By Deepak Iype David
A lot of debates are happening on the virtues of Christian life. Various sects debate on the important doctrines of Christianity forgetting the real essence of it. In the modern world Christianity has become more of a religion than what it was earlier. The usage of the word “CHRISTIANS” can be traced to the Bible. Acts 11:26 says, “And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch. And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch” It is very clear from this passage that the disciples of Christ we called Christians.
This means clearly that Christianity is a way of life rather than a mere religion. The Lord did not come to this world to establish Christians, but to save the perished. A lot have now been talked about the way of life a Christian is supposed to live. People are looking at religious leaders, fellow believers, priests and so on.
The bible points out very clearly that our eyes should be fixed to the mountains as the psalmist says. Since the disciples of Christ we first called Christians, it is nothing but logic to think that a Christian should possess at least the basic virtues of a disciple. Every disciple of Christ is a believer and not all believer is a Disciple. To be a disciple it cost a certain amount of sacrifice and commitment. As a quality to become a disciple, the Lord himself said that if any man wishes to follow him should deny himself take up his cross and follow Him. Self denial is something very difficult but the most important virtue of a disciple.
Many a believer preaches the word but when it comes to day to day life, the self denial is not seen in the individual. Paul rightly said, “Let the mind of Christ be in you” The mind of Christ which did not raise a finger to protect himself when he was beaten and crucified for no wrong.
Taking up the Cross is another task that the Master expects every one of us to do. For everything he said, there is a clear example in the Word. In the book of Acts 16: 26 say, “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.” The situation is very clear in the verses before 26 of the same chapter. In midst of tribulations Paul and Silas were praising God. The cross of suffering was taken for by the duo for Him who died on the cross for mankind.
Following Jesus is taken very lightly by the Christians seen today. Following Jesus does not mean going for full time ministry or being a priest. In ones own circle, one can be a follower of Jesus. Many a time we see that Jesus Himself has preferred this. When we read the book of Mark 5 where the Lord cast out Legions from a man. Jesus said to him, “Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.” The Lord expects the same thing from each one of us. To go to our loved ones, to our church and proclaim what the Lord and done for us and how he has showed mercy on us.
It is the ripe time for us Christians to arise and shine for Him…the one who suffered and died so that we would have life and have it more abundantly.