They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.
Although the above statement made by Paul seems to describe unbelievers, if we look closely at the text that precedes and follows this verse we see that these unbelievers he speaks of are actually people who claim to be not only believers but also teachers.
I wonder if any of us fully realizes the impact that our actions have on the spread of the Gospel. Is it as obvious as it should be that our private lives as Christians should help rather than hinder the cause of Christ?
If I was suddenly given an opportunity to tell of the good news of Christ to say, the clerk in the grocery store I shop at every week, the attendant at the gas station I frequent, the man at the toll booth I see each morning or maybe the flight attendant I will most likely never see again, would my words to them match my actions? Am I obedient to God’s Word in my daily life?
What about in difficult situations, when the bus driver is continuously inconsistent in her drop off times, when the driver in front of me in the fast lane insists on going 5 miles under the speed limit, and when those irksome tele-marketers call during dinner? Do my actions deny my faith in the Lord?
I’m sure many of us have had the displeasure of meeting people who claim to be Christians and yet by their actions they prove differently, or at the least make us as christians cringe. There are people out there in the world claiming to be Christians simply because they were raised in church, or baptized as a baby, or maybe even attend a Christian church now. They live their lives on their own terms, completely apart from the Word of God and yet claim to know God. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good (God’s words, not mine) and they are possibly you and me.
My heart breaks to think that I might be in this category, but I might be if Jesus Christ is not the center of my life. When I say I’m a Christian is it because I am trusting in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for my eternal salvation and nothing else? Is my belief in God not just in the fact that he exists but that He is in full control of this world, that the Bible was written by Him and as such is to be studied and although difficult at times, also applied? Is my belief in Christ actually an adherence to Him; do I trust in, cling to, and rely on Him daily? Is He my life and without Him I have no good thing?
The actual meaning of the word Christian is “belonging to Christ.” So then the question is never “am I?” but “do I?”