The average Christian looks no different than their non-Christian family, friends, or co-workers.
The situation has become so desperate that it is time to look at what a Christian really looks like. The source of deception does not come from God. There are many that say they are Christian, but on closer examination their lives are not entirely different from the counterpart non-Christian.
Lies, cheating, deception, disrespect, lawlessness, immorality are all common in the world (1 Timothy 4). Unfortunately, many of the same sins are occurring far too often within the church. There are too many generic or imitation Christians, who think, walk, live and talk not unlike their lost friends, neighbors, and those they work with.
Many of the people who fill the church pews taught by people who have not had the calling of God who are unregenerate and lost church members. If Jesus Christ came back to call His people home, these will be left behind during what the Bible calls “the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jeremiah 30:7).”
This desperate situation of Christian integrity begs the question, “what does the average real Christian really look like?” The stages of a Christian’s growth are justification or salvation (Romans 3), which you can’t earn or pay for; sanctification (Romans 6), which is God taking you from justification into spiritual growth with the indwelling Holy Spirit preparing you for what you should be.
The final step is called glorification. Like other facets of salvation, glorification is the work of God (Romans 8:30). It is highly desired and hoped for stage with a majority of people who call themselves Christians not knowing anything about this final stage. (Romans 8:29).
As we look at the first stage of a Christians walk, we may be examining the reason most self-identified Christians are not walking as they profess. There are broadly three classes of sinners. They are Pagan Man (Romans 1:18-32); there is Moral Man (Romans 2:1-16); and finally, there is Religious Man (Romans 2:17-29).
The sad fact of the matter is that all three classes of sinners are “...dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). If you call yourself a Christian, please read all three classes of sinners, and examine yourself, to make sure you’re not part of any of the three groups.
If you are a part of any of three classes of sinners defined in Romans, you are being deceived about being a justified Christian. Immediately get on your knees, repent, and ask Jesus Christ to come into your life. Salvation is by grace alone (Romans 10:9; Ephesians 2:8-9). Sanctification is clearly a choice.
Most Christians never progress past justification, a gift given by God that they or I did not deserve and can not earn. That should make us eternally thankful to God, and Jesus Christ (John 14:6).
It has been said that grace is “God’s riches at Christ’s expense” (Hal Lindsay). You cannot add or subtract what Yeshua Ha-Mashiach accomplished on that cross, in John 19:30 He said, “It is finished.”
In a beautiful song by Bill and Gloria Gather they state, “It is finished, the battle is over It is finished, there'll be no more war It is finished, the end of the conflict It is finished and Jesus is Lord.”
Then, beginning with Romans 12, Paul discusses the Christians response to all of this in terms of the transformed life (Romans 12:2). The transformed life is a surrendered life in which we present out total self to God as a living sacrifice, being transformed daily by a renewing of our minds which we can call the sanctification process.
This transformed, radically new life, results in service to one another as we exercise our spiritual gifts (Romans 12:3-8). This transformed life also results in a radical character metamorphosis that becomes the very life of Christ in and through us.
Paul is not theoretical or mystical when it comes to answering the question, “What does a real Christian look like?” He is practical, concrete and basically in your face! Paul wrote to his young protégé Timothy of what is to be expected during the last days:
"But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
This statement of sin could have been written yesterday for publication today it is so descriptive of our generation. If you are a Christian, flee from these traits. If you're not, repent, turn from your wicked ways, get into the Word of God, and find a fellowship of like believers who can help you grow in Yeshua Ha-Mashiach (Jesus Christ).
Sources: “Eternal Security”, Dr. Chuck Missler, Koinonia Institute, Part 2, 2008.