feel having faith or get revelation from the Bible. After years some still remain no responsive to God's word. Christians with life in Christ meditate on God's word then preach the message, who also always ponder over their services. Prepare your hearts and reflect on where you are wrong.
The next step is to do what the Bible teaches. It pays the price and needs obedience. There are many things we need to challenge in the world. Think why I can't do them while others can. Take action after reflections.
Translated by: Karen Luo