Why Accept Mediocrity as a Follower of the Christ
Mediocrity is less than what a Follower of the Christ should be and accept. Paul says it this way, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13. NASB. (The KJV uses the name of the Christ in place of ‘Him’ and the NASB rendering here is more accurate.) Many years ago the Lord demonstrated to me that far too many people were walking in spiritual fear, bondage, and defeat because of a misunderstanding of God’s Word. This is unfortunate because the misunderstanding comes from people who should know better. Followers of the Christ do not have to live in constant fear of a defeated foe.
Let us begin with an understanding of sin. What is sin? Biblically speaking, sin is not alive. Sin is not a force. Sin is the result of temptation and the result of temptation is named throughout the Word of God.
“Everyone who practices sin practices lawlessness and sin is lawlessness. You know that He appeared to take away sins; and, in Him, there is no sin. No one who abides in Him sins, no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him. Little Children, make sure no one deceives you, the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. The one who practices sin is of the Devil, for the Devil has sinned from the beginning. Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the Devil. No one who is born of God practices sin because His seed abides in him, and he cannot sin because he is born of God. By this the children of God and the children of the Devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.” 1 John 3:4-10
In this statement from the hand of John, we find one important facet of anyone who is born of God. That person does not practice sin. Now, do not raise your eyebrows as you see the statement, “he cannot sin because he is born of God.” Please remain calm and keep this thought within the context which is that one who is born of God will not live in or practice sin. Only the Christ is sinless. You and I have not yet arrived.
However, there is an obvious disconnect to what John writes and this is, “I am a sinner.” No, you are not a sinner if you have been born again by the blood of Jesus and if you have been born again you are born of God. And remember that anyone born of God does not practice sin. This does not mean that one born of God does not sin. However, one born of God is not a sinner, but a Saint because a Saint is a Follower of the Christ.
What does Paul say about this relationship that we have with the Savior? “But if, while seeking to be justified by Christ, we ourselves have also been found sinners, is Christ then a minister of sin? May it never be! For if I rebuild what I have once destroyed, I prove myself to be a transgressor. For through the Law, I died to the Law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:17-20.
In these four verses, we must first understand that Paul is speaking to a group of Christians concerning the Law and emphasizes that the Believers’ relationship with God is not found in the Law, but in the crucified Christ. The strength to live this life in the flesh comes only from the fact that “Christ lives in me” and it is by expressed faith in Him that we are able to live in righteousness. The NASB gives us an understanding of what the Greek language is conveying. Paul writes, “I have been crucified with Christ” which tells us that this is an event that continues on from the moment that it began and there is not turning back. We have been changed from within and therefore walk in newness of life every day. The Follower of the Christ is NOT a sinner, but a Saint.
“And He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to you who were near; for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. So then we are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a Holy Temple in the Lord, on whom you are also being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:17-22.
In John chapter 9 we can read the story of a blind man upon whose eyes Jesus placed mud and told him to go wash off in the Pool of Siloam. Because of his faith in the words of the Christ, this man was healed of his blindness. But there is something more to this story. He is taken before some Pharisees who make accusations of the Christ, and this is what he said to them, “Well, here is an amazing thing, that you do not know where He is from, and yet He opened my eyes. We know that God does not hear sinners, but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him.” John 9”30-31.
It is of utmost importance that we who are Followers of the Christ understand, “God does not hear sinners, but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him.” This is easy enough to understand, is it not? It is true that His followers are God-fearing and do His will and as a result, God hears them. He hears His followers NOT because they are sinners, but because they have been made righteous through the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. We are NOT sinners who are saved by grace, WE ARE SAINTS WHO HAVE BEEN SAVED BY HIS GRACE.
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace we have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come, He might show us the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Ephesians 2:4-10.
With what God has written by the hand of Paul, “Why do so many people spend so much time attempting to convince God’s chosen saints that we are sinners?” This is a lie of Satan attempting to keep God’s people in the bondage of the Evil One from the likes of which we have been set free.
Jesus is Lord.