MIF 10:4 (July-Aug 1978)
The Christian Difference
“Do all things without murmurings and disputings, that ye may be blameless and harmless, children of God without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:14-15).
The Apostle Paul here expresses a thought that was prominent in our Lord’s earthly ministry, that the Christian is expected to be a light to a world in deep spiritual darkness. Rather than “doing his own thing,” he is expected to do the right thing, closing the “morality gap” that exists between man and God.
He is expected to recognize sin when he sees it and for what it is: disobedience to God’s revealed will, and this, in the face of the deplorable breakdown in moral standards that prevails in society today. The difference is that the Christian is expected to view God’s moral laws as binding on himself in both word and action.
Because of the blessings and benefits God has granted to His redeemed people, He expects more in the way of obedience. We are individually responsible for our actions, but God gives the needed grace to live the Christian life midst the most unfavorable circumstances. The Christian difference is in so living that we please God rather than pleasing ourselves, thereby bringing honor and glory to our Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul says in Ephesians 4:1 (paraphrased), “Since you are a Christian, live in a way that is consistent with your high position.” Good conduct alone does not make one a Christian, but the Christian will reflect his love for God by being obedient to Christ (John 14:15). May we avoid making any compromise with the forces of evil, however respectable society may make them appear. Whatever the cost, let us as Christians have a closer walk with God. This is the Christian difference.
—Arthur F. Wilder