Live like a Believer
You probably have significant religious advantages like the Jews Paul describes in Romans 2:17–3:8. You were born into a Christian family. You were taken to church from your earliest years. You know more about the Bible than the unchurched. You’ve spent countless hours in Sunday school and worship services. How has all that religious exposure made a difference in your life?
The Jews made sure the externals of religion were in place. Meanwhile, their hearts smelled like week-old fish. Most of them squandered their advantages. They didn’t live their beliefs. Are you living yours?
Let’s apply Paul’s if-then argument. If you call yourself a Christian, believe the Bible, know God personally, understand the gospel, realize that God’s ways are best, and believe Jesus is the source of all truth, then are you living like it?
Do you apply God’s word to your life? With a pocket full of company pens, do you condemn stealing? Does the IRS get the whole truth? Do you indulge in lust-inciting reading and viewing material? Do you defend the Bible as God’s word but live according to the values of your culture?
The walk-talk contradiction of the typical Jew was great enough that even the Gentiles noticed and ridiculed God’s name (Romans 2:24). Many people today excuse their lack of church involvement by pointing to all the hypocrites there. They ridicule Jesus’ name because professing Christians live just like they do.
When you label yourself Christian and profess to have love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control, that’s what people expect to see. For the Jews to whom Paul wrote, the label didn’t match the contents. It was like opening a can labeled green beans and finding rotting corn. It doesn’t matter how many Bibles and perfect attendance pins you own. It doesn’t matter how many years you’ve taught Sunday school. It doesn’t matter how many exalted positions you’ve held in the church. Is your life obviously God-centered?
Romans 3:1–8 exhort you to use your advantages. God entrusted His word to the Jews and you. He expects more than just holding it in high esteem. The appropriate response is faith and obedience. 1.51 billion people, speaking 6,661 languages, do not have the complete Bible in their first language.1 Are you squandering your advantage?
God’s word remains true. He’ll fulfill His promises. He’s faithful to save. He’ll deliver all who trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. He’s faithful to judge. His condemnation and wrath await those who reject Jesus, His only provision for their sin. God’s word is a marvelously stable rock on which to build your life. No other foundation is worthy of your trust. Live like a believer!
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