To be a trustworthy person, you must not lie or manipulate people. To be healthy, you must eat right, exercise, and take care of yourself mentally and spiritually. To be a disciple of Jesus Christ, you must follow and obey his ways and God’s word. The good characteristics, habits, morals, and aspects of your life are achieved by living in healthy boundaries.
From the garden of Eden and throughout time, history has shown us how destructive people can be when they follow their imperfect guidelines and rules. We can’t escape our human condition until we are in heaven with our Savior. Although we are saved by faith through the grace and sacrifice of Christ, (Eph. 2:8), we will still have to battle our sinful human condition on earth (Rom. 7:15-20). God and Jesus knew this fact, and that is why Jesus came to save us and to show us how to live in his gospel.
Christians Battle with Their Sinful Flesh
The very first sin was pride, which was introduced to Adam and Eve by the devil through a lie. They wanted to be “like God” (Gen. 3:5, NIV). Our sinful flesh and the enemy is always looking for a way to overshadow and override our decision to obey God. Even people who profess to be Christians are led into this deception and illusion that they can pick and choose which parts of the Bible they will follow. They believe that they can determine what is right or wrong based on their interpretation or knowledge of a circumstance. God tells us.
“It can be bright with joy if you will do what you should! But if you refuse to obey, watch out. Sin is waiting to attack you, longing to destroy you. But you can conquer it!” (Gen. 4:7, TLB)
How Do We Know What We Should Do?
In truth, we can only do what we know. If we don’t know the commandments and boundaries in God’s word and how to apply them in our lives, we will use our imperfect thoughts and solutions. The problem with not having God’s truth as our foundation is the fact that no good is in us without Him. He is our compass to live in pure love, honor, respect, and the grace of Christ.
When we operate from what we know as believers without the truth of God, we can be deceived by our unawareness, misinterpretations, and life experiences. Many Christians have grown up in a home where they were taught that “white lies” are okay because they don’t hurt anyone. What does God say about lying?
- Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices. (Col. 3:9, NIV)
- The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy. (Prov. 12:22, NIV)
- You must not lie. (Exod. 20:16, TLB) This is the 9th
Lying breaks trust with people. Lying is a sin, and it separates you from God. (Isai. 59:2-3, NIV) God called Satan the father of lies. What good can come out of a lie and from disobeying God?
When telling a “white lie” is more important than obeying God and honoring the sacrifice of Jesus, you must evaluate your commitment as Christ’s disciple. If you dismiss the commands, guides, and boundaries in God’s word, you dismiss Him. You are being your own god. People try to rationalize the sin they are choosing to do and define what they want as right and wrong for the following reasons.
- They do not know the truth of God because they have not been taught how to study God’s word.
- They adjust the level of sin or excuse it to meet the lifestyle and friends they have in life.
- They choose to sin because they don’t what to be criticized or abandoned.
- They know some of God’s word, but they prefer to live in the emotions and desires of their sinful flesh.
- They choose to continue to ignore the convictions of the Holy Spirit and harden their hearts.
- They never truly received the salvation of Christ. They believe that believing God and Jesus are real, trying to be a good person, going to church, and reading the Bible is enough.
Signs of Being a True Disciple of Christ
Jesus tells us that we cannot serve two masters (Matt. 6:24). Either you are all in with God and Jesus, or you are still living for your sinful flesh desires. God tells us in the Bible how to know if we are truly followers of Christ.
And how can we be sure that we belong to him? By looking within ourselves: are we really trying to do what he wants us to? Someone may say, “I am a Christian; I am on my way to heaven; I belong to Christ.” But if he doesn’t do what Christ tells him to, he is a liar. But those who do what Christ tells them to will learn to love God more and more. That is the way to know whether or not you are a Christian. Anyone who says he is a Christian should live as Christ did. (1 John 2:3-6, TLB)
Being Christ’s disciple is an all-in lifetime commitment. You will sin, but your heart and mind repent immediately, and you keep learning from God’s word. You are also growing in your personal relationship with Jesus every day. As you walk hand in hand with Jesus and work with him, he transforms you into his likeness. You are filled with the mature fruits of the spirit of love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, kindness, faithfulness, and self-control.
God gave us His boundaries to help us know His heart and love through Jesus Christ. He knew our human condition, which includes our free will. To make sure we would have the opportunity to spend eternity with Him, God sent Jesus to show us His ways.
We have two choices as we live in our imperfect human condition in this broken world. First, we can choose to walk with Jesus and let him be our strength and spiritual overcomer no matter what happens to us on earth. Second, we can keep living in our sinful flesh and doing life our own way. You can’t live in both choices.
Obeying God’s Boundaries is Being a Child of God
Boundaries are created to protect us. They also show us where we end, and others begin. God created boundaries for us so that we can be His people. God’s people are set apart (1 Pet. 2:9-10). God’s children are different than the people of the world, and their lives must show this difference.
God is not expecting our perfection. He invites us to know His heart and to live in the saving grace of Jesus Christ in a personal relationship. Christians, it’s time to live like the children of God and the disciples of Christ. It’s time to honor and love God first by following His commands and guides, which are his boundaries. We are called to share the love, hope, grace, and salvation of Christ to the world with our words and our lives. Disciples of Christ, it’s time to live as he did in the boundaries of God!
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