An Epistle Written Unto The Christians
“Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 1:2).
Dear readers, life on its own is vanity as the scripture reads in Ecclesiastes 1:2. The word of God teaches us that riches, power, favor, and even earthly joy are to last for a season; and on the day that is appointed for all men to die all these things will vanish away. So, my beloved reader, life without Christ is a suffering life; not only in this life but what is to come after. This is what Christians should understand. Life without the security of Christ is a life that not a single substance can satisfy. However, if you are reading this letter I hope that you are abiding in Christ, for he is the true vine that brings forth good fruit (John 15:1-6). And if he is in us, and we in him, we become his branch, and our lives then should not be in vain but bring forth good fruit. So, how is it then that we live our life as a branch that bears bad fruit?
God wants us to live for him, so Christian, it is our reasonable service to live for Christ and not for ourselves; for Christ has paid the price, and we are not our own. God wants us to be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, to drink of that living water (which is Jesus), be not moveable by any wind of doctrine, but stay grounded in our faith which is in Christ Jesus, to bring forth much fruit; and never cease from yielding fruit (Jeremiah 17:8).
God has given us the best (and the complete) instruction on how we should live our lives for him; it is in his word. Our delight should be in his word rather than in the things of the world, yet we hold on to a temporary joy in fulfilling the lusts of our flesh, but leave our souls to be athirst and hungry for the true and eternal rest. My beloved reader, “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness, and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with the meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21). It is necessary for us to cleanse our heart of haughtiness and learn to be humble and let God work in our lives. If our heart is filled with slothfulness and stubbornness we will not be able to walk right with God.
The only way that we could live our lives for God is to stay in his word day and night. Reader, our faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17). We have to stay in his word! God’s word is powerful, and that power renews our mind from wickedness, for sin starts in the heart. In Psalm 1:1-2, the Bible says, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night”. My beloved reader, what you just read is the excellent counsel from God to you! There is no better counsel than this from anyone else; God wants us to learn of him. So Christian, drink that water of life that God has given to you daily.
The apostle James has also written about showing our faith by works,
“But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Issac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?”(James 2:20-22).
This scripture is NOT to be interpreted that works could gain or secure salvation, but when we are saved it is within us to do what God wants us to do to honor and to please him; as Jesus has said, “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment” (Mark 12:30). I would like to make it clear to you that works is the fruit of salvation, and NOT the way to salvation, because only Jesus Christ is the way. However, as the scripture said, faith without work is dead because when we are saved in Christ something in us must change. We must leave our old selves. Christian, we must be holy as God is holy, but how can the world see Christ in us if we still act like them: be as angry, be as impatient, be as high minded, be as negative, be as bitter, and continue in sin?
In James 1:22, the apostle James said, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves”. My beloved reader we must change, and we must change according to his word. We should not be like the pharisees that only honored God with their lips; it is blasphemy and unthankfulness. It should naturally be within us to love him, and that love should lead us to do the things of God.
My beloved reader, let your testimonies be of good report as Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). We must live our lives for God to give him glory and honor, and be the example to the lost in this world.
As the Father hath loved me, so has Jesus loved you: continue ye in his love,
Your fellow laborer in Christ
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