We need a revival of Christian example
Published 11:00 pm Friday, October 27, 2023
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Rev. Graham: There are many of my friends who identify as Christians, but nothing about how they live portrays how Scripture defines those who follow Christ. Is it fair to say that they are cultural Christians? – C.C.
Dear C.C.: Christian living presupposes Christian conviction. But unfortunately, it is possible to have beliefs that do not find expression in conduct. This belief of the head is often confused with real faith. The simple truth is, one really believes only that which one acts upon.
There are people who claim to believe God’s Word and identify as Christians, but their lives do not reflect the transformative work of God. The words of Jesus answer this question: “By their fruits you will know them” (Matthew 7:20). After being born again – receiving Christ as Lord and Savior – we are to demonstrate our faith by our works [conduct].
Effective Christians down through history have been people of great personal discipline. The connection between the words disciple and discipline is obvious. To be a true, effective disciple of Christ we must seek to discipline our lives and endeavor to walk even as He walked.
The thing that has hindered the progress of the church is not so much our talk and our creeds; but it has been our walk, our conduct, our daily living. We need a revival of Christian example, and that can only come when professed followers of Christ begin to practice Christian discipline. Where do we begin? Having found the life that is in Christ, strict personal discipline leads to a full-bodied, rich, and complete life.
We must have a desire to follow Christ with a disciplined mind and tongue. We mustn’t give Satan a foothold (see Ephesians 4:27), but walk in the footsteps of Jesus. He does not discipline us to subdue us but to condition us for a life of usefulness and blessedness.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)