True Sign of Every True Disciple of Jesus Christ
At the time of Jesus and his first followers the master teacher and his disciples were often questioned and tested. Sadducees and Pharisees most often were against each other, but they joined hands in the battle against Christ. The master storyteller and miracle worker, however, did not let himself go and remained calm, always having an answer ready.
Some years after the death of Christ several people who also wanted to dedicate their life to Christ as their master did find people against them, sometimes making it difficult for them, or asking them a lot of questions, trying to push them in a corner. Concerning those who treated the good Christian life they lived with contempt, the apostle Peter wrote to his community of followers of Christ
1 Peter 3:15-16 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
15 but [I.e. set apart]sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a [Or argument; or explanation]defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and [Or fear]reverence; 16 [Lit having a good]and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.
The followers of Jesus wanted to be loyal to the One true God of the Bible (and wouldn’t worship other gods or the Emperor like many other people did), and because of their commitment to the teachings of Scripture, and their adherence to a powerful ethical code of love, truth and serving others in and through their faith communities (which they called ecclesiae), they were often considered radicals or subversives. As a result they felt different, and were sometimes excluded from their families and some employment opportunities. Sometimes they faced physical harm as well.
For their encouragement Peter and other apostles wrote letters to those ecclesiae. Not only so they had renewed strength in the face of their critics, but so that they would feel better prepared to give a reason for their faith when asked.
What Peter said back then is still good advice to us today.
Whatever may be the accusations of our enemies, we always have to take care we live according to the teachings of Jesus and following his example. Doing so we have to live in such way that we may be at all times conscious of uprightness. Whatever you suffer, see that you do not suffer the pangs inflicted by a guilty conscience, the anguish of remorse.
Jesus also had warned his followers that they should not have to count on it that everybody would love them. He told them that they would be blessed when men would reproach them, and persecute them, and say all manner of evil against them falsely, for Jesus sake. (Matthew 5:11) As in the past we too are vulnerable and shall have people who laugh at us or who would be angry because we refuse to worship a three-headed god. In a certain way we shouldn’t be surprised when our faith makes us feel different. Expect it. Anticipate it. Consider it a blessing. We are better to be partakers of the body of Christ and of the world of Christ, which is living according to the Wish of God instead of be loved by the world which prefers to worship a Trinity or other false gods and wants to have many heathen or pagan festivals as their feasts of the year.
Peter says we should give the reason for the hope that we have. A lot of people don’t have hope, but a lot of people want it, and a lot of people aren’t even sure what it means. Ergo, that’s a huge opportunity.
When you encounter aggression and arrogance stay calm, be gentle and respectful. Others in the end shall come to see ho you stay polite and respectful to the one who uses unfriendly words. Give it time, arrogance and aggression shall close doors; gentleness and respect shall open them.
Walk the talk. In other words, make sure you’re trying to live in a way that reflects your beliefs.
Are any of us perfect? Nope.
But it should be evident to other people that we are trying to live differently — with integrity — in light of our beliefs.
Because our faith can be so personal and meaningful to us we get nervous about being shut down or criticized. But don’t fear. When someone questions your faith, you don’t have to hit a home run; you just have to step up to the plate.
Please read also previous articles
- Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
- An attitude taken to those who attack us and other unitarians
- Reflect on how much idolizing happens
- Not fear or dread or blind compulsion
- Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up
- Scattering of peoples who delight in wars
- How long to wait before bringing religiousness and spirituality in practice
- Growth in character
- Redemption #7 Christ alive in the faithful
- Matthew 16 Calvin’s view
- When having taken a new direction in life, having become a Christian
- Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience
- Living in faith
- Faith and trial
- Concerning Gospelfaith
- If You want to start winning the war
- Engaging the enemy
- The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands
- Be kinder than necessary
- There is no true and constant gentleness without humility
- Let us become nothing, and Christ everything
- He who smiles rather than rages is always the stronger
- Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness
- Christadelphian opposite Christian
- Small churches of the few Christadelphians
- Belgium Biblestudents and Christadelphians Are Holy Spirit Illiterate
- Belgian Christadelphian Artificial Meat- 1
- Spiritual Diapers For Biblestudents and Belgian Christadelphians
- An Example of Thinking Like a Serpent: Christadelphians
- More Christadelphian Foolishness About the King James Bible
- Another Article by the Chrazy Christadelphians
- Am I too damaged that God doesn’t want me?.
- Galatians 1:10
- Who Am I 9-16-18
- Turn your face towards the Son
- The Light
- September 29
- What God wants most of all……
- We’re supposed to delight in God, but does He delight in us?
- General Conference thoughts: Pure Love: The True Sign of Every True Disciple of Jesus Christ
- When you want to be more like the FIRST followers of THE WAY….
- Personal Sharing — A Witness For The Defense!
- Love will cure more sins than condemnation
- We Belong to Each Other
- Daily Prompt: Above