CHRISTIANS ARE not mere followers of Christ Jesus, but elects of God, royal priesthood and children of God purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ. And Christians are not only given the Word of God to serve as a lamp unto their feet, and a light unto their paths, but they are also sealed with the Spirit of God for the day of redemption.
Yes, true Christians are peculiar people, who understand their holy, high and heavenly calling. Unlike unbelievers and religious people, who do not understand Christianity, true Christians do understand it because they have the Spirit of God, the mind of Christ and their minds have been opened to understand the Scriptures.
True Christians know who they are; they are not their own. They are crucified with Christ, and so they do not live in this world the way they desire but by the will of God. Christians live their lives in this world to God while unbelievers live their lives to the world. This is why it is written that God's children are in the world but are not of the world (John 17:15-16).
This means we do not live in the world by its standards and values. We live by the standards and values of God which are clearly spelt out in the Holy Bible. Unbelievers speak from the world's perspective and the world listens to them. But true children of God purchased by the sinless blood of the Lamb don't. We speak from God's perspective.
Now, when Christians preach and teach the Word of God, unbelievers cannot bear to hear their words; they take offence and often verbally attack them. The world is fond of insulting and reviling. We all behaved the same way before we were saved by grace to be slaves of righteousness in Christ Jesus. The Psalmist had experiences of verbal confrontations and wars so he wrote: “I am for peace, but when I speak, they are for war” (Psalm 120:7).
Within the hearts of Christians is the spirit of peace. Everyone born of the Spirit of Christ has the peace of Christ in them, and so true Christians are a people of peace; they are peacemakers. They love to live with their neighbours including their enemies in peace as they forgive those who trespass against them and refuse to hold grudges against those who offend or hurt them.
However, the world always mock, scorn and insult everything about God remorselessly. The world's verbal attacks against Jesus Christ, His ministers and Christians in general are without cause. It is unprovoked hatred. When the Lord Jesus Christ walked the earth to fulfil a divine assignment, He was hated and insulted without cause (John 15:25). To be hated without cause is to be hated without reason. In other words, you do no wrong to warrant insults.
Someone may wonder if Jesus Christ, the Author and Perfecter of the Christian faith, was ever hated and insulted in the days of His flesh. Yes, the unbelieving world did persecute Jesus in various ways. They hurled insults at Him for doing nothing wrong. Christ Jesus never stole anyone's chariot, never slept with any man's wife or daughter, never shot anyone dead. He never gossiped maliciously about anyone or refused to pay His taxes.
In fact, the Jewish leaders had no incriminating evidence to press charges against Jesus during His trial at Pilate's court. Jesus Christ simply lived as a patriotic citizen of Israel. The apostle Peter testified that Jesus went about doing good and healing people who were oppressed by the devil. Christ Jesus did good by feeding the hungry and preaching the message of grace, truth and hope to the poor. In spite of all His good deeds, the unbelieving world mocked Him.
In Matthew 11:19, Jesus of Nazareth was called a drunkard, glutton and a friend of corrupt tax collectors and sinners. In John 10:20, many people said, “He has a demon, and is insane; why listen to him.” Then in Mark 3:21, Jesus' own family members joined the insulting brigade saying, 'He is out of his mind.' Then, in John 8:48, 52, He was accused of being a Samaritan and a demon.
Finally, in Matthew 13:55-57, people in Christ's hometown ridiculed Him saying “is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things? And they took offence at him. And Jesus said to them, 'A prophet is not without honour except in his hometown and in his own household.”
We should not even talk about the painful manner in which He was betrayed, arrested, tried and crucified. But we know that Christ Jesus might have suffered emotional abuse through insults and name-calling without cause. He did nothing wrong deserving of those strong words which were uttered against Him. Well, if Jesus Christ travelled around doing only good things for the people in His day, why should people find fault with Him and insult Him?
Could those attacks had been instigated by the devil in attempts to distract Him from faithfully and obediently accomplishing His assignment? Now, it is not surprising that the world would not celebrate Christ but denigrate Him. He Himself said, “If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my father. But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: They hated me without a cause.”
Again, Jesus said, “Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you (John 6:26). This means no matter how perfect you are, and how excellently you perform, people will always speak ill of you. In other words, it is impossible to live in this world without people misrepresenting you, maligning you, criticising you, mocking you, scorning you, ridiculing you, gossiping about you and publishing false stories about you.
By James Quansah
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