Articles

Articles

“Three Qualities of Strong Christians”

No Christian would say that he wants to just be a "so-so" servant of God. Rather, because we take our spiritual service seriously, we want to be strong men and women of God. In Paul's letter to the saints in Corinth, he used three powerful and descriptive words or qualities for which we should all aspire to attain. The apostle wrote, "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord" (I Corinthians 15:58).

First, strong Christians are steadfast Christians. Paul is the only Bible writer to use the word and he used it three times in the course of two of his letters. Elsewhere in the New Testament, the word is translated as "settled" which seems appropriate as a related root word is "sedentary." In Galatians 1:6, Paul criticized those early Christians for turning away from the gospel's message so quickly and easily. And in his letter to the church in Ephesus, he wrote that believers shouldn't be "tossed to and fro" by the false doctrines that so often arise in arguments for change (Ephesians 4:14). Instead, believers are to be settled, calm, and closely identified with the simple, unchanging doctrine of our Lord.

Second, strong Christians are immovable Christians. In making this point, Paul is not suggesting that we be stubborn or unwilling to listen to others. Instead, Paul uses this word (the only time in the Bible) to signify that saints are to be persistent in their belief of God and to refuse to change from what He has commanded. Of course, this may mean that others in the world would perceive us as old-fashioned or even intransient, but it's not for us to change God's plans or to take liberty with His commands.

Finally, the inspired writer tells us that we are to be "always abounding" in the Lord's work. This phrase carries with it the notion of "excess" or "overflowing." Paul wanted the first century Christians to not "do enough" to "get by" spiritually but instead to fully adopt their lives as servants of the only God and to completely dedicate their lives to His cause. The same is true for us 2,000 years later. In our prayer life, we should want to pray more. In our dedication to our brethren, we should want to do more. And in our obedience to the will of our Father, we should desire to be more and more pleasing to Him.

As we live in service to our God, let us never be "satisfied" with "so-so" obedience or being "average" Christians. Instead, let's consider the timeless admonition of God's word and work to develop these three wonderful qualities.

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