There’s nothing ideal about me. And it’s refreshing when the sermon endorses the idea that your idea is not the ideal when walking with the Lord.
This isn’t meant to be a downer. My goal with these posts is to show you how a “real Christian” thinks and share the things that lady believes.
I’m glad that when God’s Word convicts me of my wrongdoing, it doesn’t leave me there. God’s grace sings to my soul about the ease of having my slate wiped clean.
Forget starting fresh each day, I can begin anew every hour. All it takes is a heartfelt confession of my sin to the Lord, asking him to forgive me.
If only having the ideal Christian walk could be accomplished with the same ease. As our pastor explained, the ideal walk is when we walk with purpose having a clear destination in mind.
In the fourth chapter of Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians, the apostle speaks at length about sanctification.
Sanctification is when God sets us apart from the world by cleansing us with the blood of Jesus Christ. We continue the process by being baptized, an outward demonstration of our commitment to walk with Jesus, burying our old man and rising in clothed in the new man to follow Jesus.
But we know it’s not as easy as that.
If we want to live a life that’s set apart for the Lord, we must avoid:
- Forbidden lusts
An ideal walk is the opposite of all these things. It can be described in one word: holiness.
But holiness is one of the words that gets tossed around by church people so much that it loses its meaning.
God is holy. God is perfect, sinless and blameless. We’re called to be holy as God is holy (1 Peter 1:16).
The apostle Paul doesn’t leave his readers to guess what it meant to be holy. In this chapter of this letter he wrote almost two millennium ago, he tells us what holiness looks like.
Holiness—the result of sanctification—can be seen when a believer:
- Lives to please God
- Knows the commandments
- Follows God’s will
- Possesses their body with honor
- Leans on the Holy Ghost for assistance
- Loves other believers
- Focuses on the work God has given him
- Lives honestly
That’s quite the list, isn’t it?
I’m sure it’s clear why the message convicted me. You can hear the whole thing here.
The thing about our amazing Lord is that he doesn’t leave us in a place of condemnation.
When he convicts us of wrong, it includes an invitation to get it right. Once we confess our sins, he forgives them (1 John 1:9) and we’re ready to begin the task of living a holy life again.
That’s why I left church comforted after hearing this sermon.
Wherefore comfort one another with these words1 Thessalonians 4:18 KJV
No, my walk didn’t immediately become exactly like Christ’s. That list of eight things can only be done one step at a time.
But I knew I could walk the ideal walk with Jesus holding my hand.
How is your walk? Did you find conviction, comfort, or instruction from these words?