Standing up for Christ (1) By Babatunde Olugboji
How do you stand up for Christ? The first critical step is a personal confession of faith: “Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart, one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” (Romans 10:9-10)
Those who believe in and receive Christ as their Lord and Savior are declared righteous in God’s sight, not because of their own righteousness, but because of Christ’s righteousness. (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 3:23-26) So, it is apt to say that standing up for Christ starts with your own standing before God.
Secondly, standing up for Christ involves a personal pursuit of holiness. Although we are declared righteous in God’s sight based on the righteousness of Christ, we are also called to grow in Christ experientially. Being conformed to the image and likeness of Christ is an ongoing process known as sanctification. (1 Thessalonians 4:3; Romans 6:19, 22)
Attempting to stand up for Christ without pursuing personal holiness is nothing but hypocrisy (Matthew 23:28; 1 Peter 2:2). Although as believers we will never reach experiential perfection (known as glorification) until after death (Philadelphian 3:20-21), it is our responsibility to continually pursue and grow in holiness.
The Bible says we should “Strive for peace with everyone, and for holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” (Hebrew 12:14) and that “… as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:15-16) To stand up for Christ, we must seek to be like Him.
Thirdly, standing up for Christ means loving others and not being weary in doing good, especially to fellow believers. (Galatians 6:10) Loving each other is one way in which we show the world we are Christ’s disciples. Jesus told His disciples, “By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35) To genuinely stand up for Christ, we must love the body of Christ, made up of fellow believers.
Fourthly, standing up for Christ involves declaring the truth of the gospel boldly and unashamedly. Mark 16:15 says, “And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.”
Finally, standing up for Christ means being patient and prayerful toward those who oppose Him and us. 2 Timothy 2:24-26 admonishes: “And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by Him to do His will.”
Are you able to pray for those who oppose and persecute you this week? (See Matthew 5:44 – 48).
Have a great week.
Kingdom Dynamics, a weekly column written by Dr. Babatunde Olugboji, the President, Kingdom House, a non-profit organization in New Jersey, USA.
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