“That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again. Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.”–Philippians 1:26–28
I read about a Sunday school teacher who was trying to make an impression on his class. Looking out at the young men assembled before him, he asked, “Why do people call me a Christian?” After a moment of silence, one of them said, “Maybe it’s because they don’t know you.” Those who know us best should have the highest view of our commitment to following Jesus Christ. Yet too often people live one way in public and at church, and an entirely different way at home or on the job.
There is no off switch for the Christian life. It is not a Sunday “thing,” but a lifetime, an every day complete surrender to God’s purpose. Jesus pointed out the level of devotion that was required to truly follow Him: “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23).
Our daily life should be a testimony to the power of the gospel to transform people into followers of Christ—not in name, but in action. In our day, the world desperately needs the influence of godly, consistent, loving believers. And it is up to those of us who love Jesus and know the truth to live in a way that lifts up the gospel.