Our pastor continues to preach sermons from the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians, and I keep wondering if I’m even close to being an ideal Christian.
You can listen to the entire sermon here:
First, let’s consider the definition of ideal. In this case, ideal means “a person conceived as embodying a standard of perfection or excellence or conforming to such a standard, and taken as a model for imitation.”
Hello, I am not perfect. I have no chance at being perfect while wearing this flesh.
“Give up now,” the enemy whispers.
But Paul’s letter encourages just the opposite. He gives a plan for moving toward perfection. All we have to do is work the plan.
Christ is our standard. According to Paul’s letter, there are six things the ideal Christian can do to pattern themselves after our Lord:
- Speak the gospel
- Please God (not people)
- Act gently
- Love others unconditionally
- Live a holy, just, blameless life
- Pray for others
Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe1 Thessalonians 2:10
It’s interesting to know that the believers in Thessalonica didn’t get discouraged by this list. They believed what Paul said and they received the truth, then they walked worthy of God (v.12).
How did they do that? By letting God’s Word work in them (v.13) and spending time with other believers who could help them (v. 14).
Iron sharpens iron, and fellowship with other believers in an essential part of being like Christ. He spent three years living with his apostles.
I’m not an ideal Christian. Thank the Lord, he’s still working on me so I can become more like Jesus.