Are YOU really living as a Christian?


Are you living as a Christian?

Jesus taught:

35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:35)

Most religions, however, that profess Christ chose to allow warfare and other activities that do not show love to one’s neighbor (Military Service and the Churches of God: Do Real Christians Participate in Carnal Warfare?).

Love, not war, is what life is supposed to be all about (see also What is the Meaning of Life?).

Christians are Subject to Difficulties

For loving as Jesus taught, Christians will be hated and persecuted:

16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. 17 These things I command you, that you love one another.

18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 He who hates Me hates My Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. 25 But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.” (John 15:16-25)

(For more details on persecution see Persecutions by Church and State and/or the video The Coming Persecution of the Church.)

Jesus also warned:

33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

And doing what we are supposed to do as Christians shows that we have faith. And it is not easy.

22…Have faith in God (Mark 11:22).

Apparently there were heretical people in the time of the apostles who did not believe that they had to do anything and that their faith was sufficient. But notice what James told them:

22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. (James 1:22-25)

14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe — and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? (James 2:14-20)

Perhaps the above is why Martin Luther criticized this book (see Sola Scriptura or Prima Luther? What Did Martin Luther Really Believe About the Bible?).

So, How do Christians Live?

Throughout history, there have been true Christians, just as Jesus prophesied (Matthew 16:16; Revelation 2 & 3).

Real Christians lived differently than most who professed Christ and they were often persecuted for it (Persecutions by Church and State).

Real Christians understand Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount:

5:1 And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. 2 Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek,For they shall inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart,For they shall see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. 13 You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.”

14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”

21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. 23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26 Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.”

27 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.”

31 “Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.”

33 “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ 34 But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.”

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. 41 And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.”

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:1-48)

6:1 “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.” (Matthew 6:1-4)

This affects them at work, at school, and home and all the time. They are not only Christians when they attend church services. They try not to live as hypocrites. Nor do they view pornography, engage in fornication or homosexuality, or live a life of hate.

Real Christians have the right priorities and seek first the Kingdom of God:

25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?”

28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?”

31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:25-34)

Real Christians pray and the Bible teaches this (Matthew 6:5-7). In modern times it has been suggested that Christians should strive to pray at least thirty minutes per day. Although the Bible itself does not specify an amount of time. Yet when it teaches, “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17), this suggests some amount of regular prayer (see also What Should I Pray About?).

Jesus said His disciples would fast (Mark 2:20). And while all who can are basically required to fast once per year on the Day of Atonement, historically the Church of God has suggested that once per month is a good goal for fasting–though this frequency is not specified in scripture (see also Importance of Fasting).

Real Christians read the Bible (those who could read) and the more honorable ones daily (Acts 17:11; Ephesians 6:17). In modern times it has been suggested that Christians should strive to pray at least thirty minutes per day. Although, again, the Bible itself does not specify.

Real Christians tithe (Matthew 23:23; see also Tithing Questions and Some Answers). And there are multiple tithes (Is Third Tithe Still Valid Today?). As for how to calculate tithes, basically they are on income. In my view, net income after taxes is the true income to tithe upon as we essentially have no choice but to pay the taxes, which is something else that Christians should do (see also Taxes). Christians also give offerings, including on the biblical holy days (Deuteronomy 16:16-17).

Real Christians avoid eating biblically unclean meats (Leviticus 11:4-8,10-19,24-30; Deuteronomy 14:3,7-8.10,12-19). Because of this, some have been killed by Greco-Romans who profess Christianity (see The New Testament Church and Unclean Meats).

Real Christians are not dishonest at work or school. They do not lie or cheat. They do not go along with sin in organizations. Christians do not read horoscopes, practice witchcraft, or see fortune tellers (Leviticus 19:26; Deuteronomy 18:10).

Real Christians do not have idols in their homes, wear “lucky charms,” etc. (see also What Did the Early Church Teach About Idols and Icons?).

Real Christians do not have “filthy communications” come out of their mouths (Colossians 3:8).

Real Christians are to properly teach and bring up their children (1 Thessalonians 2:11; Ephesians 6:1; 1 Timothy 3:4,12; 5:4,10,14; Titus 1:6; 2:4; see also Five Rules for Effective Parenting, there is also a 12 1/2 minute YouTube video on this, also titled Five Rules for Effective Parenting).

Real Christian women dress modestly (1 Timothy 2:9). Real Christians do not get tattoos (Leviticus 19:28).

Christian women should not have short masculine hair styles and Christian men should not have long feminine hairstyles (Veils and Other Coverings). Since pagan priests tended to totally shave their heads, this does not seem to be a proper regular practice for Christian men (Leviticus 19:27; 21:5).

Christians do not get drunk or participate in improper revelries, and this can make them unpopular with those who previously considered them to be friends as the Apostle Peter wrote:

1 Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. 3 For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles — when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. 4 In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. (1 Peter 4:1-4)

So, Christians are subject to be talked about badly for doing what is right. The Apostle Peter also wrote:

12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. (1 Peter 4:12-14)

Thus, negative consequences from the world for being a Christian are expected.

Holidays, Holy Days, and the Sabbath

Real Christians do not observe religious pagan holidays (see Pagan Holidays or God’s Holy Days Which?) or birthdays (Did Early Christians Celebrate Birthdays?). This can make them unpopular with some of their neighbors, co-workers, employers, and/or families. Remember that Jesus said:

34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; 36 and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ 37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:34-39)

Real Christians observe the biblical holy days (Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible?). Observing Passover on the 14th as faithful Christians do risked the death penalty as Roman (Catholic) Emperor Theodosius decreed in the late fourth century (see also Persecutions by Church and State).

Real Christians prepare for the Passover each year by examining themselves (2 Corinthians 13:5; There is also a YouTube video you may wish to see titled Preparing for Passover). They also remove leaven from their homes and eat unleavened bread for seven days each year while totally avoiding consuming any leaven during that time (see Keeping Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread and Should Christians Keep the Days of Unleavened Bread?).

Christians keep the Feast of Pentecost and Feast of Trumpets.

Christians observe the Day of Atonement and, those who can, fast that day by completely abstaining from food and drink (those with health concerns, nursing mothers, small children, etc. normally do not). This is difficult for various ones as some get headaches and others have other issues with fasting. In terms of other difficulties, I was almost put in jail once because I was going to not go to work on the Day of Atonement (I was in the military at the time).

Christians observe the Feast of Tabernacles which normally involves traveling out of one’s region. This can cause problems for employees, business owners, and parents.

Christians keep the Sabbath from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday each week. This has cost various people their job and sometimes resentment from co-workers. Keeping the Sabbath also means no regular shopping on that day. On the other hand, I do believe that the Bible allows for eating out when traveling or spending for some emergency (like going to a hospital), and there are other exceptions. But in some societies not being able to shop on Saturday is difficult as there are Sunday shopping restrictions in many places.

Also, because the time for sunset changes, especially in areas far from the equator, some of us have had to get off of work early on Fridays in the Winter. Also, keeping the Sabbath means no participating in activities like sports on the Sabbath. The focus is to be on the things of God and not doing one’s pleasure (cf. Isaiah 58:13-14).

But you might say, all I have to do is believe. Well the demons believe (James 2:14-20) and Jesus said that just claiming Him was not enough:

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matthew 7:21-23)

Faith is important (see the article Faith for those God has Called and Chosen and/or watch the video Faith for the Called and Chosen). But notice also what the Apostle Paul wrote:

1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:1-5)

In the early 2nd century, Ignatius of Antioch taught about love, character, and Christ living His life in Christians:

…the believing have, in love, the character of God the Father by Jesus Christ, by whom, if we are not in readiness to die into His passion, His life is not in us. (Ignatius’ Letter to the Magnesians, Chapter 5. Roberts & Donaldson, Anti-Nicene Fathers)

While many of these seem difficult and some may be hard to understand (cf. 2 Peter 3:16), Christians truly accept:

9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:9)

Christians do so because they have faith, not only that God exists, but that His ways are best and will have the best results in the end (cf. Romans 8:28).

Early Christians DID NOT live like most modern Protestants do (for details, check out our free online book: Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differs from most Protestants).

Anyway, to learn more about Christian living, check out our free online book: Christians: Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God, Biblical instructions on living as a Christian.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Christians: Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God, Biblical instructions on living as a Christian This is a scripture-filled booklet for those wishing to live as a real Christian. A related sermon is also available: Christians are Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God.
Christian Success: What does the Bible teach? Does the Bible teach that Christians are to be successful? Are there at least seven laws of success that Christians should follow? How does the Bible teach we are to become successfully spiritually? Does the Bible really teach that Christians should be successful physically? This video answers these questions and more from the Bible. An outline of some of the scriptures used is here: Christian Success Outline.
The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN: Why Did God Create Anything? Why did God make you? This free online book helps answers some of the biggest questions that human have, including the biblical meaning of life. Here is a link to three related sermons: Mysteries of God’s Plan, Mysteries of Truth, Sin, Rest, Suffering, and God’s Plan, and The Mystery of YOU.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
Should You Keep God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays. A related sermon is Which Spring Days should Christians observe?
The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast This is a free pdf book explaining the what the Ten Commandments are, where they came from, how early professors of Christ viewed them, and how various ones, including the Beast of Revelation, will oppose them. A related sermon is titled: The Ten Commandments and the Beast of Revelation.
The Ten Commandments: Cause and Effect Is everything random? Why do things happen? Are there just two ways? Should Christians keep the ten commandments? A related sermon is also available: Cause and Effect: Two Trees, Two Ways.
Why Were You Born? Why did God make you? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject. You may also wish to read the article What is Your Destiny? or watch the video, also titled What is Your Destiny?
Building Character: Going on to Perfection Once you have accepted Jesus, do you need to strive for perfection and build character? A related video sermon is available: Going on to perfection and building character.
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differs from most Protestants How the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background. As far as some changes affecting Protestantism, watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware! [Português: Esperança do salvação: Como a igreja do deus difere da maioria de protestantes]. A sermon is also available: How Does the Church of God Differ from Protestantism?
What is the Meaning of Life? Who does God say is happy? What is your ultimate destiny? Do you really know? Does God actually have a plan for YOU personally? If you would like to watch videos covering subjects of this article, you can click on the following links: Why YOU? Why Do YOU Suffer? and What is the meaning of your life?
Living as a Christian: How and Why? In what ways do Christians live differently than others. What about praying, fasting, tithing, holy days, and the world? There is also a YouTube video related to that also called: Living as a Christian: How and Why?
The Seven Laws of Success Booklet by Herbert W. Armstrong that can help people become successful.
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differs from most Protestants How the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background. As far as some changes affecting Protestantism, watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware! [Português: Esperança do salvação: Como a igreja do deus difere da maioria de protestantes]. A sermon is also available: How Does the Church of God Differ from Protestantism?

Get news like the above sent to you on a daily basis

Your email will not be shared. You may unsubscribe at anytime.