Lots of folks who want to improve their lives (e.g. to be accepted by God, to get closer to God, to be loved more by God, to gain God’s approval and blessing) try real hard to be a good Christian. The operative word here is “try“.
But “good” Christians don’t exist. In addition, if someone is declared a ” Good” Christian that means somewhere there has to be a bad Christian and a better Christian and a poor Christian. Do you see the judgmental comparison trap we’d get ourselves into?
The moment we “try” to improve our lot as a “Christian” we take the focus off God and place it squarely on our self effort.
In God’s Kingdom what we do on our own doesn’t count for anything. The only thing that counts in God’s Kingdom is surrender to Christ’s life allowing him to live His life through us. Christ wants to live His life (not ours) in us, through us, and as us to bring Glory to God. Period.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remains in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5.
I taught an adult Sunday School class for years. Our focus for the lessons was always centered on our identity in Christ. Our mission statement was helping each other know, believe, understand, and live out of our true identity in Christ. We taught that allowing Christ to do everything in us and for us and through us would be all we needed to live our lives as disciples o’re going to f Christ. During one our lessons about our true identity in Christ, a lady asked me, “But don’t we have to do SOMETHING? (she was coming out of a lifelong Catholic background).
“No, ” I said. “If we’re going to become authentic followers of Christ we have to surrender our old ways of self sufficiency and allow Jesus to live his life through us and do everything.”
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:4-5ing Christ to live His life
So, if we are allowing Christ to live His life through us God’s Word calls us Saints, not Christians.