By Randy Reynolds
When became a Christian there were a number of things that took place:
1. I received salvation from my sins. Jesus said that I would receive salvation after I was baptized (Mk. 16:16). The apostle Peter tells us clearly that baptism saves (1 Pet. 3:21). The evidence is abundant that this baptism which Paul describes as “one baptism” is water baptism (Eph. 4:5; 6:1-7; Acts 8:36-39).
2. I received cleansing from my sins. When Ananias came to Saul with words of salvation he told him that he must be baptized in order to wash away his sins (Acts 22:16). I might also add that these words that Ananias spoke to Saul of Tarsus were the words that the Lord sent. They were sin-cleansing words.
“There is no philosophy (argument) so well fortified or
exalted against God that it cannot be overthrown and
captured and brought under obedience to the control and
redemptive purpose of God.”
- I received freedom from my sins. This came when 1 obeyed the truth (1 Pet. 1:22, 23; Jn. 8:32). Friend, this is a freedom that can only be found in obedience to the truth. Man-made doctrines could not have accomplished this.
4. I was baptized into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27). In Christ I found “every spiritual blessing, redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Eph. 1:3-7).
5. I was added to his church, the very same church that the Lord had promised to build (Acts 2:47, Matt. 16:13-20). This is the church that the Lord purchased with his own blood.
6. I became a member of his body, which is his church (Eph. 1:22, 23; Col. 1:18-24).
7. became a kingdom citizen Jn. 3:3; Matt. 16:18, 19; 18:3). It is not a future kingdom that I look for because the Lord promised his kingdom. which is his church, in the lifetime of some first century citizens (Mk. 9:1).
8. 1 became a member of God’s family (1 Tim. 3:15; Rom. 8:15ff).
Now that I am a Christian 1 must realize who and what I am. The word Christian suggests one who belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ. But not only is it one who belongs to Christ, it is also one who strictly adheres to Christ.
I am a Christian. And as a Christian, a follower and adherent of Jesus Christ, and a kingdom citizen, I must remember that there are certain things that the Lord requires of me.
The Lord expects me to be a good soldier (2 Tim. 2:3,4). Soldiers, first of all, arm themselves for battle. Paul says that the soldier of the Lord arms himself with God’s armor (Eph. 6:10-18). This enables us to “stand against the wiles of the devil.”
The soldier of the Lord “pulls down strongholds” (2 Cor. 10:4ff). What are these strongholds? Teaching and beliefs that are contrary to the truth! The word of God has the power to destroy disbelief, false teachings and any other things that stand in the way of salvation.
When Paul marched into the city of Corinth, at that time a citadel of vain philosophy and false religion, he took with him the word of the Lord. In doing so he was prepared for battle. He was already to attack their stronghold.
One writer stated it this way:
The word of God has captured the minds of kings, philosophers, rabbis, army officers, fishermen, doctors, scientists, carpenters, financiers, merchants, murderers, homosexuals, adulterers, thieves, drunkards, slaves, freedmen, rich, poor, learned, ignorant all kinds of people from all races, cultures, languages, geographical locations. It continues to this day to overthrow the proud and arrogant rationalizations of human beings. There is no philosophy (argument) so well fortified or exalted against God that it cannot be overthrown and captured and brought under obedience to the control and redemptive purpose of God. There is no human mind so well fortified or exalted against God that it cannot be overthrown, captured and brought into obedience to the will of God and his redemptive salvation.
And may I quickly add to these thoughts, brethren, if we spent more time personally getting prepared for battle and courageously standing for those wonderful truths of the Lord as a good soldier of the Lord must, we would certainly spend less time criticizing those who do! Christians must be defenders of the truth! The apostles were all defenders of the Lord’s gospel and we need to be more involved in giving our lives, “contending earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).
Unless we are prepared for battle, we cannot stand against the wiles of the devil. But rest assured, friend, when we are properly armed we will be armed with the most powerful and the most productive weapon in the world!
Please allow me to give you some helpful suggestions for arming yourself to fight the battle: 1. Read your Bible daily. 2. Mediate on those wonderful words that you read. 3. Attend all of the services of the Lord in the area where you live. 4. Attend the Bible classes both Sunday and Wednesday. 5. Start a Bible study in your home. 6. Include gospel meetings in your schedule. 7. Spend personal time with other Christians. 8. Strive diligently to put the Lord first and keep him there. 9. Pray without ceasing.
May God richly bless us in our efforts to live as a Christian. May he bless us with great courage as we draw closer to him and love him more each day.
Guardian of Truth XXXVII: 9, p. 1
May 20, 1993