Being a Christian is a unique and joyful experience when we properly fill the role. While the unrighteous may heap scorn upon the child of God he has nothing comparable to the strength, power and happiness that fills the Christian. Because of the special place the faithful disciple enjoys, his life should be full of happiness and expectation for the coming of the Lord.
Those in Christ (Romans 8:1) stand at the pinnacle of thousands of years of redemptive work by God. Like a painter’s masterpiece the Christian is the product of a process that began long ago and culminates in one’s decision to come to Jesus in faith and obedience. The plan of salvation is a stunning gift with aspects you may never have considered.
Before time began, God chose that those found in His Son, Jesus, would be holy (Ephesians 1:4). From the moment man sinned, God promised a coming redeemer. Genesis 3:15 is the first prophecy of one who would come, defeat Satan and reclaim for Himself the faithful. That promise is repeated in many ways throughout history. Abraham was promised offspring through whom all families of the world would be blessed (Genesis 12:3). Isaiah repeated the prophecies a thousand years later when he described the suffering servant by whose stripes we would be healed (Isaiah 53:5).
John the Baptist spoke of the “Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:29). It was at this time Jesus called his first disciples and began to preach that the kingdom of God was near.
Jesus, speaking of himself, said that if he were crucified, he would draw all to himself (John 12:31-32). His final command was to “make disciples” and baptize them (Matthew 28:19). Those disciples would be called Christians for the first time in Acts 11:26 in Antioch.
Truly, the Christian is the product of a long and very deliberate process authored by Christ (Hebrews 12:2; Hebrews 2:10; Hebrews 5:9).
Those in Christ receive unique blessings not given to those who reject the Savior. Jesus is clear, men only come to the Father through Him (John 14:6). Only in Christ do we find eternal life (Romans 6:23). It is only in Christ that freedom from condemnation and sin is found (Romans 8:1-2). It is as his disciple that we become a new creation, utterly changed from the old sinful person (2 Corinthians 5:17).
In Christ we have hope, actually a full expectation, of living eternally with Him and with the Father (2 Thessalonians 2:16; Titus 1:2; Titus 3:7). The expectation of heaven sustains us and comforts us and, as a result, we do not face death with despair and hopelessness; we are not like those who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13) but are a people with an anchor of hope which lies securely with God (Hebrews 6:19-20).
Indeed, to be a Christian brings untold blessings in this life and the life to come. Our pitiful are those who reject his love, grace and mercy and seek only the temporary rewards of this life. How sad, that in their arrogance, they reject the offer made to all for life eternal. Thanks to God for his love for us and for his ways to bring man to salvation!